Even though he is the one behind the wheel, Roger Reichenbacker is quick to give credit to others for helping him reach 3 million accident-free miles while driving for Walmart Distribution Center in Seymour.
Minutes after receiving a set of keys for his new blue Peterbilt truck cab, a plaque and an engraved pen, Reichenbacker acknowledged the people who have impacted his 27½-year career with the company.
He started with his family, including his wife of 43½ years, Joyce Reichenbacker, and their three sons and their families.
“Safety begins at home, and I’ve got a wonderful family that when I leave, I don’t have to worry about them,” he said. “They are all good people and are always behind me all the way. When I come to work, I can drive down the road and don’t have to worry about them … so that helps me get through every day safely.”
The center’s managers also play a big role, Roger said.
“We can travel a lot of miles here, but if we have bad weather, the management, they don’t force us to go out there and drive when it’s not safe to be out there,” he said.
Then there are the people who work in safety and in the dispatch office.
“If I have a problem, I can call them and they take care of the problem,” he said. “All I have to concentrate on is driving this truck down the road.”
The employees in the shop who work on the trucks also helped him achieve the milestone.
“A truck doesn’t leave this shop unless it’s safe to drive,” Roger said. “They don’t put Band-Aids on things and turn them loose here.”
Other truck drivers have made a difference, too, he said.
“We have 200 drivers in Seymour and hundreds of other drivers that pass through our region every day, and they are all professional drivers,” he said. “Walmart doesn’t hire a driver unless that have proved themselves. When you work around professionals, it rubs off on you and makes you want to be a professional.”
For those reasons, Roger was able to have the opportunity to celebrate 3 million safe miles.
“This is a heck of an award to get for just coming to work and doing your job,” he said of the new truck cab.
Roger is the fourth Seymour driver to reach 3 million safe miles. Gordon Simler and Donn Woolard each received new truck cabs in November 2015, and Mike Ison was presented his in August 2016.
General transportation manager Tim Schumpe said the four men were able to hit the milestone because they have been with the distribution center since it opened in 1990.
Read the full story in Wednesday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.