Winchester man receives award from American Trucking Association

Published 1:00 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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When Bourbon County native Earl J. Webb came to Winchester, he hoped his work would make an impact. 

As recognized by the American Trucking Association, such hopes have come to fruition. 

Webb, who serves as maintenance manager with Online Transport, was recently recognized by the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council with the Excellence in Maintenance Supervision Award.  

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“Rarely am I at a loss of words about my career, but when I was told that I was receiving this award I was at a complete loss for words,” said Webb. “I’ve worked my entire life and never have I had this kind of recommendation. It’s very humbling.” 

Webb is a long-time industry veteran, having first taken on a management position in 2005.

“I have performed about every duty that is a maintenance job. I probably have enough credit hours for two master’s degrees,” he said, somewhat in gest. “I still train today.” 

Online Transport, a trucking company dedicated to providing reliable and affordable transportation solutions, utilizes semi trucks. 

As maintenance manager, Webb performs a multitude of duties. 

Among them are putting forth policies keeping people and equipment safe. 

“You’d think [that] if you’re going to change a tire you just take it off, put the new tire on, tighten it up [and] you’re good to go. It doesn’t work that way,” Webb said. “Every surface that contacts another surface has to be cleaned, and all of the nuts that have washers on them…have to be oiled…everything has to be cleaned and lubricated, and then it’s put on.” 

Follow-up is also essential to ensure safety. 

“We recheck everything,” Webb added. “We don’t leave anything to chance because [if] a 200-pound wheel [comes] off a truck and goes across and hits another vehicle, it’s [going to] cause some serious damage to a vehicle and potentially kill somebody.” 

Additionally, Webb performs audits on equipment to ensure quality of products in stock, and more. 

When Webb came to Winchester four years ago as a part of taking on the position, his leadership was put to the test. 

“The condition of the shop when I got there…was terrible,” he said.

Along with fellow team members, Webb effectively cleaned the area, sealed the floors, striped the floors with red stripes and yellow stripes to ensure where trucks would go and keep non-employees out of particular areas to avoid hazards, and more. 

“The drivers of the trucks that we operate…they need to feel comfortable about you working on their truck,” he said. “The condition of the shop that is performing the task that needs to be done…is a direct reflection of the kind of work that [they] do.” 

In accepting the award, Webb was flown out to New Orleans along with his wife, Lois, and provided with many accommodations during the four-to-five day event. 

Webb, who is also a father and grandfather, expressed gratitude. 

“I couldn’t do what I do without my wife,” Webb said. “She’s put up with long hours, many [times with me] working more than five days a week. I just couldn’t do what I do without the support.” 

Along with thankfulness toward his team members, he also recognized those who have been with his professional journey. 

“I have a lot of mentors…that influence how I do what I do,” Webb said.