LHT Legend, Mike Baker, Retires

Anthony Book Long Haul Trucking

One of Long Haul’s missions is to ensure that any time a new driver comes aboard our fleet, they will be with us until the day they retire. On Monday, December 7th 2020 we are proud to announce the official retirement of one of the very first drivers to join our fleet, Mike Baker (Pictured above on the far left next to Long Haul Founder, John Daniels and Dispatcher, Dave Fiecke), who spent over 32 years on the road while calling Long Haul home. Mike came to Long Haul in September of 1988 because of a pre-established relationship that he shared with our founder, John Daniels (JD). Since joining, Mike has put in countless hours of hard work while using his skills to help grow our company to what it is today. Mike has truly seen it all. From Long Haul’s humble beginnings of hauling potatoes in the spring and summer and bird seed in the fall and winter, to working on specialized, dedicated lanes that are today the foundation of some of our most valued clients We truly would not be where we are today without him.
Mike was originally introduced to Long Haul through JD, who he knew from their days of snowmobile racing. “I started working for John as a broker truck, I had a dry van that we would use to haul potatoes.” After several months of working for Long Haul as a partner carrier, Mike made the decision to join Long Haul as an independent contractor in 1988. “I was the 8th driver to join the fleet, there was me and another Owner Operator, then JD who had 3 trucks along with the Ray Hainstock and his 3 as well.” (Baker) When you’re trying to build a company from the ground up there is no short cut on the path to success. It takes hard work, dedication and creativity to help separate yourself from the rest. “JD pushed us hard in the first few years to get things rolling. We might have done a few things that tested the boundaries of our comfort, but we were committed to keeping it going. Working for JD I always knew the checks would be there at the end of the week which kept me willing to do the work.” As the years rolled on, and more drivers came to join Long Haul, Mike, along with the other original drivers, have been revered as some of the pioneers that helped keep our organizations principles and work ethic intact.
Long Haul looks a little different today than it did when Mike first joined our team. We’ve grown from 8 drivers to about 348 but are still fortunate to have a group of people that share the same work ethic and principles of those that helped start our company almost 35 years ago. Today, Long Haul is employee owned, which is a strategical business plan to help promote accountability, empowerment and success for all our company’s employees. Looking back to when Mike first started at Long Haul, although JD was the owner, there was still an employee owned mindset from all his drivers which brought a passion to help make the company a success.
Thank you Mike for all that you have done for Long Haul over the years. You will always be looked at in the highest regard as a first class driver and individual that can act as a model for an aspiring trucking professional to view for years to come. We wish you the best in retirement and appreciate you immensely.