Crossroads: The Werner Timeline

A photograph of C.L. Werner's 1956 Ford truck


C. L. Werner’s entrepreneurial spirit guides him from the family farm to Omaha, Nebraska. Using his car as a down payment, C. L. purchases a 1956 Ford truck and begins hauling within Nebraska and then hauling interstate.

More than 55 years of Werner...

A photograph of the company's first truckMore than 55 years ago, Clarence L. Werner purchased a Ford gasoline-powered truck and announced to the world he was entering the trucking business. Today, Werner Enterprises has become one of the leading companies in the industry. How the company progressed from a one-man operation to a highly successful publicly traded company is the story of a lifetime.

Werner Enterprises’ Executive Chairman C. L. Werner began a humble business in 1956 with one truck. Werner, 19, went to Omaha to work in a factory before deciding he would rather drive a truck. He sold his car to buy a gas-powered Ford F800 truck and started hauling cargo for other trucking companies. He hauled cargo that was exempt from regulatory restrictions, such as grain, watermelon and fence posts. C. L. built the company one truck at a time, hauling in regional areas.

Werner Enterprises completed its initial public offering in April 1986 with a fleet of 630 trucks. Today, the fleet consists of more than 7,800 trucks, nearly 24,000 trailers and more than 11,500 associates and independent contractors.

Beyond dedication and ambition, innovation and technology set the pace for the Werner Enterprises success story. The firm was the first carrier with DOT approval to use the Paperless Log System.

Among the five largest truckload carriers in the U.S. today, Werner Enterprises exceeds the truckload motor carrier image by crossing borders and traveling overseas. Werner Enterprises is established as a wholly foreign owned entity (WFOE) in Shanghai, China, and was awarded by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) for its active role in securing its global supply chain from terrorism. In addition, the Company operates throughout the 48 contiguous states, as well as Canada and Mexico.