The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is proud to announce professional driver Timothy Dean of Werner Enterprises as the winner of the 2019 International Driver Excellence Award (IDEA). Dean has been with Werner for more than 30 years and safely driven more than 4 million miles without incident.
When he found out he’d been selected as this year’s winner, Dean said he was “shocked, honored and humbled.”
Launched in 2015, IDEA recognizes commercial motor vehicle drivers who distinguish themselves conspicuously and beyond the normal call of duty through the achievement of safe operation and compliance carried out with evident distinction for an extended period of time.
“It’s our honor to award Timothy Dean with the 2019 International Driver Excellence Award,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “We were blown away by his extraordinary professional driving career, his ongoing commitment to his community and his unwavering dedication to safety.”
Werner Enterprises was founded in 1956 and currently has 7,800 trucks in service, yet only four drivers in the company’s history have achieved the distinction of receiving an award for 4 million accident-free miles; Dean is one of those four exceptional individuals.
“I have quite the support staff at Werner that gives me the tools to be successful at what I do,” said Dean. “The extensive training that Werner provides to its drivers through quarterly safety meetings and ongoing education has been a big part of my success.”
In 2005, Dean was appointed captain of Werner’s Road Team and has served on the team continuously since that time. As a Werner Road Team captain, Dean shares his knowledge and experience of trucking and transportation safety with countless Werner drivers.
“With his tenure on Werner’s Road Team, Tim continues to be a leader, a role model and a mentor, not just for the new members of Werner’s Road Team, but for every employee of Werner Enterprises; drivers and office associates alike,” said Werner’s Director of Safety Jim Kochenderfer. “Tim’s experience and knowledge make him an excellent resource and he always makes time for anyone who needs his assistance, even though he typically travels over 10,000 miles per month.”
In 2009, Dean was selected as an American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road Team captain. America’s Road Team is the American Trucking Associations’ national public outreach program comprised of a small, select group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on our roadways.
Like many commercial motor vehicle drivers, Dean loves what he does. “I love meeting new people and I love helping new drivers.”
As you might expect for such an extraordinary driver, CVSA’s IDEA isn’t the only award Dean has received throughout his career. He has competed in state and national truck driving championships for 20 years. Dean won the Grand Champion title at the 2011 and 2018 Nebraska Truck Driving Championships, and he has placed, first, second or third, in nearly every championship since 2001.
In 2002, Dean came in first in the four-axle class at the Nebraska Truck Driving Championships. He’d place first in the four-axle class two more times, in 2009 and 2010. He came in first in the flatbed class in 2005, in the tank class in 2011 and 2012, in the three-axle class in 2013 and in the sleeper class in 2018. In 2003, Dean won the Professional Excellence Award. He’d go on to win that award again in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015. In 2012, Dean won the Jerry Wessel Award, which is awarded to drivers who have competed or volunteered at the Championships for at least five years and are rated on professionalism, industry knowledge and attitude. And, in 2018, Dean was the Nebraska Trucking Association’s Safety Management Council October Driver of the Month.
“Having competed for 20 years at the truck driving championships, practicing every year, those competitions allow me to refine my skills,” said Dean.
In addition to his professional awards, Tim also tirelessly helps other drivers every year as they prepare to compete in the truck driving championships. “Tim is an excellent ambassador for our industry,” adds Kochenderfer.
Dean is also heavily involved in the community. He volunteers his time every year at the Cass County Fair to help the Griswold Future Farmers of America chapter and the 4H Cass County Cowpokes. He also presents every year to the driver’s education class at Griswold Community High School. He is also a member of the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Villisca, Iowa.
“Tim’s safety record speaks for itself when it comes to distinguishing himself as a safe driver,” said Kochenderfer. “As director of safety for Werner Enterprises, I can assure you that, personally and professionally, Tim Dean’s personal character is beyond reproach.”
With decades of driving experience and millions of accident-free miles driven safely on the road, Dean knows exactly what to do to ensure he is operating safely. “I take ownership and responsibility in my job and the safety of others around me on the road.”
“Drive every mile one at a time and be a courteous driver,” Dean advises. “You have to keep your mind on the job. Limit your distractions, know your capabilities and don’t be influenced by others.”
Dean will be presented with his award on April 1 at the CVSA Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri.
CVSA established IDEA to recognize and officially acknowledge the exceptional careers of professional commercial motor vehicle drivers and their commitment to public safety. As a company dedicated to advancing the safety and efficiency of the commercial transportation industry, HELP Inc. joined with CVSA to sponsor the Alliance’s 2019 International Driver Excellence Award.
When he’s not on the road, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife of 34 years, Corissa, as well as their children and grandchildren. Tim and Corissa also enjoy camping, horseback riding and fishing.
“I’d like to thank my wife Corissa for her 34 years of support,” said Dean. “She’s been the anchor for my kids while I’m on the road. I’ve been blessed.”
Timothy Dean is the second driver from Werner Enterprises in IDEA’s five-year history to win. Charles Endorf, also of Werner, won in 2017.
The 2020 IDEA nomination form will be posted in September 2019.