Werner Enterprises Unveiled Operation Freedom Truck

On Friday, Feb. 22, in the main lobby of its global headquarters, Werner unveiled its new Operation Freedom truck displayed in full military theme. Those who spoke at the event included Derek Leathers, president and COO, Chris Polenz, associate vice president of Human Resources and John Hilgert, director of the Nebraska Department of Veteran Affairs. This truck will be used throughout the year at special events to bring awareness to our military recruiting program, Operation Freedom.

As part of the ceremony, Werner presented professional driver David Conkling, U.S. Army veteran, with the keys to the truck. Conkling is a seasoned Werner driver who has achieved one million miles of safe driving and was recently named as a member of Werner’s Road Team. Conkling will drive the truck on his regular freight routes in addition to special military engagements.

“This military truck is a special way for us to show respect and bring attention to our veterans as it travels around the country,”stated Werner Enterprises President and COO Derek Leathers. “We value all veterans as they have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms, and we are especially proud of our veteran associates.”

Werner developed Operation Freedom in conjunction with the White House veteran campaign. The Company has pledged to hire a minimum of 1,000 veterans in 2013 and more than 5,000 veterans in the next five years. Military veterans comprise approximately 20 percent of Werner’s professional driver work force and 15 percent of all Company associates.

Avoiding Cargo Theft

Cargo theft continues to be a problem for the trucking industry. There is some good news though. The number of cargo theft incidents dropped slightly in 2012 compared to 2011 as reported by FreightWatch International. Despite this improvement, law enforcement officials state that reported cargo theft produces an annual loss of approximately $35 billion in the U.S.

The crime of cargo theft involves a wide array of strategies and scenarios. Electronics, food, apparel and metals are the most popular loads stolen, accounting for 54 percent of total thefts. Often times, it can be as simple as opportunity and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many instances of cargo theft, however, are orchestrated with more sophistication.

Regardless of how a criminal operates, driver execution is critical. Drivers must diligently maintain ownership of the tractor and trailer by following standard procedure every time. This isn’t just for the safety of the cargo but for the driver as well.

Where a driver parks and how he or she behaves plays a large role in that. Drivers should use their surroundings to their advantage by backing trailers up against fences or buildings to prevent anyone from gaining access. Parking in well-lit, heavier traffic areas near buildings and fuel islands is a safer choice as well. Long-term parking at rest stops or highway shoulders should not be an option nor should taking a load home or leaving it unattended for the weekend.

While no fleet is immune to cargo theft, being a vigilant driver in all practices can make the difference.

Maintaining healthy habits on the road.

One of the biggest lifestyle challenges facing over-the-road (OTR) truckers is maintaining healthy habits. The nature of the job is sedentary and the work can be somewhat monotonous. Eating, snacking and sitting most of the day is not conducive to good health. Small changes in your daily choices could make all the difference.

Truck stops offer a convenient break from the road. A driver can fuel, shower, eat, shop and even rectify maintenance issues all in one stop. Truck stops can be real time savers but there is another stop that, if added, could make a positive impact on your health and provide convenient nutritional options. That place is the grocery store.

Most grocery stores offer sufficient parking for tractor-trailers and usually the back of the parking lot is the best choice. This is good as it also creates an opportunity for a nice walk for legs that need a good stretch and some exercise. Once in the store, scout out easy to eat nutritious foods to add to your diet. Here are a few suggested healthy items:

  • Pre-washed bags of lettuce or spinach
  • Pre-washed and cut vegetables (to eat alone or put on your lettuce)
  • Pre-washed and cut fruit
  • Whole pieces of fruit that are easy to clean (apples, oranges, plums, bananas)
  • Grilling meat (especially chicken and turkey breasts)

In addition to a healthy diet, it is equally important to exercise. Down time is the perfect time to add a convenient physical fitness activity of your choice to your day. Look for ways to incorporate walking or other forms of exercise into your daily routine. A set of weights or a resistance band can easily be stored in your cab for use in your free time. Thirty minutes of exercise a day really can make a difference.

Finally, do not overlook the importance of proper rest. Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is a critical determinant of overall health. Adequate sleep is necessary for you to fight off infections, to support your metabolism and to work safely and effectively. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep for the average adult. If you are getting less sleep than that, adapt your schedule and include more sleep in your routine.

There are plenty of options out there that promote healthy living so don’t take the easy road. With proper food choices and strategy, you can rise to the challenge and improve your health. It’s all up to you.

Be Ready. Be Buckled. Kids’ Art Contest

The annual Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety Belt Partnership "Be Ready. Be Buckled." art contest for children in grades K-6 (ages 5-12) with a relative in the trucking industry runs through Friday, March 1, 2013! The winners of this contest will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held at the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters in early May 2013. That afternoon there will be a special program for the winners at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. To enter the contest, please visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safetybelt.

Driver Spotlight: David Farmer

Werner Enterprises proudly awarded professional driver David Farmer with his 2 million safe driving miles award last week at the 4th Quarter Driver Recognition Ceremony.

Farmer, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was praised by his dispatcher, Kyle Schreiber, for his discipline and dedication on the job. He has been a Werner driver for 24 years and currently covers the lane from Ogden, Utah to Paris, Texas. “Slow is fast” is his motto regarding safe driving. His advice to other drivers is “to look at what is out and enjoy what is out there.”

In his free time, one of his favorite past times is rock crawling in his Jeep.

We congratulate David Farmer on achieving the milestone of 2 million safe driving miles.

A holiday message from Werner Enterprises

As the holidays approach, Werner Enterprises' President and COO Derek Leathers along with Senior Vice President of Operations Steve Phillips have a special holiday message of gratefulness and warm wishes for all our Werner drivers.

To view the video, please click here.

Werner honors six safe Drivers

Senior Vice President of Operations Steve Phillips recently presented five drivers with the award for 2 million safe driving miles at the 4th Quarter Driver Recognition Ceremony.  In addition to a plaque signed by Werner Enterprises’ Chairman Gary Werner, each driver also received the following gifts: an engraved watch, aluminum mud flaps, patches, tractor decals, a cash award and a gift certificate to Corporate Rewards. The 2 million mile driver award recipients are as follows:

  • David Farmer of Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Lloyd Nelson of Eagle, Neb.
  • Reginald Shaw of Dallas, Texas
  • Bryan Shirley of Papillion, Neb.
  • Kevin Stacy of Salineville, Ohio

Following the 2 million mile awards, Chris Polenz, associate vice president of Human Resources, presented the Humanitarian Award to driver Mark Randall of Mesquite, Nevada.

On October 24, 2012, Randall and his trainee were traveling west on I-80 in the metro area of Omaha, Nebraska, when they noticed a motorcyclist in front of them following much too close to the car ahead. The motorcyclist struck the vehicle while attempting to pass it which sent him crashing to the pavement right in Randall’s path. In anticipation of possible danger, Randall was able to safely slow his truck to a complete stop within eight feet of the motorcyclist. Because Randall remained aware of his surroundings at all times and diligently maintained control of his truck, the motorcyclist survived.

Congratulations to these award winners. We will be putting these drivers in the Driver Spotlight in the following weeks.

Werner Enterprises announces news application

Along with our Facebook fans, we also wanted our loyal blog readers to be the first to know about the launch of the Werner News App! It is your way to access company and industry news on the go.

Whether you’re a professional driver, associate or family member this app will help you stay connected to the latest news in the company and the transportation industry.

This app features:

  • Recent company updates
  • Up-to-date industry news
  • Safety tips
  • Driver health and well-being articles
  • Weather information
  • Honors and awards
  • Quarterly announcements
  • Pre-applications for aspiring drivers

Install this free app today by going to the App Store and searching “Werner Enterprises”, then connect with Werner Enterprises from the convenience of your iPhone or iPad. The app will also be available for Android users soon.

Driver Profile: The Flaspohlers

Meet George and Betty Flaspohler from Glasgow, Missouri. They are team drivers for Werner Enterprises who celebrated 50 years of marriage in September. On a recent visit to Werner’s global headquarters in Omaha, they got the chance to meet Company Founder C.L. Werner and we got the chance to learn more about them and their driving experiences.

While they have been on a Conway dedicated lane for two years, the Flaspohlers have been driving together with Werner Enterprises for 25 years. The couple, who has two sons and five grandchildren, became a team once their kids were older and in college. George, who had been a truck driver since he was 17, suggested Betty come along on the road. She soon realized that she would not want to only be a passenger. So with George’s help, she pursued her CDL and the two became a team. One time at a truck stop while driving for another company, they met a husband and wife team that drove for Werner. Impressed with the couple and the truck itself, George and Betty got an application from the couple and have been driving for Werner since February 1, 1988.

When asked what they enjoy most about driving, they simply stated working for Werner because whenever they run into a problem, someone is always willing to help. They also enjoy the many advantages of team driving. For example, they like being able to double up on the hours of service so that while one of them is driving the other can sleep. This allows them to keep moving, which results in more miles and more pay. Another perk of team driving they enjoy is having an additional set of eyes while on the road as well as when maneuvering. They take loads from St. Louis to Portland for Conway so they are home every weekend to enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.

We would like to thank the Flaspohlers for visiting with us. They are a great example of success in team driving. We appreciate that they have chosen to drive with Werner for the past 25 years, and we wish them many more years safely doing what they love to do. 

Special items available in NEW Company Store

You asked for it and we listened! The Werner Company Store is thrilled to announce the Werner Company Store has launched its new and improved website, located at http://estore.werner.com.  Our new eStore offers a great new look and a much larger selection. We will continually add new items and feature special offers.  We value your ideas, if you have a suggestion for us, please let us know!

In celebration of our new store launch and just in time for the holidays, we are offering:

  • Free domestic shipping on all orders through 12/31/12

      (E-Store orders shipped to terminals or dedicated locations will always receive free shipping)
  • Limited Edition t shirt $5.00 (S- XL) $8.00 (2X- 5X)*
  • Limited Edition Sweatshirt $10.50 (S-XL) $13.50 (2X -5X)*
  • $1.00 off any hat purchase (eStore only)
  • Plus every eStore purchase receives a FREE Werner reusable tote bag.

* Limited Edition tee shirt and sweatshirts are available through preorder, only.  Order deadline is 12/7.  Orders will be available for pick up or shipped to arrive by 12/21, just in time for holiday giving!

Orders can be placed online with a credit card.  Payroll deduct orders can be called in to 800-werner3. 

Copyright 2017 Werner Enterprises

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