Werner Enterprises recently introduced a three-tiered Million Mile Safe Driver Truck Program designed to recognize professional Werner drivers who have achieved safe driving milestones of 1, 2 or 3 million miles with new trucks and accessories.
The new program offers professional drivers the opportunity to order new trucks equipped with an auxiliary power unit (APU) with 110-volt service and assorted accessories available depending on the safe driving milestone achieved.
“It takes a lot of dedication to strike the perfect balance between efficiently moving our country’s freight and ensuring the safety of the motoring public,” said Derek Leathers, president and COO of Werner Enterprises. “We are fortunate to have quite a few of these exceptional professional drivers on our team. Drivers who accumulate millions of safe miles deserve to be recognized for their hard work, and that’s what we plan to do with this industry-leading program.”
Drivers with 1 million safe driving miles at Werner are eligible to order a new truck with a special decal package, while drivers with 2 or 3 million safe driving miles at Werner also can choose from accessory packages and premium upgrades.
Werner currently has approximately 570 professional drivers eligible for this program. Overall, more than 1,500 professional Werner drivers have achieved 1 million or more safe driving miles.
Americans throughout the country expressed gratitude on Veterans Day to those who have served in our military. Werner Enterprises hosted its own special ceremony Nov. 11 at its Omaha, Neb., headquarters to honor and celebrate our veterans.
Guest speakers included President and COO Derek Leathers, Associate Vice President of Human Resources Chris Polenz, Director of Government and Field Recruiting Jim Morbach and inaugural Freedom 1 professional driver Dave Conkling.
“On Veterans Day, it should be your mission to thank a veteran,” Polenz said. “So find a veteran at Werner, in your family or in your neighborhood. Extend a hand, salute them and give them a big thanks.”
Leathers urged members of the audience to show gratitude not just on Veterans Day, but all year long.
“Take the time to thank a veteran for what they do every day when they are out there fighting for people they have never met and protecting people they will never know,” he said.
Photos from the event are available in the photo album.
What would you do if you witnessed a car accident? Would you stop and try to assist? Professional driver Tom Pietrzak and his student Dodie Weikert were faced with the same question and, for them, the answer was clear.
While southbound on Highway 55 in Illinois June 15, 2013, Pietrzak and Weikert witnessed a Dodge Caravan lose control and roll several times. Pietrzak immediately made the decision to stop and help.
Weikert, a trained paramedic, ran to the driver’s side of the vehicle to assist the female driver, who was unresponsive and bleeding. She mobilized the driver’s spine and opened her airway while Pietrzak controlled a crowd of bystanders. In the back seat, the pair discovered a 15-day-old infant, in a car seat tipped sideways, and a 3-year-old child, unrestrained by a seatbelt. After attempting to break a back window with various tools, Pietrzak used his hand to punch through the window and pull the baby to safety.
“Certainly Tom is one of those kind of people who decides to stop,” said Chris Polenz, assistant vice president of Human Resources. “We always hope we are those kind of people, and we would take similar actions if presented in a similar circumstance.”
Weikert, a certified emergency technician with seven years of critical care, ambulance and hospital experience, humbly referred to her actions that day as second nature.
“I hope I didn’t do anything that anyone else wouldn’t have done,” she said. “I am deeply honored to have received this award.”
Humanitarian awards honor those who demonstrate lifesaving efforts, selflessly helping others in a time of need.
One never expects an impromptu visit to a friend’s house to turn into a life or death situation, but thankfully Steve Nissen, heavy equipment appraiser, was prepared.
On the evening of Aug. 14 in Weeping Water, Neb., Nissen was visiting his friend and co-worker, Dixie Norris, when she began having speech difficulties and fell convulsing from her chair. While 911 was dialed and a neighbor ran for help, Nissen rolled Norris, who had no pulse and was not breathing, on her back and began chest compressions. Norris soon began breathing and regained consciousness by the time the ambulance arrived.
“I got lucky,” said Nissen, who has had no formal medical training.
Lucky or not, his heroic actions were recognized and honored Sept. 20 with a Humanitarian award.
“It gives me a great, great honor to present somebody who is not only a true friend of ours in our hometown, but someone who if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know where I would be today,” said Norris, who presented Nissen the award.
Humanitarian awards honor those who demonstrate lifesaving efforts and selflessly help others in a time of need.
A true professional not only excels at what they do, but also chooses to lead by example. In his 22-year career with Werner, professional driver James O’Halloran has mentored approximately 172 trainees during his 19 years as a trainer.
O’Halloran has had plenty of real-world experience and knowledge to pass on to the drivers in training – he earned the 3 million safe driving miles award at the Sept. 20 Third Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony.
O’Halloran, an army veteran from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., has more than made an impact on the road with his students. He also formed a valuable friendship with his dedicated manager of eight years, Vince Bruce. The two share an avid interest in golf and took in a game the day before the awards ceremony.
“Jim, thank you for being my friend, being a great driver and representing Werner,” Bruce said.
When not on the road, O’Halloran enjoys spending time with his wife.
Georgia’s Douglas County Sheriff’s Department recently stopped by the Lithia Springs, Ga., terminal to present Werner Enterprises with a plaque for continued support, dedication and commitment to the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) Georgia State K-9 training workshop. Accepting on behalf of Werner was Terminal Manager Duane Beck. NAPWDA strives to enhance the use of police work dogs by law enforcement agencies and offers educational workshops throughout the year at the local, state and national levels.
Goals have always been important to professional driver Stephen Rippey. After earning his first driver of the month award, the self-proclaimed perfectionist was hooked and knew he could push himself further. Case in point – he earned the 2 million safe driving miles award at the Sept. 20 Third Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony.
“This has been quite a long journey,” Rippey said. “All I can say at this point is I’m glad I’ve got a couple of days off, because my head’s so big I won’t be able to get in the truck anyway.”
Rippey has driven a truck for 23 years, the last 16 of which have been with Werner. His tip for safe driving is simple: “Limit distractions and pre-trip your equipment. Your life and the lives of those around you depend on it.”
When not on the road, Rippey, who resides in Bellevue, Neb., enjoys spending time with his son, daughter and six grandchildren.
An easygoing mentality has led Homer Randle through his successful 30-year career as a professional driver, nearly 19 of which were with Werner.
“Homer is a person who wears life like a loose garment,” said David Farley, regional operations manager, upon congratulating Randle Sept. 20 at the Third Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony.
To add to his success, Randle received the award for 2 million safe driving miles.
“I thank Werner for this opportunity to be successful and to complete my 2 million miles,” he said. “I don’t know about the 3 million, but I am working on it.”
As a trainer the last 16 years, Randle has mentored many student drivers. His advice is simple: “Focus on safety all the time.”
A native of Memphis, Tenn., in his free time Randle likes to fish, drive his ’85 Grand Prix and spend time with his wife, two children and three grandchildren.
Will you be in the Dallas, Texas, area Oct. 14-18? Then be sure to check out the grand reopening of the Company Store located in the Driver Services Center building at the Dallas terminal. You can enjoy daily giveaways and exclusive offers, including a free gift with every purchase and a free hat with every $25 purchase. Stop in, check out the merchandise and take advantage of the great grand opening deals at the Dallas Company Store.
Professional driver Howard Lemon may have nicknamed him ‘Boy Wonder’, but Anheuser-Busch Dedicated manager Justin Bailey had nothing but praise for Lemon at the Third Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony.
“Howard, thank you so much for what you’ve done for the company,” Bailey said. “I appreciate everything you do for our account, and we look forward to being back here for three million.”
Lemon, who has 18 years of service with Werner, earned the 2 million safe driving miles award at the Sept. 20 ceremony. The Tulsa, Okla., native previously served 16 years in the army. Off the job, Lemon enjoys spending time with his seven children and cheering on his favorite sports teams.