- WIDOWED, FATHER OF 2
- 25 YEARS TRUCKING
- 1 YEAR WITH ACT
HOW DID YOU GET INTO TRUCK DRIVING?
I grew up in a small town in Texas. I played baseball and did some mechanic work for a few years. Then I went to work in the chemical plants, but there you work a month and then get laid off a month and I didn’t like that. My stepbrother was in the trucking business and he opened the door for me. He said I could do better in trucking than I was doing, so I got my CDL in 1983 and became a driver. I rode local for years so I could raise my kids. I was married for 24 years to my wife. She passed away two years ago with ALS. After she got sick I didn’t want to put her in a home, so I decided to go out over the road and bring her with me in my truck. It got her out and kept her from sitting at the house. She really enjoyed seeing all of the scenery. She rode with me right up until the end. We would stay gone for five or six weeks and the come home for 6-10 days and take her to her doctor’s appointment. Her lifelong dream was to see Montana — we saw it three times! I’m glad we got to spend that time together.
“HER LIFELONG DREAM WAS TO SEE MONTANA — WE SAW IT THREE TIMES! I’M GLAD WE GOT TO SPEND THAT TIME TOGETHER.”
WHAT KIND OF TRUCKING EXPERIENCE HAVE YOU HAD?
I worked in the oil fields pulling crude oil tankers locally for companies, but after a while I had enough of that so I decided to haul dry vans. Now it’s a whole different atmosphere when you get to the receiver or customer’s place. They welcome you in and are glad to get what you’re hauling. I also like not having to unload. It’s usually all drop and hook. So I don’t have to sit and wait for an appointment time or waste time for your 14 hours a day. If you’re out here driving for a living, you don’t want to be sitting here. My son is a truck driver now, too.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO ACT?
I had seen ACT on the roads but I really wasn’t looking at coming here. But they called me up and offered me the mileage pay that I was looking for so I said yes. I was pretty impressed with what they offered me.
HOW’S IT GOING NOW?
It’s good. Everything they promised me is all up to par. I’m making the money I was expecting and live comfortably. My freight has been steady—some weeks are better than others, depending on the customers. I’ve got a good driver manager and if you give him a good ETA he will get you a load pretty quick. You don’t do a lot of sitting at a truck stop. I like driving and I like to stay busy. I used to stay out three weeks and then come home for 6 days, which was like a mini vacation. You can accomplish a lot at home in 6 days. Now I’m doing the out for 11 days and home for 3 days. They are okay with either home time. You just have to call your driver manager and give them notice so they can plan a run going home. I bought some property in Texarkana and I’m eventually going to build a house there. It’s a good location for trucking.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TELL OTHER DRIVERS ABOUT THIS COMPANY?
It’s good. At this company, if I have any questions they are always open to talking to me. They act like it’s not just your problem, it’s ‘our’ problem. So you feel like someone is backing you up while you’re working, that we’re all on the same team. I also like what they do to help raise money for ALS. I’ve done the ALS Walk once since I’ve been here. That means a lot to me.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE THINKING OF BECOMING A DRIVER?
You’re out here to make money. Take your time and don’t get in a hurry. ACT is really good on safety. They encourage you to stay safe.