John Hoener, Jr.— Taylor Truck Line, Inc.
Take one look at John Hoener, Jr., and you can see that he is a professional through and through. John has 31 years and countless safe driving miles under his belt, and he has been named Driver of the Year by Northfield, MN-based Taylor Truck Line, Inc. Oh yes, this is also the second year in a row that John has received the prestigious honor!
Like so many drivers out there, John grew up in a trucking family. “My uncle owned several trucks, and I was always interested in his work,” John remembers. “He hauled livestock, and before I knew it, I was doing it, too.”
John’s father also did some driving, and the two ran as owner operators leased to the same companies for many years. During the 1990s, John took a break from running his own business and became a company driver. In 2001, he began hearing a lot of good things about Taylor Truck Line. “I talked with their recruiting department and made the decision to get on board,” says John. Right away, he knew he had found a good home.
“I was so comfortable with them that soon I was ready to lease on as an owner-operator,” he explains. “It’s satisfying to me to have my own business. There is more to work for, and I get so much out of it. A lot of people will run out and buy themselves a big, expensive truck, but not me. I have a 2001 Century-Class that gets the job done just fine.”
Taylor has proven to be an ideal business partner for John. They give him the steady miles he wants, and he is now averaging 13,500 miles per month. John enjoys staying out and racking up the miles, and he gets home about once a month. The driving pro is quick to point out that he maintains this pace by choice, and a number of owner-operators leasing to Taylor get home every weekend.
John also appreciates the friendly support he is given by Taylor’s office team, and he says that he can talk with them about any problem that comes up.
To what does John attribute his back-to-back honors as the company’s Driver of the Year? “You have to work hard for it, that’s for sure,” he says. “I treat all of my customers with re-spect, and I make my deliveries on time. I also take every load that is offered to me. Taylor knows where the freight is, not me, and I don’t see the point of questioning dispatch.”
As for the future, John plans to continue leasing on to Taylor. “I’ve been at this business too long to consider another type of work…there’s nothing else for me to do,” he says with a laugh.
John makes his home in Illinois and is the proud father of three sons who have all chosen to follow in his footsteps and become owner-operators. Eric and Brian are also leased on to Taylor, and Darin is leased to another carrier in the region. There is no doubt that trucking runs in the blood of the Hoener family!
The staff of Over the Road and Pro Trucker magazines would like to wish John (and Eric and Brian) continued success with Taylor Truck Line, Inc. For more information on owner operator opportunities available at Taylor, see their ad on page 31 of this issue.