Posts

Edward “Eddie” Dalzell talked his way into his first truck driving job at age 19 in Massachusetts.

3 million accident-free miles and almost 50 years later, Eddie’s now retired from truck driving but still logging miles on foot as a hiker and lead CSR for Penske in San Antonio.

truck driver

As he tells the story, he got his first truck driving job through good old-fashioned persistence. And telling a little bit of a lie.

“The company I was working for went out of business. There were no other jobs around. The car I had ran out of gas, I had no money. So, I walked 3 miles down the road to a place that was supposedly hiring truck drivers. I had no clue how to drive a truck. I kept going back day after day until they finally hired me!”

From there, he had a friend teach him how to drive a truck.

Once he got his start with that first job in Massachusetts, Eddie moved south after a few years. There he got his first job as a tanker truck driver. He spent the next few decades with various jobs between Texas and Louisiana, driving tankers between refineries and operating other heavy equipment. He mentions that some of those were dangerous jobs, and that thankfully he got lucky a few times.

Living and working near the Gulf of Mexico, he saw his share of hurricanes and severe weather.

The memory of those storms still stand out to Eddie. “Dodging hurricanes, wasn’t fun. Everyone else was leaving, but we’d be heading into the storms with the plywood to help. Last hurricane I drove 27 hours straight because of all the road closures to get around it. Had to get right back up in 5 hours to go back into it.”

When asked about his time as a truck driver at Dupre Logistics, he said that they were big on safety, and provided great training.

dupre-logistics

He also fondly recalls having a great boss who became a life-long friend to this day.

“At Dupre, Leadership was very good. We had good drivers. We could laugh and have fun.  They are VERY fair. They also gave a nice safety bonus every 3 months which was nice”.

That bonus came with a safety meeting at a great local steakhouse. Eddie mentioned he never missed a bonus, or the steak dinners. Working for Dupre, he said that integrity was important.

“There’s lots of competition out there but the jobs kept coming back to us because they liked what we were doing.”

Over the years, he also spent time as a driving instructor and unofficial career and life coach.

“Taught people how to drive standard trucks. I enjoyed that. I also told students to follow your dreams. Listen to Mr. Eddie: Don’t do something you hate, you’ll be miserable your whole life.”

Now retired from driving, Eddie spends his days working as a hiker and lead Customer Service Representative for Penske.

truck driver

He says he logs over 52 miles a week on foot, 20,000 steps, walking around the facility. Quite a change from all of the hours and miles behind the wheel!

Eddie, 68, has a wife, 6 children and 10 grandkids. In his free time, he enjoys living close to 3 of those grandkids.

“I get to see them all the time. Grandma loves to keep them on the weekends – gives their moms a break”. He also enjoys fishing and keeping fit and active.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

DRIVER-HIGHLIGHT-TIFFANY-ADAMS-WITH-WEST-COAST-TRANSPORT

For Tiffany Adams, being a truck driver runs in the family. “My dad was a truck driver, so it’s in the family blood”. Though she tried a few things prior to getting into the trucking business officially, since age 21, “trucking was the only way to go” for her.

Tiffany’s favorite route to drive is “I-24 going through Kentucky.

It’s the most beautiful run anyone could ever do.” The summertime bluegrass lined roads all around Paducah are her favorite.  She recommends a stop at Patti’s Settlement 1880’s restaurant if you’re in the neighborhood. A stop at Patti’s “definitely should be on your to-do list if you’re in the area”.

After a normal day of 10-11 hours, she mentions a struggle that she’s advocating for: MORE PARKING.


“The daily struggles today we have is parking. Parking is so limited to the truck stops that we have across the nation, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find parking after 5 pm. And it’s just getting worse. It’s getting to the point you can’t find parking, and you need to drive 20+ miles out of your route just to find a place park”.

She hopes that in the future there’s expanded parking available at truck stops and rest stops around the country.

Tiffany drives with her husband Weston.

You can find them passing the time “listening to a lot of country music while we’re riding down the highway”.

When they’re not out on the road or getting ready for their next long-haul, they enjoy spending time playing with their horses, their family and hanging out with friends. “We love what we do we provide for our states, building supplies, rail road supplies, your every day needs”.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

Photo via NPR.org

Step aside, Uber and Google, a career trucker is making history for self-driving tractor trailers.

Jeff Runions, autonomous-truck test driver, prepares the future of the trucking industry. As he told NPR, Runions works for Starsky Robotics. They are a small company developing fully autonomous trucks for the highway. The trucks are driven by professionals once the trucks got off at the exit.

As truck drivers continue to decrease in numbers, Runions hopes autonomous trucks will be a huge opportunity for the industry to keep up with demand. In his interview with NPR, he says automated vehicles would allow drivers to spend less time on the road and more time at home with their families.

This would be a drastic change from the three weeks of on-road time he remembers from working on his own and with a commercial trucking company. In fact, Runions would like to see drivers having a “regular life” with a 40-hour work week. By making drivers’ lives more enjoyable, he hopes to spike interest in the industry from potential drivers.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

Walmart truck driver Carol Nixon shares a special story of determination and generosity. Her story inspires us entering into 2018 and helps us set goals for the year.

Carol Nixon, 48, of St. James, Mo., drove since 1990. Over the past five years, she has worked as an over-the-road driver for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In February of 2015 she met Deb Pollard, a fellow truck driver for Walmart. Fate brought together again in September of that year as roommates at the first annual Accelerate Conference sponsored by the Women in Trucking Association.

In addition, Deb shared that her husband Craig suffered from kidney failure and dialysis. The couple searched tirelessly for a donor, but unfortunately failed to receive a result. Then, Carol offered her kidney without a moment’s hesitation. “I didn’t even think about it,” Carol said. “I told her, ‘please, take it!’”

While both seemed the perfect match for the transplant, their journey included challenges. Carol stopped driving for three months prior to the donation due to dizziness. Doctors initially thought heart problems caused this. However, they realized they were migraines, and she received permission to donate her kidney again. Meanwhile, doctors at the University of Alabama hospital found that Craig suffered from blockage that could have killed him.  Finally, after these hurdles, the transplant took place and completed successfully in November of 2016.

Despite the challenges they faced, Carol never wavered in her decision to donate her kidney.

Even if she failed to match for Craig, she agreed to still donate her kidney to another recipient through the Kidney Paired Donation Pilot Program. The program matches medically compatible pairs of potential living kidney donors with transplant candidates. In cases where the potential donor doesn’t match with his or her original intended recipient.

When asked what drove her to donate despite all the challenges she replied “Perseverance.  When you’re told no, just keep pushing.”

With the transplant behind them, both Carol and Craig are doing well.  Craig immediately came off dialysis after the surgery and remained diligent about following his post-surgery protocol. Carol took six weeks off of work to recover. However, drives again now and stays healthy on the road by preparing meals for the road. She also walks three miles daily, whether at home or on the road.  When she’s home she and her husband spend time restoring their vintage cars and hanging out with her grandson.

Carol now adds raising awareness for organ donation to her growing list of charities that she supports.  At the November 2017 Accelerate Conference, she met the aunt of a young girl whose tissue donation gave two people the gift of sight. She also met the mother of a young girl in her community whose organ donations helped save the lives of five people.

Both of these girls received a floragraph on the Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade on January 1, 2018.

The Donate Life float honors millions of people touched by organ, eye and tissue donation. These include living donors, donor families, transplant recipients and transplant candidates.  The stories of these young girls further inspired Carol to share her own story. Her hope is her story raises awareness for organ donation.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

truck driver dogsOwner operator Wendy Trudeau loves her mutt, Missy, so much, she couldn’t help but post photos of Missy on Facebook. A lot of them. She posted them so often, in fact, that Trudeau’s brother eventually came up with a silly new nickname for his sister: “the crazy dog lady.”

She’d show him. As a joke, Trudeau decided to start a Facebook group for people with CDL trucking jobs, a place where they could post photos of their pets. She called the group “Trucking Fur Babies” and approached it with a laugh.

One year later, Trucking Fur Babies has 978 members, and the group’s robust following is nothing to scoff at.

“It makes me feel really good,” says Trudeau, an owner operator leased to Mercer Transportation in Louisville, Ky. “It’s like, wow, I started something kind of half heartedly and now it’s full of wonderful people. It’s a happy group. I call it my happy place.”

In Trucking Fur Babies, people with CDL trucking jobs post photos of their pets, bond over their common interest and bring levity to one another’s days.

Drivers in the group say taking their pets on the road with them has enhanced their enjoyment of work, given them companionship and created unexpected health benefits.

“He just brightens our life,” says Dee Shunk of her dog Pa-Lo (pronounced Paolo), a cattle dog mix she and her husband, Kevin, found abandoned outside a bar four years ago. “He’s our baby. He surprises us every day. He goes crazy for peppermints.”

How pets enhance life for people with CDL trucking jobs“And he absolutely loves the bath,” adds Kevin Shunk, who has had an owner operator trucking job for several years. “Oh God, I just said ‘bath’ and there he goes. Pa-Lo’s sitting in the bathtub right now.”

Such antics are recounted in Trucking Fur Babies day after day.

Sandra Card loves being a part of the group, too. She rides along with her husband, Luigi Dimeo. Dimeo has an owner operator trucking job that can take the couple OTR for months at a time. Life on the road can make for a lot of togetherness, so the couple’s dog, Toby, is a vital peacemaker for the pair when tensions rise.

“Toby’s role is to keep us from killing each other,” Card jokes. “Me and my husband sitting next to each other 24/7? We get irritable. Toby’s a mediator. I don’t need a therapist, I got my dog.”

How pets enhance life for people with CDL trucking jobsWhile Card says all of this with a laugh, she makes a serious point. Toby, a shih tzu, lowers the couple’s stress levels and helps them cope during long stretches on the road. “When we’re stuck in traffic, having Toby helps immensely,” Card says.

Walking the Walk

Those with CDL driving jobs say having their dogs with them on the road has another big benefit—more exercise. Trudeau goes walking twice a day with Missy, once in the morning and again in the evening.

“We go off the beaten path,” says Trudeau. “We’re country kids. Missy is good for two miles at a time.”

And for Card, who has diabetes, making time for such walks is all the more important.

“I know it’s healthier for you to have an animal, I’ve read the studies on that,” Trudeau says. “The little furball just knows if you’ve had a bad day. Then you go for a walk and life is good.”

Are you an owner operator looking for steady, reliable work?  Click here to learn how Drive My Way can help. Watch our YouTube video to learn more about what we do.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

High paying truck driving job | Top 5 resources

With the arrival of the new year, people with CDL driver jobs are wondering how they can improve themselves in 2016.

Perhaps you want to make more money this year, or find a CDL driving job that brings you more satisfaction.

If your resolution is to find a high paying truck driving job, you’ll want to read this story. Here are 5 sources to help you learn all about the highest paying trucking companies to drive for.

1. Truckers Report Ultimate Industry Guide

This website is a valuable resource for several reasons. It lists average truck driver salaries by state and by trucking specialty. It also tells which companies are hiring in states with the highest paying trucking jobs. Bonus: It even lists gas prices in each state, showing what CDL drivers can expect to spend in relation to their earnings.

2. Payscale.com

This is a great website for CDL drivers who drive tractor-trailers. Payscale.com gives the most up-to-date information on tractor-trailer driver salaries (It was last updated in September 2015.). It also goes beyond that to give drivers even more perspective. Payscale.com lists current salaries at big trucking companies (think: Werner, Schneider and Swift) and popular skills needed for a CDL driver job. Bonus:  It tells how each of those skills impacts salary and which cities offer the highest paying truck driving jobs.

3. Glassdoor.com

One of the nation’s most popular sites for current salaries in every industry, Glassdoor.com gives the average national salary for truck drivers and allows drivers to filter results by city. You can also browse driver reviews of specific trucking companies and see how different trucking companies rate.

4. Salary.com

This site is useful because it tells annual base salary for several different types of CDL truck drivers, including drivers of light trucks, heavy trucks and tractor trailers.

5. Indeed.com

People well know of Indeed.com’s job listings. But the website also shows the national salary trend for truck drivers and gives a break down of salaries for truck drivers with special CDL permits. The website includes salaries for truck drivers ranging from over-the-road and team drivers to owner operators.

Want to find one of the highest paying trucking jobs, too? Visit Drive My Way right now and register for free!   To learn more about how we can help you, watch our overview video here.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

“Thank you, thank you from a survivor for this exhibit. I was so moved on so many levels by the truck and the words and the artifacts. I’m just in awe, and I’m not saying that lightly.”                                                                    —Windie Lazenko, sex trafficking survivor and founder of 4Her

TAT 10To many girls and women, the world is a dark prison of sex trafficking. And once they’re in it, it’s hard for them to break out.

Fortunately, Truckers Against Trafficking is doing its part to curb sex trafficking in the United States. It helps through education, law enforcement training—and the Freedom Drivers Project, a mobile exhibit raising awareness about domestic sex trafficking.

At first glance, CDL truck drivers walk past the FDP trailer when they see it at a truck show and laugh nervously.

However, once they take the time to walk through it, they emerge forever changed.

“Inside the Freedom Drivers Project, I can see them start absorbing the reality of the issue,” says FDP Director Helen Van Dam. “I am watching their mental shift from ‘She’s a prostitute’ to ‘She’s a trafficking survivor.’ It’s really encouraging, and it’s why I do my job.”

The Freedom Drivers Project is generating awareness, bit by bit, one person at a time. Since it began touring at the 2014 Great American Trucking Show, the exhibit has seen 9,100 viewers in more than 19 states.

TAT 3The Freedom Drivers Project is driven around the country by various CDL truck drivers.

They advocate for Truckers Against Trafficking more each day. Jason Imhoff, a company driver for Walmart, drove the Freedom Drivers Project 1,300 miles, from Denver to Cincinnati, last July.

“As soon as I got on the interstate, people would look and point at the trailer,” he recalls. “That’s the best part of the Freedom Drivers Project. It brings attention to one of the worst crimes in the country.”

Adding to the project’s authenticity are artifacts donated by sex trafficking survivors: a woman’s bed number tag from a Nevada brothel

A pair of shoes a woman wore when she was sold. The mirror two girls used to practice stripping.

TAT 5This isn’t Bangkok. These are the painful reminders of lives lost to sex trafficking right here in America.

“We’re not talking about statistics,” Van Dam says. “We are talking about real women, real individuals. These stories move people and bring them to a deeper level of understanding.”

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 4,168 new human trafficking cases were reported to its hotline through Sept. 30 of this year. Of those calls, 3,093 focused on sex trafficking. The U.S. Department of Justice, meanwhile, says up to 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation each year in the United States.

Imhoff wants the world to take a stronger stand against sex trafficking. “The thing is, people not only need to talk about it, they need to be the difference and bring awareness to the world,” he says.

He encourages others with CDL driver jobs to contact Truckers Against Trafficking and learn how they can help. Be vigilant, he says, and display the TAT sticker on your truck.

“Everyone has a role to play, and everyone can play a role, however small or large it may be,” Van Dam emphasizes.

Learn how to get involved at www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org. See something out of the ordinary? Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888).

Want a CDL driver job that helps you change the world, too? Visit Drive My Way today. It’s free! Watch our video to learn more about how we can help you.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

Group Slingshot | Flickr - Photo Sharing!In today’s world, employees rarely stay with one company for their entire careers (and staying at a job for years on end may even look bad on a resume these days). But anyone who jumps from job to job too frequently can create a red flag for employers.

So, how can you, as people with CDL trucking jobs, build your skills without getting stuck in a rut? Career site muse.com says  follow these four bits of wisdom, for starters.

1. Learn something new.

If there’s only one thing you can say to prove your time with a company was well spent, it should be that you’ve learned something you didn’t know before. If no one’s offering this learning experience to you, seek it out within the company.

2. Accomplish something hard

It’s no secret that career growth demands progress, and progress requires accomplishments. That’s why it’s easy to spot the difference between those who switch jobs out of boredom and those who do so to further their careers.

3. Make mistakes, then learn from them

The bottom line is that character and determination are built through trial and error. So, be sure that each position you hold is one in which you have to overcome a difficulty, take responsibility and inevitably grow from the experience.

4. Get—and stay—connected

The world of recruiting and referrals has been forever changed by social media. It’s easier than ever to leverage networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to find new job opportunities, which is why you should establish connections with as many colleagues as you can while you are working with a company.

You can read the full article here. Want to make inroads on your own CDL driver career goals? Find the best CDL trucking job for you. Visit Drive My Way today. It’s free!

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find Better Today

The Midwest sees some of the heaviest truck travel in the country. Now, one Midwestern state, Ohio, has become the first state to mandate that truck drivers be trained in recognizing and reporting human trafficking.

“Effective January 2016, all new commercial driver’s license holders will be requiredhuman trafficking to complete a one-hour training program through Truckers Against Trafficking,” the article in Go By Truck News stated.

“It’s important drivers understand the signs, so they can call when they witness trafficking,” said Capt. Mike Crispen of the Licensing and Commercial Standards of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “It’s also important to educate them on the issue because my experience has shown that they take the issue seriously.”

Crispen completed a program through TAT last month so he can train other CDL instructors.

 

Images from https://c2.staticflickr.com and Google.com

 

In Germany Friday, Daimler Trucks ran a real-world test of what it says is the first series-production autonomous truck to operate on the highway.

autonomous truck

The autonomous truck, a standard Mercedes-Benz Actros, was equipped with the intelligent Highway Pilot system for the test on public roads.

“Today’s premiere is a further important step towards the market maturity of autonomously driving trucks – and towards the safe, sustainable road freight transport of the future,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, the Daimler AG board member responsible for trucks and buses.”

According to the article, a combination of new technology allowed the truck to to continually observe the entire area in front of the vehicle and to take control itself in certain situations.

The test scenario goes like this:  As soon as the truck has entered the flowing traffic in the right-hand lane, it’s “Highway Pilot On,” and the system offers to take over vehicle operation. The driver can confirm at the press of a button. The Mercedes keeps to its lane and maintains the optimum distance to the vehicle in front of it. Should the distance become too small or if a vehicle cuts in front of it, the truck brakes.

When it senses the vehicle is approaching an obstacle, the automated system asks the driver to take over the vehicle.

Daimler emphasized that the Highway Pilot does not replace the driver, but supports and relieves the strain on him or her by dealing with monotonous stretches and taking care of annoying stop-and-go driving in a traffic jam. In automated mode the driver has control over the truck at all times and in tricky situations can take over driving of the vehicle again.

For the full report on how effectively the truck managed on the road, read the rest of the story here.

Image from Daimler