For the past two decades, Rudy Kroeker has been clocking miles behind the wheel, moving feed, for HyLife. Driving seems to run in the family, Rudy’s father drove professionally, and five out of seven brothers also spent time on the road.
“I used to ride along with my dad. He did feed trucks. I would join him, and we pack a lunch in one of those old fashion lunch buckets. It would be bonding time as we would talk on the road. Maybe that is where I first got my love for driving.”
Kroeker started with HyLife back in 1999. An offer was made, over coffee at his kitchen table, by one of the founders, Paul Vielfaure. Little did anyone know back then, that Kroeker would go on to make history.
“It caught me off guard, two million miles? I have been driving for a long time. I reached one million safe miles but never thought I would be the first to get to two. It feels good. People are congratulating me, and it makes me proud,”
– Rudy Kroeker, HyLife 2 Million Mile Driver
Launched in 2016, HyLife’s Million Mile Club recognizes drivers for reaching 1,000,000 miles of accident-free driving. In the trucking industry, this is a major milestone. There are currently ten HyLife drivers who have reached this status. Kroeker is the first HyLife employee to successfully make it to 2,000,000 safe miles.
“I have to say two million miles is a great achievement,” shares Gerard Tetrault, Director of Logistics and Transportation.
“We have to understand that feed divisions are on back roads. They are going into tight spaces. Backing up into dark spaces and he does it with joy and a smile on his face. He comes to work every single day with just that spirit of always thinking safety first.”
It is a value, embodied across the company through many different initiatives and investments such as road simulation exercises to empower our drivers with the necessary skills for winter driving. All new HyLife drivers that have not experienced a commercial vehicle in winter, go through hands-on training to prepare them once the snow falls.
“The importance of safety at HyLife, not only are we taking care of safety and additional things that we do like hands-on training or even having other drivers supporting new drivers in their first year or two to make sure we can get other drivers in the Million Mile Club of accident-free driving,” said Tetrault.
HyLife’s ongoing and consistent efforts have caught the attention of industry leaders, including the Manitoba Trucking Association.
“One million safe miles is always a significant achievement, but two million indicates not only a dedication to safety but also a commitment to the industry and the company,”
– Danielle Ruttan, Outreach Coordinator, Manitoba Trucking Association
“You must be doing something right at HyLife to have two million safe mile award winners!”
In 2018, Kroeker received an MTA-Inland Industry Excellence Award, through the Manitoba Trucking Association. The honour recognizes drivers who demonstrate a commitment to the industry, safety, customer service, and their communities.
Accolades aside, Rudy is driven by much more. He takes great pride in the opportunity to mentor younger drivers, offering the following advice.
“Be patient, use common sense, keep your eyes open, and don’t forget to check your mirrors and think about road conditions. I think the focus on safety is strong here. I have never seen it in any other company. They value it at HyLife and so do I.”
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Rudy was featured in local media: https://steinbachonline.com/local/elite-club-for-truck-driver-with-2-000-000-accident-free-miles