This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

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

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68