Phoenix Gra-Gar Team Recognized for Safety Milestone

Werner honored the Phoenix terminal’s Gra-Gar team with an Excellence in Safety award during a special luncheon Aug. 26. The team was presented with a plaque, and each team member received a jacket for successfully completing two years without an OSHA recordable accident or injury.

“Gra-Gar has traditionally recognized individuals for injury-free achievements with an annual safety award,” said Boyd Redinbaugh, Gra-Gar’s assistant compliance manager. “We are now recognizing team success, as it takes everyone looking out for one another to reach injury-free achievements.”

2015 Top Tech Award Winners

Werner’s Gra-Gar team is among the most talented in the industry, and its Omaha technicians had the chance to put their skills on display when Werner hosted its first in-house Top Tech competition.

Technicians showcased their knowledge through both written and practical applications as they competed for bragging rights as Werner’s Top Tech for 2015.

“This competition really shows the depth of the experience and knowledge they have,” said Scott Reed, senior vice president of Maintenance.

This year’s Top Tech honors went to Brett Heitman. Heitman, who has been a tractor A technician with Werner for one year, received his training at WyoTech. Earlier this summer, Heitman competed at the Nebraska State SuperTech competition and placed fifth out of 96 competitors.

Jeremy Roll earned second place in the Top Tech competition. Roll has three and half years under his belt as a tractor A technician and received his training from Northeast Community College.

The third place finalist was Ed Finnell. Finnell, who received his formal training at Iowa Western Community College, is a seasoned tractor A technician with 25 years of Werner service.

“Technicians play a vital role in the safety and efficiency of our fleet,” said Craig Albers, director of Trailer Operations. “It’s nice to see their accomplishments and be able to quantify them.”

The team hopes to roll the competition out to additional terminals in the future.

Werner Enterprises Selected as a 2015 Top 100 3PL Provider

Werner Enterprises has been recognized as a 2015 Top 100 3PL Provider by Inbound Logistics magazine. Werner was selected as a leader in offering innovative solutions that empower logistics and supply chain excellence.

“We are proud to be named a Top 100 3PL Provider,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Derek Leathers. “Through the strength of our supply chain expertise, we remain committed to offering world-class logistics solutions to address any challenges our customers face.”

Each year, Inbound Logistics editors select the best logistics solutions providers by carefully evaluating submitted information, conducting personal interviews and online research, and comparing that data to the magazine readers’ burgeoning global supply chain and logistics challenges.

“When choosing the 2015 Top 100 3PL Providers, Inbound Logistics editors looked for providers demonstrating excellence in optimizing transportation and logistics operations, as well as transformative solutions that drive integration across internal and external business processes,” said Felecia Stratton, editor of Inbound Logistics. “Werner Enterprises was selected because its solutions solve specific logistics challenges and improve processes and create a ripple effect of efficiencies across the entire value chain.”

IL editors selected this year’s class of Top 100 3PLs from a pool of more than 300 companies. The service providers selected are companies that the IL editors believe offer the diverse operational capabilities and experience to meet readers’ unique supply chain and logistics needs.
This year’s complete list can be found in the July issue of Inbound Logistics, as well as at

Brad Graybill Headed to Nationals

Professional driver Brad Graybill has one thing on his mind, and he’s been very vocal about it – he wants to become the best Flatbed driver in the country. As luck, or rather skill, would have it, he has positioned himself perfectly to do so.

Graybill took first place in the Flatbed class at the Nebraska State Truck Driving Championships in June. As he prepares for the National Truck Driving Championships in St. Louis Aug. 11-15, he reflects on his journey and what it could mean.

“It’s a big thing for me,” Graybill said. “I’m competing against the best of the best. If I win, I will be the first Werner driver to win a national championship.”

Graybill started competing in the state competition back in 2010 as an alternate and said practicing and competing has helped to sharpen his skills. He also gives a lot of credit to the invaluable support of his teammates throughout the years.

For Graybill, a 37-year professional driver and 32-year Navy veteran who placed third and fourth in past state competitions, a win in St. Louis would be the highlight his career. But regardless of the outcome, Graybill plans to keep driving at least a few more years with the goal of achieving 1 million accident-free miles.

After that? Perhaps retirement for the Victorville, California, native and the chance to spend more time with his wife, Jan, and three children and seven grandchildren.

Take a Survey to Weigh in on Industry Issues

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) is asking for your participation to help identify and address the top concerns currently affecting the transportation industry.

Complete the 2015 Top Industry Issues Survey to rank the top issues and provide strategies for resolution.

Results of the survey will be released at the ATA Annual Management Conference and Exhibition, held this year from Oct. 17-20.

To complete the survey, click here.

Werner Annual Truck Roadeo 2015

The heat was on at this year’s Werner Roadeo on July 24, but our professional drivers remained cool under pressure and delivered a top-notch display of skill, knowledge and talent. Associates came out in droves to support our drivers in the competition, and everyone even had the chance to enjoy an icy treat. From associate ride alongs to raffle prizes to the competition itself, there was a little something for everyone.

Congratulations to our drivers who placed along with their respective department teams: David Korkosz (Team Reed)-first place; Larry Derr (Team Mullen)-second place; and Chris Baade (Team Parry)-third place.

Thanks to all who attended and cheered on our professional drivers.

Werner Hosts Its Annual Truck Roadeo Friday, July 24

Werner’s annual Truck Roadeo will take place Friday, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its global headquarters. These nine professional Werner drivers are set to showcase their skills while close-quarter maneuvering their way through the challenging course for bragging rights:

• Chris Baade
• Philip Delauder Sr
• Larry Derr
• Terry Durham
• Brad Graybill
• Rebecca Heck
• David Korkosz
• Bryan Shirley
• Brian Schoemig

Kona Ice will be on-site throughout the event, and we invite all professional drivers who will be in the Omaha area on Friday to swing by, enjoy a free shaved ice treat and cheer on their fellow drivers!

Werner Receives Recognition from the Department of Defense

Werner Enterprises has been honored once again by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, receiving two certificates issued from the Department of Defense.

Jim Morbach, senior director of Student and Government Recruiting, accepted the 2015 Employer Support Freedom Award Finalist certificate from ESGR volunteer Ron Strawn. Ned Holmes, employer support director for Nebraska, presented Rick Buchholz, government hiring manager, with the 2015 Employer Support Freedom Award nominee certificate.

Each year, Guard and Reserve employees, or a family member acting on their behalf, have the opportunity to nominate their employer for the Freedom Award. The Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

Werner Enterprises Delivers Gift to Sister City in Japan

A 50th anniversary gift to Omaha’s sister city, Shizuoka, Japan – a 7-foot tall, 900-pound ceramic sculpture created by renowned local ceramist, Jun Kaneko – will take a month-long journey courtesy of Werner Enterprises.

“We felt like if it’s coming from Omaha and going to our sister city in Japan, we’re not going to let some other company ship it,” said Craig Stoffel, vice president of Werner Global Logistics and Omaha Sister Cities Association board member. “There’s a lot of pride involved in this.”

The sculpture will travel for approximately 30 days by both train and sea as it makes its way to its new home in Shizuoka.

Sister Cities International was originated to create cultural, educational and business connections. As a result, Omaha’s “sister cities” relationship with Shizuoka was forged 50 years ago.

Fourth of July Travel Tips

Fourth of July is that great summer holiday everyone looks forward to – with barbeques, fireworks, family and fun. Unfortunately, according to statistics, it also is one of the most dangerous holidays to travel on the road. So while patriotic celebration is on your agenda, don’t forget to add these safety tips, too:

• Check the engine fluids and tires on your vehicle
• Practice seat belt safety
• Get plenty of rest before you drive
• Keep your travel plans flexible
• Do not drive intoxicated

Remember, the fun can only truly start when everyone gets there safely. Follow these simple tips to let the fun begin!