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FOR BLAKE, IT’S ALL ABOUT SAFETY SPOTLight


BY STEVE BRAWNER Contributing Writer


For Steve Blake, it’s all about SAFETY:


Safety, Accountable, Flexible, Effective, Trucking and You. Blake, vice president and safety direc-


tor for Wyatt Companies, utilizes that acronym as a way for him and the rest of his company to stay focused on the things that matter most. “I believe that a motor carrier can


operate in compliance, safe, and profitable” he said. “Safety is a key to our mission. It’s on top. Everybody is accountable for our actions or our inactions. Our philosophy is that we must be flexible. That means that we’re willing to learn new ideas and regula- tions. And we have to be effective. Trucking is our profession, and to our team, you can make a difference.” Wyatt Companies, owned by Randy


Wyatt, is a management company that handles insurance, payroll, human resourc- es and safety for four carriers in the sand and gravel sector, leaving them to concen- trate on sales and dispatching. Together, those four companies have 300 trucks and truck drivers. Blake, 63, received the 2014 TXTA


Safety Award, an award which he says is “a culmination of a career, and it just made me very humbled and very, very honored.” Blake has worked 18 years in the


trucking industry. Trucking is a second career for Blake, but safety is not. Following 22 years as a state trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the last 10 with what is now the Commercial


22 Summer 2015


Vehicle Enforcement Service, he went to work for Transportation Safety Specialists Inc. of Texarkana with TXTA member Danny Proctor and Coy Lorance. Prior to coming to Wyatt as it was being founded in 2006, he worked at Eastex Crude Company, Red River Trucking Company (now known as Titan Transportation), and as an insurance agent and transportation advisor in trucking insurance for Onley Insurance Agency. Blake, who grew up in Longview and


now lives in San Antonio, had wanted to work in law enforcement since high school, when he was acquainted with some Texas highway patrolmen. Not only did he enjoy his law enforce-


ment career, but it also gave him a first-rate education in the trucking industry. It was his job to enforce state law and federal reg- ulations, so he became an expert in them. Every day he dealt with motor carriers that were doing things right, and others that were doing things wrong. “That experience was certainly essen-


tial,” he said. Blake also traveled the country as a


compliance review investigator and instructor for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Safety Institute, which at the end of his career became the National Training Center. When it was time to retire from the


Department of Public Safety, he went to work in the trucking industry where he could draw on his many experiences. It was a seamless transition. “Certainly, there exists a relationship between the enforcement community and


the trucking industry—that is a common goal working together to achieve safe opera- tion on our highways to save lives,” he said. Blake has plenty to keep him busy in


his personal life. He and his wife of 37 years, Rosewitta (it’s German), have three grown children and a second grandchild due in November. He plays a lot of golf and enjoys watching sports such as NASCAR and foot- ball in person and on TV. He attends races at the Texas Motor Speedway and is a season ticket holder for The University of Texas at San Antonio football games. But, he says, “There are no


retirement plans.” He intends to keep doing what he’s been doing for 40 years—making the roads safer whether he’s in law enforcement or trucking. “I loved my law enforcement career,”


he said. “I loved the Department of Public Safety. The trucking industry had offered me this opportunity to move to a second career. Not everybody gets to do that.” R


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