James

  • Married, Father of 6
  • 41 Years Trucking
  • 8 Years with ACT
  • 2,000,000 Miler

How did you get into truck driving?

I worked on a farm growing up, alongside my dad and granddad. I’ve been driving a truck since I was ten or eleven years old. Once I turned 18, I went to get my E Chauffer’s License. That was back before they had CDLs. After that I bought my own truck so that I could haul my own cattle. That first truck was a 1978 Henderson that had a high and low transmission and a day cab. I worked at cattle hauling for myself until my knees gave out — I got kicked too many times in the knee by cattle.

“I worked on a farm growing up alongside my dad and granddad. I’ve been driving a truck since I was ten or eleven years old.”

 
James James James
James Stevenson — 8 years as an ACT Company Driver

What kind of trucking experience have you had?

After I left my farm – which my 3 sons still run – I got a broker and went out on the road as an owner operator. I ran 25 years like this, where he would get me loads that suited me. I never went to California then, because my truck was too old to comply with their rules. I enjoyed running the way I wanted. I’d tell the broker, “I’m the one paying the bills on this truck!” It was a lot or responsibility. I had a banker that set up a budget for me and told me what I could spend and what I couldn’t. I stuck to the budget so I could keep my truck in good shape.

How did you choose to come to ACT?

My niece worked at ACT and she talked me into coming here. She said they were good to work with. I graduated from high school with Bill Kretsinger and remember when their dad ran flatbed trucks. They’ve come a long way from having 18 trucks to over 350 now! When I came in my truck was too old for me to run as an owner operator any more, so I decided to be a company driver and not have all the headaches.

How’s it going now?

When I first came to ACT I had to get used to traveling to big cities and get used to all the traffic. I had only gone to the outskirts of towns before. I’ve got an engineer route that gets me home every weekend. I run about 3,000 miles a week hauling mainly dog food or car battery boxes. I’ve never had to unload anything, because it’s all drop and hook. I wanted this route because my wife’s health is poor and I wanted to be home every weekend. So I just told ACT about it and asked to be home more often. She fell off of an 8-foot ladder and has had to have three back operations. There’s an in-home nurse there during the day and my kids help at night, then I come home on the weekends. With this job I have the flexibility to help at home.

What do you want to tell other drivers about this company?

I tell them they’re a good one to work for. It’s all about the drivers. They’re like a family to me. Everyone in the office is nice. And I really like my driver manager —I’ve had the same one the whole time I’ve been here and he is excellent. ACT went all out for the drivers when they built the new building. If you don’t live around Kansas City and you’re there, you don’t have to sleep in your truck. They’ve got rooms like a motel room. It’s a neat place. And I like that they have Kenworth trucks to drive. I don’t much like Freightliners.

Any advice for someone thinking of becoming a driver?

When you go to work as a truck driver and you want to make money, you’ve got to drive that truck! You don’t make any money sitting at home. I drive 3,000 miles a week and I don’t sit much. You’ve got to love to drive. I’ve been here 8 years and I’m up to 54¢ a mile and I’m very satisfied with my income. I’m not tempted to go any pace else. I’m satisfied right here. All I can say is that ACT is a good company to work for.

I AM ACT.

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