All-Star Driver: Robert Browning continues 15-year winning streak for MPC

Business News

sustainability, Lexington, Kentucky, Driver, Trucking, Safety, People
Browning with his truck before a shift in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Robert Browning, a truck driver for Marathon Petroleum, was named an NPTC National Driver All-Star for his commitment to safety and community service.
  • Browning has driven more than two million miles without a single accident, injury or moving violation.
  • This is the 15th year that a driver from Marathon Petroleum has earned this national award.

Marathon Petroleum’s Robert Browning was one of only 19 truck drivers selected for the 2022 National Driver All-Star Award given by the National Private Truck Council (NPTC). This makes 15 years in a row that Marathon has a representative among the top drivers in the country. Winners are selected based on their safety record, leadership in safety within their operations, and involvement outside of work in helping their community.

Browning works out of the Lexington, Kentucky, terminal, and he’s been a truck driver there since 2000. In those 22 years, he has driven more than two million miles without a single accident, injury or moving violation.

“When you first meet Robert, you very quickly witness his very positive attitude, and his passion for his family, being a driver for MPC, and safety,” said Jocko Langlois, Transport Operations Director for Marathon. “There have been numerous examples of Robert going above and beyond in the area of safety to make things not only safe for himself but also for his coworkers. He does this through reinforcing safe work practices and encouraging the other drivers to ensure they share any safety questions or concerns to make sure they can be addressed.”

We asked Robert Browning five questions to learn his secret to success.

Q&A with Robert Browning

Q. How did you get into truck driving?

It’s a niche career. It’s not for everyone. I have always loved traveling. When I was little, my family would go on road trips, and I would sit up to look at the cars on the road and wave at the truck drivers. After high school, I went to Louisville Technical Institute and got my Associate in Drafting degree. I was laid off from my first job after two years in drafting, and then I realized I didn’t actually like working in an office. I got my Commerical Driver’s License (CDL) in 1997, and I’ve been driving a truck ever since.

Q. What is it like driving for Marathon Petroleum?

At first, I was an over-the-road [long distance] driver for another company, and I had just gotten married. Everyone said Marathon Petroleum was the place to be if you can get there. I jumped on it when I got the chance. It’s been 22 years, and I’ve been home with my family every night. That was important to me. I have two daughters, and I wanted to make sure I was home for them. I’ve always thought this was a great career. It’s not for everyone. There are some long days, but I love it.

Q. What is the secret to your safety record?

There’s a mix here. I’ve always taken pride in my work. I know that truck drivers are the public image of our company, and I always do my best to reflect every driver here.

Marathon Petroleum stresses a culture of safety. There’s safety training, advanced technology like adaptable cruise control [a system designed to help road vehicles maintain a safe following distance and speed limit] on our trucks, and constantly updating our practices to reflect the best and safest way to do things company-wide. We want to make sure every person goes home every day.

And finally, I’m a Christian man, and I believe that God has blessed me by keeping me safe.

Q. Do you have any advice for other drivers on the road?

SLOW DOWN! Seriously. It’s crazy how fast some people drive out there. On our adaptive cruise control, I’ve seen more than one car pass me going 100 mph. It’s not worth it.  At the end of the day, you deliver one load, it’s delivered safely, and you go home. It’s not about the million loads. It’s one day at a time.

Q. What does it mean to earn the NPTC National Driver All-Star Award?

When I’m out on the road, I’m my own boss to a point. I’m responsible for when I get to my location. All the judgements I make are on me. I’m in charge of what I do and how I do it. I enjoy that, and it’s nice to be recognized for doing a good job. It’s great to go to work and know that someone appreciates what you do day in and day out.

Interested in a career as a driver?

Marathon Petroleum has immediate opportunities for transport drivers across our operations. 

Browning received the NPTC National All-Star Driver Award from NPTC leaders at the National Safety Conference in Orlando, Florida.
(l to r) Paul Okeke, Marathon Petroleum T&R Safety Professional; Jeff Mulrath, Marathon Petroleum T&R Kentucky Region Transport Operations Supervisor; Browning; Jocko Langlois, Marathon Petroleum T&R East Transport Operations Director