Born to Run
John Moeller has logged more than 4 million accident-free miles in his 35 years as a professional driver
Roehl Transport driver John Moeller was born on the road. Little did he know that the circumstances of his birth, which was in the family car on the way to the hospital in New Hampton, Iowa, would foreshadow his later career. But as early as high school, trucking was on his employment radar. When the flatbed hauler was asked to write an essay on three of his job aspirations, “I chose trucking, being a game warden for the Department of Natural Resources and welding,” Moeller says.
Since then, Moeller has driven more than 4 million miles as a company driver for Roehl, based in Marshfield, Wis., today hauling steel, wood and roofing and flooring products cross-country in a 2006 Freightliner Coronado. He began his career in 1976 at Fischer Truck and Bus Lines in Fenwood, Wis., joining Roehl on June 5, 1979.
“It’s my goal to be safe on the road. I want to keep the load claims-free and protect others on the roadways around me.”
During the following 30 years, Moeller won 31 Safe Driving awards for the company; a 4-year membership to the President’s Safe Driving Club of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association; and multiple MPG, Outstanding Performance and Driver of the Year awards.
“It’s my goal to be safe on the road,” he says, “I want to keep the load claims-free and protect others on the roadways around me.” While Moeller attributes the excellence of his record to daily targets he sets for himself before he cranks the engine, he reaches his goals with flawless execution. Before driving, Moeller makes sure he is fully rested and ensures his truck is properly operating. While on the road, he maintains an appropriate speed and anticipates the actions of other drivers in his vicinity.
“It’s important to keep a safe following distance so there is space and time to react to changes in traffic situations and to know what’s happening in front, behind and on all sides of your vehicle and trailer,” he says.
One thing Moeller says keeps him focused is his strong dedication to his job. “Regardless of any environmental or personal factors, the focus of the driver should always be to watch out for others and to get your load to the correct destination in a safe manner and on time.”
In efforts to improve the image of trucking and to pass his values along to other drivers he encounters, Moeller strives to be respectful and courteous to everyone, to protect the environment by using low sulfur fuel and not littering and to follow the rules of the road.
“After seeing many drivers come and go, I believe that being a truck driver takes a special type of person that is unique in his or her own way,” Moeller says.
Q & A
Q: What’s one thing you always carry with you in your truck on the road?
A: I carry pictures of my wife and three children and cards that my wife has given me through the years.
Q: What advice would you give younger drivers?
A: You must remain alert and focused at all times.
Q: What is your most memorable moment in your years of trucking?
A: Going to Alaska with a log cabin on board. Getting to see the wildlife and countryside was breathtaking.
Editor’s note: John Moeller is a finalist for the 2012 Company Driver of the Year, which is sponsored by Truckers News and the Truckload Carriers Association. The winner we be announced at TCA’s annual convention, March 4-7, 2012 in Orlando, Fla.