Record Staff Writer
Tito Campos said he can’t understand what the fuss is all about. But his wife, Jane, sitting beside him at his house where they raised three children, couldn’t be more proud.
On the wall, she points to an oak case. On the shelves are glass plaques given to her husband. Each award marks every million miles he has driven his truck without an accident or spill.
“I’m proud of him,” Jane Campos said. “He has really worked hard all his life. He’s still working hard.
“And I just love him.”
Campos was only the second driver since Goendyke Transport was founded in 1932 to drive 4 million miles without an accident or spill. It is the equivalent of 160 trips around the world, or 16 trips to the moon and back.
Another 37 drivers have reached 10 years of safe driving miles and 50 have driven 1 million safe miles.
Campos and his wife also celebrated 50 years of marriage last month. They renewed their vows at St. John’s Catholic Church.
“I’m not the first and I won’t be the last,” Tito Campos said, modestly. “It’s just another milestone I’ve achieved. We’ve raised our children here. They went to all of the schools, and left for their own lives. They’ve done good for themselves. They’ve gone to college.”
Campos started work at the company’s Artesia hub on March 8, 1982.
Campos sees his job as something he enjoys doing every day. And, he rarely misses the opportunity to get back on the road.
“It’s just like, what I do,” Campos said. “It’s your job.”
Campos transports a liquid tanker, filled with hazardous products. He also instructs other drivers on safety.
He enquired about the other driver who reached the same goal, and found it was another man who lived in Texas. The man retired, then died shortly after.
“I guess I am the only one who has reached this point with a clean record intact,” he said.
Campos regularly drives to Texas, Louisiana, North and South Dakota, Connecticut and the Carolinas, and north to Calgary, Alberta and Montreal, Canada.
To celebrate Campos’ achievement, Goendyke Transport’s management flew the Campos’ to their headquarters in Oklahoma, where they were treated to a special dinner and presentation.
Campos was also presented with a new truck, with its speedometer already set to start on 4 million miles. His name is painted on the side of the driver’s seat. He drove the truck back to Roswell.
“Tito Campos represents the very best of our company. The pride he has for his job is evident in everything he does, and we could not be prouder of him,” Greg Hodgen, president of Goendyke Transport, wrote in a letter in July.
“It was something I was not expecting,” Campos said.
When I hit 1 million, 2 and 3 million, we just had banquets here. They went above and beyond. I was more than impressed.”
Campos wasted no time in getting back on the road.
“The truck is his priority and he loves being in the truck, and he loves being on the road,” Jane Campos said. “He takes care of himself. He chose this life for us, for better or worse.”
Campos said he makes the most of every day.
“I don’t complain,” he said. “There’s always another day. I like to help others that do their work.”
Campos enjoys instructing others on safe driving habits, such as loading and unloading hot liquid and hot asphalt.
“There’s a lot of safety involved,” he said. “I like to send them home with a smile for their family.”
Campos does have future plans, but not for a few years.
He and his wife plan to visit their out-of-state children and take their grandchildren fishing, after he parks his truck for good.
But, those road trips will be pleasure drives.
“I’ll retire when I am ready,” he said. “Hopefully, in two years, I’ll hang it up.”