Matt Blattel loves the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, camping, he loves it all.
In fact, Blattel’s love of the outdoors goes back to his childhood on a 3,000-acre farm in southeast Missouri. His family raised 1,000 hogs and 1,000 cattle.
“That’s where I began to learn about building,” says Blattel, a regional driver for Baldwin Express who was matched to his job through Drive My Way and absolutely loves what he’s doing.
“I got exactly what I wanted,” he says. “I wanted to be home every weekend, good pay, good miles, newer trucks. And then, I got all of that. I’m ecstatic about it. Once I put in my criteria of what I wanted, Drive My Way started matching me. It was a godsend.”
In addition, Blattel said that Baldwin Express takes care of him, so he finally is able to enjoy the work-life balance he sought for so long.
Blattel has had a CDL driver job for 21 years. But, when he’s not trucking, he’s a talented builder.
“I’ve always been somebody who works with my hands,” he says. “I can see something and then go make it. I’ve built things since I was a teenager.”
Blattel, now 46, figures he’s been building things for 30 years. He carves decorative logs for his friends at the holidays. But he’s proudest of his masterpiece: his mother-in-law’s house.
A Strong Foundation
Blattel built the house from the ground up eight years ago, saving his mother-in-law $40,000 in the process.
“I built it completely by myself from start to finish,” Blattel says. “From the foundation and the landscaping to the woodworking, wiring and insulation, you name it, I did it. Also, I even laid hardwood floors throughout the whole house. It makes me feel good to know my mother-in-law has a house that’s exactly what she wants, and I built it from top to bottom.”
It took Blattel a mere seven months to build the house in his spare time. Now his wife wants him to construct a new house for them. “Whatever she wants,” he says. And he means it.
A Talent Deeply Rooted
So where did Blattel learn to do all of this? Building “has always come to me naturally,” he says. “There’s not a whole lot I can’t do. If you tell me I can’t do it, then I’m going to do it anyway just to prove you wrong.”
Blattel picked up his talent for building just by growing up around it. He learned by paying attention.
To other truckers who would like to try their hand at building, Blattel has sage advice: “Overall, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and do it right the first time.”
In summary, it all takes patience, organization and most of all, a clear vision.
“It always starts with that vision, in every aspect of my life,” Blattel says. “I don’t use blueprints. They are all in my head. I research it and see what I gotta do to get it done—and then I do it.”
In addition, the same goes for his job at Baldwin Express. “I couldn’t be happier,” he says.
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