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

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.

Jeff Wessinger – 2 Million Accident-Free Miles

Professional driver Jeff Wessinger’s nickname might be Wild Man, but his 2 million mile accident-free award, presented to him at the June 9 Second Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony, is evidence of quite the opposite.

Wessinger, a Werner driver since 2000, achieved his safety milestone about as quickly as it can be done, but he doesn’t let his success go to his head.

“I’ve got 2 million miles behind me, and the only one that matters is the next one,” he said.

As for advice for other drivers, Wessinger offered this: “Beware of vehicles with many dents, especially the ones with hanging side mirrors.”

A native of Swansea, South Carolina, Wessinger likes to spend time relaxing on his front porch with his wife and their five Chihuahuas, two bourgeois, one macaw and one parrot.

Gary Higgins – 3 Million Miles Accident Free

Professional driver Gary Higgins is passionate about truck driving, but he also cares a great deal about people. With such a caring nature, it’s no surprise that he earned the 3 million mile accident-free award at the Second Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony June 9.

From his long-time fleet manager Larry Donley to his many fellow drivers he calls close friends, relationships are important to Higgins, a Werner driver since 1989. He even summarized his career accomplishments by quoting a song from fellow 3 million mile driver Allen Parker: “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”

To new drivers, Higgins offers this safety advice – “Leave yourself an out, and never drive into your safety zone.”

The native of Derby, New York, takes great pride in participating as a trucker in Nebraska’s Special Olympics truck convoy, a charity he has supported the last 11 years.

Higgins stays busy with his two daughters, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. When it comes to NASCAR, he enjoys following his favorite, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Robert Fluharty – 3 Million Miles Accident Free

While the business of driving a truck is often considered an individual enterprise, professional driver Robert Fluharty has been successful both as a solo and a team driver. His years of hard work recently earned him the 3 million accident-free mile award at the June 9 Second Quarter Recognition Ceremony.

“I stayed here at Werner and made up my mind I wanted it,” said Fluharty of his accident-free accomplishment. “It feels great.”

For Fluharty, team driving has been a family affair. He learned how to drive from his dad, who also was his first co-driver. After that, he and his aunt hit the road as a team.

The native of Mesa, Arizona, and father of two had this advice to new drivers – “Put safety first, set goals, don’t take chances and don’t over drive yourself.”

When not behind the wheel, the NASCAR fan enjoys cheering on another successful professional driver – Dale Earnhart Jr.

Werner Recognizes Four Professional Drivers for Safety Achievements

Werner honored four professional drivers on June 9 for their safety milestones during the company’s Second Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony at its global headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

Gary Higgins and Robert Fluharty were honored with 3 million mile accident-free awards, while Gary Gray and Jeff Wessinger each were presented with a 2 million mile accident-free award.

“Their years of service as well as their safety accomplishments exemplify a superior level of loyalty and commitment,” said Eric Downing, vice president of Dedicated Services.

Click here for video.

Werner Takes Third at the Nebraska State Truck Driving Championships

The Nebraska State Truck Driving Championships took place June 6 in Grand Island, Nebraska, and our Werner team of professional drivers took home third place overall.

Brad Graybill placed first in the Flatbed Class, earning a trip to the national competition in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 11-15.

Tim Dean placed second in the Third-Axle Class and received the Professional Excellence Award for achieving the highest score on the written test.

Chris Baade placed second in the Twin Trailer Class.

Rebecca Heck took second place in the Sleeper Class.

David Korkosz earned second place in the Straight Truck Class.

Brian Schoemig placed second in the Tanker Class.

Congratulations to all of our professional drivers who participated at state and represented Werner so well.

Nebraska State Truck Driving Competitor – David Korkosz

Professional Werner driver David Korkosz will be competing in the Straight Truck class at the Nebraska State Trucking Driving Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska, on June 6.

Korkosz, of Alpena, Michigan, has driven for Werner since 2003. Now in his third year of competition, Korkosz enjoys the camaraderie, the people and the fun. His first year, he won third place in the Straight Truck class and took home the Rookie of the Year award. Last year, he placed second in the Straight Truck class. This Saturday, he has his sights clearly set on first place.

When not behind the wheel, Korkosz enjoys playing guitar, fishing and spending time with his wife and daughter.

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