Milwaukee Truck Drivers Reach Impressive Milestone


by Jessica Tighe

Mike Cesar is a Milwaukee truck driver with a spotless record. He's driven more than two million miles without one accident.

"How many people can say they haven't had an accident in their car," Cesar asks while driving down the highway.

It's an impressive accomplishment that some of his colleagues at Con-Way Freight share. Jim Slaaen and Brain Busch are also in the club. In fact, the even have shirts to show it off.

Let's put two million miles into perspective for you. That's driving the length of Lambeau Field 56,818 times! It's 24,010 trips between Miller Park and Wrigley Field and it's around the world 83 times!

It's not just the number of miles that makes this feat so fantastic. It's also because of what the truck drivers deal with on a daily basis.

"Every day somebody does something stupid. They're doing everything but driving. Texting, cell phone, tune the radio, laptops on counsel, everything but watching what they're doing," Slaaen says.

The three credit their milestone in part to a lot of defensive driving.

"It's eye contact. It's watching the other car start coming into your lane and going a little too fast for conditions or watching TV instead of the road or being on the cell phone while drinking a cup of coffee or putting on nail polish," Cesar explains.

Between distracted drivers, impatient drivers and more drivers period, it's not easy to go accident-free especially driving during Midwest winters. They admit, there have been close calls.

"Sometimes you can just read them. This guy is going to pull out in front of me.  I know he is and he does," Bush says.

"I'm not going to get a scratch. You're going to be gone. If people would only realize that and give these trucks some room," Slaaen pleads.

The guys also say a little bit of luck is involved in being accident free, but there's no doubt that their skills, their training and their pride for their work all come into play.


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