Safety First

Mar 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

This is to recognize an over-the-road trucker by the name of Dave Wanzor, who won a safety award for driving a million miles without a “preventable accident.” The award was presented by the Oklahoma Trucking Association at a banquet in Oklahoma City on February 22.

This didn’t just happen overnight. Indeed, Dave has racked up over 2,000,000 miles without a preventable accident. He has been a long distance owner-operator since 2005 and a contract hauler for Miller Truck Lines of Stroud, Oklahoma, for the past 11 years and they are the ones who have initiated this award for Dave and several others. Also, Miller Truck Lines operates three HD wreckers with one based in Stroud and the other two in Tulsa where they regularly work sections of the Oklahoma Turnpike and interstate highways so here is a diversified fleet operator.

Dave started driving trucks for the Portage (Ohio) county road department prior to doing a hitch in the Navy and working as an auto mechanic. From there he eventually got into 18 wheelers, bought his own power unit and now has a regular run from Denison, Texas to Calexico, California and back to Charlotte, North Carolina. This is a haul for Kwikset/Black & Decker which manufactures piece parts for door locks and building hardware in Texas, then sends 40,000 lbs. of “pieces” to Mexico where they are assembled and later sent on to the Kwikset warehouse in Charlotte for distribution throughout the country. And Dave makes this full circle about every ten to 13 days. So far in his driving career, he has traveled through all 48 states and Canada.

With Dave, safety is much more than just “no accident.” When driving, his field of awareness is at least a half mile in front and constant attention to either side and the rear of his rig. If he must talk on the cell phone while driving, he does so with a headset, not a hand-held phone. He believes in slowing down for bad weather, reduced visibility and heavy traffic — and never pushes himself beyond his fatigue limits. He is concerned about the many car drivers who talk on cell phones, even text while driving and told me that an app is now available that will disable the texting portion of the phone if it is moving more than 5 mph.

Congratulations to Dave Wanzor for making safety job one. I’d be interested to hear of towers who have not had a preventable accident say in the last 20 years, for they too deserve special recognition. Who knows what might happen next?