Veteran truck driver’s record leads to top state award

Mike Nesmith

A veteran heavy haul driver and trainer from the Pacific Northwest won a statewide driving award recently.

Mike Nesmith, 61, who drives for Haney Truck Line of Yakima, Wa., was named the Washington Trucking Association’s Safety Management Council Driver of the Year in the Common Carrier Conference.

“This is great. The recognition for it, this is something I couldn’t have imagined,” said Nesmith, who has driven more than 3 million miles.

According to the company, Nesmith has had zero safety reportable incidents in the past decade, and only two in his entire 35-year career with Haney.

“Mike is patient, demonstrates professionalism, and has uncompromising standards,” said Wendell Brown, safety manager for Haney Truck Line. “Mike also demonstrates amazing skills and understanding of his equipment when behind the wheel, and helps set the bar high for Haney’s trainees.”

In addition to his driving, which totaled 90,733 miles in 2014, Nesmith serves as a driver trainer and evaluator for new Haney drivers.

“Mike’s accomplishments in the collision metric of safety are truly remarkable,” Brown said, calling him “a testament in safety.”

The single preventable incident in Nesmith’s entire career was a $150 scrape of a pickup truck at a rest area more than 32 years ago. His only other safety reportable incident was a non-preventable tow from a hillside shoulder during a white-out, along with two dozen other tractor trailers.

Nesmith’s safety record includes there-plus years violation free in CSA’s driver’s scorecard, all driver and vehicle inspections and his MVR record.