To help recognize the great drivers in the industry, Drivewyze held a contest to celebrate drivers for National Truck Drivers Appreciation Week. For those who nominated drivers, thank you! In what has turned out to be such a difficult year for so many, it’s important to show support for our drivers, who continue to play a significant role in the pandemic response.
We received so many highly deserving entries that selecting one winner wasn’t easy. With decades of experience on the road, a passion for the industry and a drive to help others, Tim Niedfeldt is the perfect example of a true pro, and he’s this year’s winner.
As a 45-year veteran of the road, spending the past 30 as a driver for Wieser Concrete, Tim knows a thing or two about operating heavy equipment and the pre-cast concrete business. With the industry knowledge he’s gained over the years, Tim has made it well known that he is always available and willing to help new drivers and office staff learn the ropes of the pre-cast concrete business. He’s a true team player who takes as much pride in helping others succeed as much as he does in his own personal accomplishments. He’s the type of driver any fleet would be fortunate to have.
“When I joined Wieser as a dispatcher a little over a year ago, Tim was so welcoming and he would go out of his way to answer my questions and offer tips as l learned my role here,” said Mandy Madsen, who nominated Tim for the Drivewyze National Truck Drivers Appreciation Week contest. “Tim truly cares about the people he works with. He’s helped me a lot in my time here and drivers always go to him whenever they have questions or need some advice.”
Tim is the longest tenured driver with Wieser Concrete, who is based out of the company’s
Maiden Rock, Wisconsin plant. He primarily transports pre-cast concrete to local and regional projects, and on occasion completes cross-country transports. On the road and around the plant, Tim makes himself available to answer questions and help new drivers learn the skills needed to safely transport pre-cast products.
“My main concern is that I want everyone to be safe,” said Tim. “The job can be more than just driving. The products we haul are extremely heavy and understanding how to properly operate the cranes we use to move products off the trailer isn’t easy. I know because back when I joined the company it took me some time to learn the ropes. I want all of our drivers to succeed in their job and be safe. Whatever I can do to help a fellow driver out, I’m there. I’m happy to pay it forward like others did for me when I first cut my teeth in this business.”
Prior to joining Wieser Concrete, Tim was an owner-operator for 15 years. Over the course of his career, he’s driven through every state with the exception of Hawaii and Maine.
“My passion for driving started soon after I graduated from high school,” Tim recalled. “I worked in a tanner factory where they made leather, so I was surrounded by trucks coming in to take delivery. My interest for operating heavy equipment grew and so I decided trucking would be my career path. I saved enough money working at the factory so that I could lease on with a fleet and begin my career in trucking.”
After a few years driving for an over-the-road fleet, Tim encouraged his wife to join the industry and get her CDL so that they could drive team and travel the country together. For 10 years, Tim and his wife lived primarily on the road, seeing places most will never see in a lifetime.
“Those were some of the best days. Everyday brought a new experience, and that’s what’s so great about the trucking industry,” said Tim. “My wife and I made the most of all the places we traveled. One of our favorite things to do when we were out in California was to rent a car and go to Disneyland when we had some time off. Being a driver allows you to do things like that.”
When Tim and his wife decided it was time to raise a family, Tim traded in his gig as an owner-operator and joined Wieser Concrete so he could be closer to his family. The family-oriented culture at Wieser Concrete has played a significant role in his continued career with the company.
“I wanted a job that would provide me with more home time while on occasion, make a long-haul run since I still enjoyed the cross-country trips,” said Tim. “The people at Wieser have made my time there so great. The years have gone by fast.”
Tim, who has two sons, encouraged them to get their CDLs after graduating high school, even though both had plans to go to college. Tim claims encouraging his kids to obtain CDLs is one of the best pieces of advice he’s given.
“No matter what is going on with the job market, there typically is always a driving job available,” said Tim. “Holding a CDL license is a valuable thing to have. Even if you don’t have plans on becoming a career driver, if you’re in a bind and need a job, or are looking for a part-time job, you have a skillset that is in demand. And, if you do decide to become a full-time driver, it’s a great career.”
According to Tim, his son Christopher drove for Wieser Concrete while he was attending college. Today, Christopher still seeks out driving jobs on the weekends when the company has them available.
“He really enjoys driving,” said Tim. “He’s always asking me if I can get him some local jobs. It’s been a lot of fun seeing him out on the road and making transports to the same jobsites. There’s nothing better than spending quality time with your kids.”
With more than 2.5 million miles under his belt driving for Wieser Concrete alone, Tim continues to rack up the miles and be a helping hand for those learning the ropes.
Tim’s selflessness and professionalism he expresses on the road and with the people he works with exemplifies what it means to be a truck driver, and Drivewyze is honored to recognize him as this year’s winner of the Truck Driver Appreciation contest. Congrats, Tim!
Left: Mandy Madsen; Right: Tim Niedfeldt