Tim Dean

Driver Tim Dean: 5 Million Miles of Trucking Triumph

In the expansive and bustling world of trucking, where goods crisscross the nation on a daily basis, milestones are often measured in miles, not minutes. One man, Tim Dean, a dedicated truck driver from Nebraska, has officially clocked an astounding five million miles on the road, and it’s a remarkable achievement that has set him apart in the industry.

Tim Dean, 59, who proudly works for Werner Enterprises in Omaha, Nebraska, is now recognized as only the second person in the company’s 67-year history to accomplish this extraordinary feat. Dean has spent his career hauling an incredible array of cargo, from potatoes to cutting-edge technology equipment and household goods, traversing the expanse of America from coast to coast.

Dean reflects on this remarkable journey: “Milestones creep up out of nowhere after time. You think, ‘OK, that’s kind of cool. How did this happen? How did I get here?’ But I don’t set long-term goals. My goals are daily, as in — the next mile being safe.”

Indeed, safety is paramount in the world of trucking. As Dean’s story demonstrates, the profession plays an indispensable role in keeping our nation running smoothly. According to the American Trucking Association, drivers like Tim Dean transport approximately 72.6% of the nation’s freight by weight, and in 2021, there were 3.54 million truck drivers on the road, operating 13.86 million freight trucks.

Dean takes great pride in his contribution to the country’s well-being: “I think about how great this country is and know that I’m doing my part. The military plays a big part in our security. My part is delivering the goods that keep people fed, roofs over our houses and cars to drive. You just sit where you’re at right now and look at everything around you; it’s been hauled by a truck.”

For Dean, the journey into the world of trucking began in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. He recalls watching semi-trucks pass by on Interstate 80 as a child and being curious about their destinations. Over the course of 35 years, he has not only discovered where those trucks go but has also become an integral part of the industry.

Dean’s career has taken him on a breathtaking tour of North America, including visits to four Canadian provinces and nearly every state in the lower United States. His longest haul, spanning over 2,000 miles from Macon, Georgia, to Needles, California, stands as a testament to the dedication and endurance required by truck drivers.

Back in the early 1990s, such journeys took about four days, covering roughly 600 miles a day. Today, drivers can legally operate for 11 hours a day, making the job more efficient but no less challenging.

Throughout his career, Dean has transported an eclectic range of cargo, from computer equipment for Mobile Oil’s oil exploration efforts to parts for the U.S. Olympic swim trials’ practice pool. He’s even had the unique experience of hauling potatoes from farms and later the chips they become after processing.

Despite the long hours and days away from home, Dean maintains a disciplined routine. He leaves on Sundays, drives about eight or nine hours a day from Monday to Friday, and returns home on Saturdays. This routine allows him to maintain a regular sleeping pattern, a crucial aspect of staying safe on the road.

In terms of technology, Dean has witnessed significant advancements over his career. He fondly remembers the days when GPS devices were nonexistent, and communication with family required finding payphones at rest areas or truck stops. Today, technology provides invaluable tools for navigation, weather monitoring, and staying connected with loved ones.

Dean’s journey is not only about miles on the road but also about a lifetime of commitment. This year marks his 35th anniversary as a truck driver, a milestone that coincides with his 39th wedding anniversary. He attributes his success and safety record to the unwavering support of his family.

Angelo Gibson, Vice President of Operations at Werner Enterprises, recognizes the exceptional qualities that make Dean a standout employee: “He’s passionate and committed. He truly believes in everything he does out on the road, whether it’s behind the wheel or in a drop yard. And he’s not just committed to his job. It goes far beyond him. He cares about the motoring public and he shows that every day.”

Dean imparts some valuable wisdom for aspiring and current truck drivers. He emphasizes the importance of providing a vital service to the United States by delivering goods to the American public. Maintaining good health through proper nutrition and adequate rest is also crucial for success and safety. Additionally, knowing your route and ensuring the safety of your equipment are fundamental for any truck driver sharing the road with other motorists.

Despite the ever-evolving nature of the trucking industry, one thing remains constant: the dedication and hard work of drivers like Tim Dean. As Gibson aptly puts it, “It really, truly is the people, the drivers that, as we say, keep America moving each and every day.”

In true humble fashion, Dean is quick to share the credit for his remarkable accomplishment. “Yeah, I did the driving, but a lot of people played a key part in me achieving five million. I give a lot of credit to my family for giving me a little extra drive to be safe and to Werner — the other drivers, the office, the management, all the top-to-bottom mechanics for keeping my trucks going. They all play a part in my success.”

Looking ahead, Dean has no intentions of slowing down. At nearly 60 years old, he envisions at least another seven years of driving ahead of him. With good health and a supportive team by his side, he may even set his sights on reaching a record-breaking six million miles on the road.

In celebrating Tim Dean’s remarkable journey of five million miles, we not only commend his outstanding achievement but also recognize the vital role that truck drivers play in our daily lives. Their dedication keeps our nation’s goods moving, ensuring that every corner of America receives the essential products it needs. Dean’s story serves as an inspiring reminder of the unwavering commitment that keeps our world connected, one mile at a time.



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