Nelson Ross, a garbage truck driver at Waste Pro’s Gautier, MS Division, has won the company’s coveted $10,000 Safety Award for the third time.
Ross has more than 25 years of experience in the garbage industry and has been with Waste Pro since 2005. Known to his colleagues as “Superman”, Ross has become more than a garbage man to the people who live along his routes – he has become a friend.
“I’ve had people walk up to me in tears saying they’ve never had this kind of service. I tell people it can be done, and I’m the one who can take it to a level where you know it will be done,” Ross said. “Because without these people, we wouldn’t be here. The customer is the most important thing.”
The safety of drivers and helpers is a top priority at Waste Pro. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were nearly 4,000 accidents involving a garbage truck in 2016. The risks our crews face every day is why Waste Pro strongly believes in rewarding those who practice habits that keep themselves—and their communities—safe. Since establishing the $10,000 Safety Award program 2004, Waste Pro has awarded more than $4.6 million to drivers across the southeast United States.
Ross attributed his winnings to the tricks he’s taught himself on the road, like personally designing his routes to make every turn safe for himself and his helper.
His hard work behind the wheel and his reliability to his customers is the reason his co-workers began calling him “Superman.” Division Manager John Geboy said Ross responds to service issues before dispatch even sends out alerts and has even gone so far as to pick up customers’ garbage in his personal car on his way home.
“It’s always nice to know that you have people that work with you that, if you say, ‘I have an issue that needs to be taken care of,’ I don’t need to instruct him how to do it, when to do it, or have him follow up with me when it’s done,” Geboy said.
To be eligible for the $10,000 Safety Award, drivers must go three years without accidents, injuries, or property damage, maintain a positive attitude, have a strong attendance record, and keep a well-kept truck. Waste Pro is the only private company in the solid waste industry to offer such an award to its drivers.