Lewis “Lew” Clifton has been a truck driver for most of his life. He loves his job and takes it very seriously. He was recently named one of only 25 drivers selected for the 2023 National Driver All-Star Award given by the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) at its safety conference in Orlando, Florida.
“I take a lot of pride in my work,” said Clifton. “You have to love what you do for a living, and in this job, you have to be very safe about it, too. Safety is first and foremost.”
Clifton has delivered fuel for ARCO, Marathon Petroleum’s retail brand, from the Vinvale Terminal in South Gate, California, for almost 30 years.
“Lew is a valued member of the MPC family,” said Wendy B. Johnson, Transport Operations Manager for Marathon Petroleum’s Vinvale and East Hynes terminals. “Providing safe product deliveries in Los Angeles and Orange counties is no easy feat, but through his experience, Lew makes it look easy. He is a Safety Champion, and we are proud that he was recognized through the NPTC for his achievements and dedication.”
Clifton grew up in South Carolina and was stationed at Camp Pendelton in Oceanside, California, as a U.S. Marine. After serving in the military, he knew he wanted to find a meaningful career.
“My wife is a nurse, and I’m a truck driver. We both have our own way of helping others through our jobs,” said Clifton. “We always told our two sons to pick a career that is rewarding and in demand. We have one son who drives a truck like me, and the other just started nursing school like his mother.”
Clifton is also a Driver Trainer at the Vinvale terminal and has helped train over 100 drivers just starting their careers. Johnson, his manager, says he ensures his trainees are fully trained and understand the demands of this profession. Clifton said the job takes patience, discipline and attention to detail.
“People see us unloading at a gas station and think ‘that’s an easy job,’” said Clifton. “But unloading is the easy part. There’s a lot of detail and nuances that go into the job that make a difference.”
“You have to love what you do for a living, and in this job, you have to be very safe about it, too. Safety is first and foremost.”
That attention to detail earned him a spot as a National Driver All-Star, awarded to private fleet truck drivers who have demonstrated high performance standards against their peer drivers throughout the country based on customer service, safety, adherence to company standards, regulatory compliance and community service. This makes 16 years in a row that Marathon Petroleum has a representative among the top drivers in the country.
“It’s a great career, but you have to have a lot of patience and love to drive,” said Clifton.
Interested in a career as a driver?
Marathon Petroleum has opportunities for transport drivers across our operations.