Getting to Know: Len Dunman

Len Dunman Mercer’s Safety Director

Safety Directors can be scary, but here at Mercer we’re lucky. Our Safety Director Len Dunman is a pretty cool guy. He’s been working with us since 1982 in various departments, he’s figuratively and literally shaped the face of Mercer.

Len wasn’t new to the transportation industry when he started with us back in ’82. He’d already worked at the Taylor Motor Company, and he has over the road experience. He tells us about how he used to haul cotton seed, “I ran cotton seed from Paris and McKenzie, TN to West Memphis… The driving was cool, but you had to climb up in the bin and load the stuff yourself. It was dirty and dusty. It has to be tarped because it gets very heavy if the load gets wet,” with a wry smile he adds, “ask me how I know that.”

He talks with us about how there is always common ground no matter which side of the desk you’re sitting on. He gets where drivers are coming from because he’s been there. “[I] know what it feels like to start over with nearly nothing. I know what it is like to work 2 jobs for 24 years.”

Len Dunman Car Enthusiast

If you’ve never been by Len’s Office, don’t be afraid to at least stop by and see it next time you’re in town. He’s a man fascinated by anything on wheels. The windows all have shelves, and each shelf is filled with die-cast cars, trucks, semi-trucks, and trains. It’s an impressive collection.

We ask Len to take his Ford Fairlane 500 out to the new Atkin’s lot so we can take some photos. He poses proudly with the car. We ask him about it and he tells the car’s history. His grandfather E.M. Moody was the first owner and he special ordered it back in ’65. It was passed to Len back in 2000 by his late Grandmother. It’s a real beauty to look at as we search for the best angle to snap some photos. He continues, “My father and I were the only people to ever work on it. The only thing Len and his father didn’t work on were the pipes and the paint, with the paint work being done by Mike Fagan (3324).”

“I do a few cruise ins in Louisville and LaGrange when I have time… [I] take off time each year to hang out with my old high school buddies and my sons at the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville the first weekend of August. And yes, I keep a picture of E.M. Moody in the car. I think he approves.”

Before we finish the interview we ask him what his favorite part of the job is. ‘The best part of my job today is getting to go out and do field inspections. I love talking about trucks with our drivers, it gets me back to my roots. I wish I had more time to do that.”