I have two people to credit for my being successful in trucking: my dad and the Army. When I was 8 years old, I remember seeing a big truck while we were driving, and I told my dad that one day I wanted to drive that. He said, ‘you put your mind to it, and you can do it.’
My dad was the type of man I wanted to be. He went to work every day and was a hard worker. He never took off. I strived to be like him.
And the Army instilled discipline in me. I was in the infantry for five years and while there I drove some of the trucks that my unit had: 5-ton, Deuce, half-ton and HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical) trucks. When left the service in 1993, I got a job driving a trash truck. It was manual transmission and I found out I didn’t have to just drive it, but had to do all the pick-up work, too. I was so sore from that. So, I decided to go to truck driving school and get my license.
“My dad was the type of man I wanted to be. He went to work every day. He never took off.”
I’ve driven for several companies before this one. And I drove regional for a while, ‘out and back.’ One day I talked to driver who was an owner operator and he told me how much money he was making. What I always ask myself in a situation is, ‘how can I best benefit my family and me?’ So, in 1994, I decided to buy my first truck: a 1986 cabover Freightliner. And I’ve been an owner operator ever since.
I was leased on to a company in St. Louis and one day I ran into a guy who worked at ACT. I asked him how they were treating him. He had been with ACT a long time and went on and on about them. So, I called ACT and I’m glad I did. The company I was with ran you too hard and expected you to fudge on your log books. I got tired of that and didn’t want to keep running like that.
Great. My family is comfortable, my bills are paid, and my truck is taken care of. They have a great shop and they don’t cheat you or overcharge you. I make ACT a lot of money because my truck stays running. I’m all about making the company shine. I make sure I’m on time with my loads and I know how to manage my time. If we make the customers look good, ACT looks good.
One word: ‘Family.’ They show us they are thankful for our work and sacrifices. Some companies promise you the world. But ACT tells you what they are going to do and then they keep their word. Our freight is great, and it’s mostly drop and hook. The most important things to me are pay and home time and I get both. If I need to get home, they get me there.
I’ve been with ACT for all these years and have never had a pay discrepancy. So many other companies, on Friday you go to get your pay and it’s not right. Always short something. Here, I’ve never had that problem. I don’t like to fight over money, so I would lease on to ACT just for that.
The old truckers from the 1970s taught me a lot. And I would say you need to learn the craft. You can get a wealth of information from other drivers. So learn your craft and master this truck. Be willing to learn something new every day. Get with a company that’s going to keep you rolling, not sitting for days and days. I’m not out here to have fun — I’m out here for my family. Always put your family first. My attitude is that I’ll do whatever this company needs and not cost them any money: from dispatch to deliver. Because when they make money, I make money.
Interested in driving with ACT? Call us today to speak with a recruiter or if you're ready, go ahead and fill out an application.