Howard Lemon: 2 Million Safe Miles

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.

2 Million Safe Miles

Werner Enterprises honored professional driver Jack Mock with the 2 million safe driving miles award at the 1st Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony. Jack has driven for Werner for 24 years and has been described as true blue all the way through.

His dispatcher Don Hile shared these words of praise for Jack. “From an ever changing industry, you’ve been able to adapt and continue to be a productive asset for us. You are proof that when you do the small things right, big things will happen.”

Jack lives in Findlay, Ohio, with his wife of 50 years. He enjoys spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Congratulations to Jack on his award. We appreciate all he does for Werner Enterprises.

Patrick Inman: Two Million Safe Miles

Werner Enterprises recently presented professional driver Patrick Inman of Omaha, Neb., with the two million safe driving miles award. Pat, who also goes by the nickname Sleepy, met C. L. Werner at a truck show in the early 1980’s and knew he wanted to drive for Werner. Pat was one of the first student drivers to participate in the Werner training program and has since enjoyed a career driving with Werner for 27 years.

Pat’s dispatcher, Kenny Fenton, described him as a “go to” guy who is a great help with new drivers. Upon accepting his award, Pat thanked his dispatcher, his wife, Kathy, and his son, Ryan. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle.

Congratulations to Pat on his award and his successful career with Werner.

Ben Hein – 4 Million Safe Miles Award Winner

Werner Enterprises recently awarded professional driver Ben Hein of Fairbury, Neb., with the 4 million safe driving miles award. Such an accomplishment has been achieved by only one other driver in Werner history, Charley Endorf, also from Fairbury. Two million miles is equal to 700 trips from San Francisco to New York City, so technically Ben has completed the equivalent 1400 times safely without incident. It is a testament to his loyalty, dedication and commitment.

Ben Hein is an exceptional driver without question. He has driven for Werner for 31 years and has averaged 1 million safe driving miles per 7.75 years, an accomplishment that most drivers reach near the 9 to 10 year mark. Ben drives an average of 13,000 miles per month and he has generated approximately $7 million dollars in revenue as a driver for the Company while never delivering a late load.

While the 4 million mile achievement in itself is outstanding, Ben’s career in its entirety is a shining example of diligence, patience and success. He has been described as the “silent assassin” quietly doing his job with the professionalism and dignity of a true gentleman. Even upon receiving his award, he humbly thanked his wife and joked that he still wasn’t sure what he wanted to be when he grew up. We are honored that he has spent the last 31 years with Werner and we look forward to many more. Werner is appreciative of all that Ben has done and continues to do for the Company. He is truly an elite driver.

National Sleep Awareness Week 2013

March 3-10 is National Sleep Awareness Week. This week-long campaign sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation calls attention to the many health benefits that come from proper sleep. The impact of a good night’s rest on your ability to function throughout the day is critical. That is never truer than when you get behind the wheel.

In a poll completed by the National Sleep Foundation regarding drowsy driving, 60 percent of participants had driven while feeling sleepy and 37 percent had actually fallen asleep while driving in the past year. If you are feeling sleepy, please find a safe place to stop your vehicle. There is no need to put yourself or others in danger.

Here are a few signs that a driver should stop and rest per the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Heavy eyelids, frequent blinking or difficulty focusing
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip

For more information regarding National Sleep Awareness Week, go to

Seat Belt Safety

Seat belts can provide proven safety and protection. According to the CDC, when lap/shoulder seat belts are used, the risk of a fatal injury to a front-seat passenger is reduced by 45 percent. The risk of a moderate-to-critical injury is also reduced by 50 percent. Seat belts come standard in any vehicle and there are seat belt laws in 49 states in the county. So why would someone make the conscious choice NOT to buckle up? Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  1. I don’t want to wrinkle my clothes.
  2. I have air bags, so it is not necessary.
  3. It’s uncomfortable.
  4. I am afraid I will be trapped if there is an accident and my car is on fire.
  5. I am good driver.

In reference to number one, if you are truly committed to safety, your last concern is wrinkled clothes. Regarding number two, air bags are technically supplemental or secondary restraint systems which defer to the seat belt as primary. As for number three, seat belts are not meant to fit loosely for comfort as they are for safety. Number four is based on the false belief that it’s safer not to wear a seat belt in case of a scenario that accounts for less than one-tenth of one percent of all accidents. Most passengers who are ejected from vehicles or thrown through a windshield do not survive. And lastly, number five attaches itself to the stubborn belief that if you are a good driver, you won’t get in an accident in the first place. If only we could control all of the motoring public. Unfortunately, we can only control our own individual actions.

Since accidents will happen, the focus should be on prevention. Buckling your seat belt can mean the difference between minor scrapes and paralysis or death. When it is presented in that way, we all should be able to suffer a few wrinkles in our clothes.

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.

Warning Ahead: It’s deer season

We currently are in deer hunting season, which runs from October through December. All drivers need to be aware and informed of the potential safety hazards that can arise. As there is a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population during this time, there is also a greater risk of hitting a deer.

As a driver, it is important to exercise caution, slow down and stay alert in areas of known deer population. Scan the side of the road for wildlife and use high-beam headlights at night when there is not oncoming traffic. Deer tend to travel in groups so if you see one deer, slow down and watch for more. If you see a deer cross your path, ease off the throttle and brace for impact.

Please remember, always put your safety first.

Winter Weather: Better safe than sorry

Although winter is not officially here yet, cold weather definitely is. As you prepare for changing weather conditions, here are some things to remember:

Be ready: Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up.  Don’t wait for winter to have your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, tires, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers and ignition system checked.  It is Werner policy to conduct an adequate Pre-trip inspection, protect yourself and others by ensuring you are ready for the road.

Carry supplies: In the unfortunate event that you end up stuck, spun out, wrecked, or just sitting in a backup it is important to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.  Having essential supplies is critical.  Some recommended items include:  water, non-perishable foods, extra blankets, tow rope or chain, flashlight and batteries, extra clothing and footwear, shovel and first aid kit.

Stay alert, slow down and stay in control: These are three key elements of safe winter driving.  Drive according to highway and weather conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid situations where you may have to brake suddenly on a slippery surface. Remember, following too closely is one of the top CSA violations in the industry and is easily spotted by law enforcement. Do yourself a favor and slow down and back off in city traffic as well as on the highways. Practicing this simple step regardless of the road conditions will help you avoid issues with CSA and keep safely driving.

Ensure visibility: Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights and mirrors.  After starting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interior windows so you will have good visibility all around.

Be prepared: Weather conditions can be unpredictable, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills. Ensure you are well prepared for winter roads and always adjust your driving speed to existing conditions. Pay attention to traffic signals and be prepared to stop in the event the light changes. This is another top CSA violation in the industry, disobeying traffic control device. Keep your record and your conscience clean and be prepared to stop. Allow for more time when you are traveling in inclement weather.

Talk to people: Make sure your CB radio is on and talk to the drivers around you. If you are a new driver, try to find a seasoned driver who isn’t talking a lot of big talk. We’re all a little nervous out there, especially when you think about what we’re really dealing with. You want to find a seasoned driver with a healthy respect for physics to help talk you through it.

Copyright 2017 Werner Enterprises

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