Trucker of the Month

James Jaillet | July 01, 2010

“You have to be ready for the next breakdown or the next repair,” Heister says. “You always have to plan, and you have to budget for maintenance and breakdowns.” He says the same goes for choosing loads. “You can’t slap something on and drive. You have to know what it’s paying. You’ve got to plan.”

Dispatcher Jim Davis says Heister’s detailed approach to business helps him thrive.

“He sets himself up to be very efficient,” Davis says. “He plans himself very well, and he’s aware of how the business fluctuates.” Davis says that Heister schedules time for possible setbacks, which helps set him apart from other owner-operators. “He’s cognizant that no day is going to be a perfect day. His attention to detail and how he takes care of his business are what make him so successful.” n

Trucker trivia

HEISTER LOVES old Fords. He keeps a ’69 Thunderbird and two Torinos, a ’73 and a ’74, stowed for weekend ventures. The T-Bird is all original, and he’s slowly restoring the Torinos. Heister’s first car was a ’73 Torino, he says, and he wouldn’t mind passing the tradition to his son. “But we’ll see how that works out,” he says, laughing. “He’s 12 now, so he may not be up for it in a few years.”

A 35-INCH PONYTAIL draped down Heister’s back after about eight years without getting his hair trimmed. While in the military, Heister says, he got tired of haircuts but didn’t originally plan for it to get as long as it did. He chopped it off after his 20-year high school reunion in 2004.

Dan Heister

1965 Born Oct. 20

1984 Graduated from high school

1984 Married Tawni Moore

1984 Enlisted in U.S. Army

1990 Served in Desert Storm

1996 Started as company driver for Boyd Bros.

1997 Son, Jake, was born Oct. 14

2006 Purchased 2003 International 9400i

2009 Achieved 1 million safe miles

2009 Nominated for Truckload Carriers Association Owner-Operator of the Year


Dan Heister at


Nominations for 2011 Owner-Operator of the Year, hosted by Overdrive and the Truckload Carriers Association, are due by Aug. 15. Visit to apply. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.