London man covered a remarkable 14 million km over 66 years
That’s one way to sum up Peter Klassen’s epic career as a commercial truck driver.
In mid-August, the 90-year-old did his last run after 20 years with Premium Transportation Inc., ending a more than six-decade trucking career during which he estimates he racked up enough mileage to get him to the moon and back — 18 times.
“The thing is, there’s not a basic reason why I quit,” said Klassen, who spent most of his career living in Windsor. “I feel like I’m 65, maybe even less. I don’t have that feeling that I should retire.”
Wearing his company shirt, Klassen arrived at Premium Transportation in Centralia Wednesday to celebrate the milestone. The less-than-load (LTL) shipping and trucking company in this Huron County town, just south of Exeter, picks up and delivers products across Canada and 48 U.S. states.
Joining the celebration on Wednesday, Klassen’s bosses said he was built to drive.
“He’s amazing,” said Mike Hogan, Premium’s president and co-owner. “He’s the epitome of a glass half-full. I think his biggest attribute was that he never thought he was old.”
In each of his 20 years with the company, Klassen ranked in the Top 2 for highest mileage, Hogan said. He’s averaged about 210,000 kilometres a year — the equivalent of more than five times around the planet.
“He really cared about his job,” Hogan said. “Even on his last load, he was three hours early.
“He leaves a hole in this industry that will take two or three truckers to fill.”