Randy Varese 2023 Wheel Master

Randy Varese Named 2023 Wheel Master

on Monday, April 1, 2024 in Awards & Recognition

TMC is proud to announce Randy Varese as 2023’s Wheel Master.

The Wheel Master is TMC’s most prestigious award, recognizing one truly outstanding driver each year. Nominees are drawn from past Drivers of the Quarter and reviewed carefully by TMC’s Steering Committee based on nominations from employees, safe driving record, years of service, and excellence in customer service.

Randy certainly meets all of these criteria. A professional truck driver since the early 1980s, Randy has spent nearly 23 years of his career driving for TMC’s Black and Chrome fleet and has achieved 2.48 million safe miles. He was named Driver of the Quarter in 2012 and has made a name for himself at TMC as a driver dedicated to excellence in all areas of his job.

For Randy, life as a flatbed driver is an adventure. He says, “Every morning, I look out the same windshield, but I see a different sunrise, and I have a different job to do, a new load to carry. I get up and it’s a fresh start every day.”

During his years on the road, Randy has developed a thoughtful approach to driving that allows him to both enjoy his work and succeed at the highest levels. “The most important load you have is the load you’re hauling. You have nothing else to think about,” he says. “Getting the load there is all you have to do. If you think too far ahead, you’ll be disappointed. All you have to do is properly take care of the load you’re dispatched on.”

As a third-generation truck driver, Randy has seen the driving profession change over the years. Today, “it’s more individualized” than when he started, he says. But he does his best to instill a sense of camaraderie and team spirit among the drivers he works with on his John Deere dedicated route. “When I first started driving, we were a group and we helped each other,” he says of his fellow drivers. “I still try to remember that, to help people out.” 

Randy Varese with his TMC truck

Randy often acts as a mentor to his fellow TMC drivers and tries to pass on what he has learned during his career. “We’re all in this together—especially since the ESOP,” he notes, referring to TMC’s employee stock ownership plan, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. “Some of the drivers don’t understand that when I tell them to be safe, it’s because it benefits me, too. If they have done their job properly, part of that comes back to me through the ESOP. Because we’re employee-owned, we really are in this together.”

When it comes to safety, Randy’s approach is defined by his trademark thoughtfulness and patience. “The whole job consists of one thing: don’t hurry,” he advises. “Any time you put yourself under pressure and rush, you have the potential to have a safety problem. It takes as much time as it takes. You cannot rush.”

Randy knows that his success is not just the result of his own actions—he has relied on the entire TMC team for support during his career. “We have great support staff,” he says. “They keep me lined up and loaded. All the safety people, all the support people in the shop and everywhere else, they’ve been great over the years. They give me a fantastic piece of equipment to drive, and all the equipment we need to do our jobs, and we go do it. That’s what I’ve done.”

Chad Reece, Randy’s fleet manager, says that Randy is an outstanding driver and a great part of the TMC team. “Randy is a true professional driver,” Chad says. “He is always 100% reliable and a great communicator. He gets the job done safely and in a timely manner, day in and day out. He embodies the principles of teamwork and Destination: Excellence.”

Operations manager Kevin Murphy, who previously worked on with Randy on the John Deere Dedicated account, agrees that his thoughtful approach sets him apart as a driver. “Whenever Randy and I talked, he would bring up issues but also a solution to the issue. He had already thought through the what, where, why, when, and how and had a solid idea of how to fix it.” Kevin says that Randy truly exemplifies the qualities that make TMC great: “Randy earns everything that comes his way; he never asks for anything. He is a great representative of TMC, and I am very happy that he has earned the title of Wheel Master.”

Randy and his wife live in Glenwood, Missouri. They have several grown children, and they are eagerly awaiting the birth of their second grandchild.

TMC will host the annual Wheel Master luncheon on April 13 to celebrate Randy and bring past Wheel Masters together to honor their accomplishments and their contributions to TMC.

Congratulations to Randy Varese on becoming the 2023 Wheel Master!