Carlile Employee Named Driver of the Year

Alaska Trucking Association recognizes Alvin “Kenny” Jones

ATA Driver of the Year awardee Alvin "Kenny" Jones and Fairbanks Terminal Manager Russ Baker
ATA Driver of the Year awardee
Kenny Jones poses with Seward Terminal Manager
Russ Baker

Anchorage, Alaska, May 16, 2015 – The Alaska Trucking Association has named Carlile employee Kenny Jones Driver of the Year. Awarded during the 2015 Alaska Truck Driving Championships, recognition is based on experience, safety knowledge and a safe driving record.

Jones has logged more than 3.5 million miles throughout his 45-year career driving Alaska roads. That’s equal to seven round-trip flights to the moon. Since 1996, he has logged more than 1.8 million miles along the Dalton Highway delivering materials to the North Slope, including large modules for the oil fields, and explosives for construction work – even shotgun escorts moving nuclear parts along the highway for the military.

While his current North Slope assignments are generally weekly grocery runs between Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay, he also operates as a “push truck” driver. It can take a convoy of trucks up to 300-feet long to move a 100-ton, 20-foot-wide module to the oil fields. One truck hauls the module, and 3 – 5 “push trucks” nudge the front truck up steep inclines along the highway.

“Visibility as a push truck driver is limited – literally all the lead push truck driver can see is the end of the hood,” says Jones. “It can be both tedious and nerve-wracking all at the same time.”

Accolades that recognize his safe driving expertise are nothing new. Jones was inducted into the Carlile Million Mile Club in 2007, an achievement based on safety standards, and is a member of Caterpillar’s Million-Mile Club. Previously, he was recognized by the Alaska Trucking Association as Driver of the Year in 2000.

“Kenny Jones is one of the highest quality drivers I have ever known,” says Harry McDonald, co-founder of Carlile and currently Managing Director Alaska for Saltchuk, which acquired Carlile in 2013. “He sets a safety standard that inspires other drivers.”

Born in Anchorage in 1951, Jones is one of six children. His parents owned a feed store and operated a chicken ranch out of Seward. He landed his first trucking job at age 18 with City Express, where he mainly worked as a “swamper,” putting on chains, and loading and unloading cargo. In 1979, he began working for Louisiana Pacific driving a self-loading log truck.

In 1988, Jones started what would be a long-association with childhood friends Harry and John McDonald, who in 1980 had founded Carlile, now one of Alaska’s leading trucking companies. While Jones had driven with the McDonalds earlier in his career – they had only three trucks at the time, this association was permanent and Jones has been with Carlile ever since.

Today, Jones is well-known in the ranks for driving “The Black Truck,” a 2003 Kenworth W900 that makes the weekly 2,700-mile roundtrip grocery run between Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay.

Safety is always top-of-mind with Jones and his approach to safety is simple: “Stay focused and wired at all times. Safety is not unique, it is achievable if people pay attention 100 percent of the time.”

Founded in 1980 by John and Harry McDonald, Carlile celebrates its 35th anniversary in business as Alaska’s premier trucking and logistics company. Carlile terminals serve Alaska from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak, Prudhoe Bay and Seward, as well as Tacoma, WA, Houston, TX and Edmonton, AB. In 2013, Carlile became a proud member of the Saltchuk family of companies.

For more information, contact Nance Larsen (907) 276-7797.