CEDAR RAPIDS, IA… CRST Expedited Inc., the largest operating company of CRST International Inc., recently recognized an additional 17 drivers for completing at least 1 million accident-free miles.
“I am proud to recognize these 17 men and women for their safety excellence,” said Cameron Holzer, president of CRST Expedited. “Senior leadership enjoyed the opportunity to meet with these million-milers, recognize their contributions and gain their direct insight on best practices in our safety-first culture.”
Gilbert Weekley of Paden City, West Virginia, has lived CRST’s safety-first mantra for the past 32 years and has reached a significant career milestone — driving more than 4 million miles without an accident. Weekley learned the professional driving trade from CRST, which has become one of the largest driver-training organizations in the truck transportation industry. He later became a driver trainer, instilling the same cautious attitude and by-the-book safety procedures in close to 150 student drivers over nearly a decade.
“I loved helping people get started in truck driving,” said Weekley. “I always tell drivers to remember their comfort zone, keep your guard up and always stay one step ahead. And don’t forget to use a lot of common sense. If you can handle driving a truck, you can handle just about anything.”
CRST Expedited has the largest number of team truck drivers in the industry, and some million-milers feel team driving helps them to be safer.
“The dynamic is the team, not an individual,” said William Butler of Cordele, Georgia. “You know, treat the truck as a team effort. It’s just safer. My co-driver and I, we mesh well enough that we can do anything together, on or off duty. We’re family.”
In addition to meshing, it’s also important to have a co-driver who is flexible and willing to learn.
“It’s a forever-learning process,” said Matthew Hampton of Norwalk, Iowa. “I don’t care if you’ve got 4 million miles, a million miles, or whether you’ve got 20 miles. Everybody learns from everybody.”
Hampton also mentioned the added benefit of team driving is “you’re going to make more money” when two people are driving the truck all the time, versus having it sit somewhere for 10 hours, because “the miles stack up.”
“There are more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers logging nearly 725 billion miles in the U.S. each year,” said Holzer. “Driving 1 million miles without an accident is a significant accomplishment. These men and women are the driving force behind CRST’s growth and success.”
CRST International President and CEO Hugh Ekberg, COO Mike Gannon and their leadership team joined Holzer and 300 CRST Expedited team members at a reception for the million-mile honorees and their families at Theater Cedar Rapids (TCR) last month. Following the reception, John Smith, CRST owner and board chairman, joined the senior leadership team in presenting the award ceremony, which was followed by a private showing of “My Fair Lady.”
Complete List Of Million Mile Accident-Free Drivers:
•Nathan Beilke, Oak Creek, WI, joined CRST in 2008, 1 million miles
•Rodrick Breedlove, Birmingham, AL, joined CRST in 2007, 1 million miles
•John Bruno, Orlando, FL, joined CRST in 2006, 1 million miles
•William Butler, Cordele, GA, joined CRST in 2009, 1 million miles
•Dottie Eberhart, Kansas City, KS, joined CRST in 2008, 1 million miles
•Matthew Hampton, Norwalk, IA, joined CRST in 2006, 1 million miles
•Heather Hill, Canton, MI, joined CRST in 2008, 1 million miles
•Robert Jones, Fort Payne, AL, joined CRST in 2005, 1 million miles
•Michael McCoy, Sacramento, CA, joined CRST in 2010, 1 million miles
•James Richardson, Houston, TX, joined CRST in 2003, 1 million miles
•Saul Cuzco, Chicago, IL, joined CRST in 1999, 2 million miles
•Jeff Ford, Long Beach, CA, joined CRST in 1995, 2 million miles
•Jermaine Moore, Baltimore, MD, joined CRST in 1995, 2 million miles
•Walter Plessen, Running Springs, CA, joined CRST in 2000, 2 million miles
•Luciano Ramos, Reseda, CA, joined CRST in 1997, 2 million miles
•Reginald Walker, Haleyville, AL, joined CRST in 2000, 2 million miles
•Gilbert Weekley, Paden City, WV, joined CRST in 1986, 4 million miles
Cedar Rapids, Iowa–based CRST International Inc. is one of the largest privately held transportation and logistics companies in the United States. Through its eight operating companies, CRST provides a broad array of transportation solutions, including expedited, flatbed, dedicated services, brokerage, transportation management, white-glove moving services for high-value products, and drayage and warehouse services. CRST’s operating companies are made up of CRST Expedited Inc., CRST Malone Inc., CRST Dedicated Services Inc., CRST Logistics Inc., CRST Specialized Transportation Inc., BESL Transfer Company, Pegasus Transportation and Gardner Trucking Inc. For more information, visit www.crst.com or call (800) 736-CRST (2778).
CRST honorees who attended the award ceremony with senior leadership, pictured from left to right. Back row: COO Mike Gannon, Jermaine Moore, William Butler, Robert Jones, James Richardson, Reginald Walker, Jeff Ford, Rodrick Breedlove and Matthew Hampton. Front row: President and CEO Hugh Ekberg, Walter Plessen, Dottie Eberhart, Michael McCoy and John Bruno.