Embracing the Long Haul: What’s the Good for Owner Operators05/23/2023
Owner Operator of the Month – May 2023 – Kirby06/28/2023
Meet the Drivers of Trailer Transit
Owner Operator Profile: David M.
Meet David M., a seasoned truck driver with over 43 years of experience under his belt. Join our team and experience the benefits of working alongside a true industry professional.
Meet this Owner Operator
David was raised as “a sort of farm kid,” the son of a Baptist minister turned correctional officer and was the youngest of 6 siblings who “grew up like an only child from age 8.” David started driving because his uncle was also a truck driver. His first haul was subbing for his cousin hauling sterilized milk tankers; “they’re not baffled so you learn to be extra careful,” he said.
Though he has been driving since 1980 as both a company driver and an owner operator, David is proudly going on his 7th year as a part of the Trailer Transit family. At Trailer Transit, Inc., David found not just a job, but a supportive and tight-knit community where he feels right at home. And we want you to be a part of it too!
Meet His Peterbilt 587
One remarkable aspect of David’s career is his dedication to maintaining top-notch equipment. In 2012, he made the decision to purchase a brand-new custom truck. With the help of an exceptional salesman, he found the perfect Peterbilt 587 that fulfilled all but one requirement he had. Affectionately known as “The Duck,” this truck has traveled an impressive 1,927,000 miles (as of his April interview) and remains in excellent condition. David’s wife worked with him on the road, driving the first half million miles! David’s commitment to quality extends to all aspects of his work, ensuring that he delivers with the utmost professionalism.
The Importance of Trusted Maintenance & Repair Shops
Throughout his extensive career, David has faced numerous challenges on the road, including a costly power steering pump failure that left him stranded in Vegas for over three weeks. He highly recommends the smaller repair shops and has made himself a network of reliable mom and pop shops across the country, from Florida to Idaho. David knows the importance of finding the best care for his truck, especially as an owner operator. His experience has taught him the value of seeking out local shops that go the extra mile to get him back on the road quickly.
Experience & Embracing Challenges in Power Only Driving
Over the years, he gained valuable experience hauling for the dairy, hauling a carnival, and working for various companies including Burlington Motor Company and CFI. This diverse background allowed David to develop a wide skill set and adapt to different types of hauls. From freight to equipment and even specialized loads like Disney shows, Supercross events, military simulators, and monster trucks, David has done it all.
He particularly enjoys oversized hauls due to the challenges they present and the higher compensation they offer. His love for a challenge has awarded him some of his favorite jobs, and a few routes he’d rather not travel again! He had this to say about load and route options, “There were very few times I ever had to do a haul I hated. At Transit, it’s always something different, you never get into a rut, because there are no ruts here.”
His Job: Past vs. Present
At Trailer Transit, David has found a fulfilling work environment that values strong relationships and treats drivers with respect. He values the fair treatment of the drivers and appreciates the support of Transit’s dispatch system, which helps him find convenient and worthwhile jobs that suit his preferences. Plus, the camaraderie among drivers and the close bond between the office staff and drivers create a sense of family that sets Trailer Transit apart.
Working at previous companies, he’s had some disappointing experiences with past management, as many drivers have, including unrealistic time schedules with no room for unexpected or unavoidable mishaps, or pay or insurance structures that started out good and didn’t stay that way. At Trailer Transit, he doesn’t have to worry about any of that. “If I’m in this truck, I’m not home. If I’m not home, I need to be generating income. All Transit wants to know is when you’re going to be there; you can drive as easy or hard as you want.”
Life on the Road
Outside of work, David enjoys listening to audiobooks during his drives and staying updated on weather conditions, especially during the winter months when his expertise in winter driving is highly valued. David understands the importance of solidarity among truckers and the power of shared knowledge and support. David also takes advantage of technology, like fully utilizing Google Maps to find accurate truck entrance locations to ensure smooth deliveries.
Though trucking can sometimes be a solitary profession, David makes the most of the camaraderie he establishes with other drivers along the way. When his wife used to join him on the road, they also took along their dog and cat, but now chooses a more rigorous driving schedule that he says “wouldn’t be fair to the animals.”
When it comes to favorite destinations, David has a few hidden gems up his sleeve. Places like the Dancing Eagle Casino in New Mexico and Little America in Wyoming hold a special place in his heart because the people are still friendly and the service is still good. “They just take good care of the drivers.” He avoids crowded truck stops, preferring quality experiences at the tried and true, smaller stops. When the “barely-known” stops aren’t an option, Petros and TAs are less utilized by corporate trucking companies, thereby having fewer inexperienced drivers to contend with.
David likes running the northwest in the summer, but throughout his career, he was often sent through the winter months because he’s good at winter driving. “I made a deal with Trailer Transit: same number of winter hauls as summer hauls up to that area. It’s worked out pretty good I think.” He’s always up for an adventure! “I’ll go anywhere though, really. I hauled up to Alaska… in October. I’m glad I got to go up there, but it’s not the best time, honestly. I didn’t even get to really see the northern lights. You can see them better in Minnesota!”
Driving with Trailer Transit, Inc.
David realized, back in 2018, that he’s happy to continue to drive with Trailer Transit, Inc. until he’s ready to give up driving. He laughed when he said, “… I’m going to retire from TT – or they’re going to fire me!” But either way, he appreciates the variety and excitement that comes with each assignment and remains committed to delivering his loads safely and efficiently.
In a nutshell, David M. is an experienced truck driver who knows the ins and outs of the industry. His commitment to excellence, learning, and establishing good relationships make him an invaluable asset to Trailer Transit and a respected figure among fellow truckers.
A few final thoughts from David:
- “If you don’t know, ask. We, drivers, will always help each other out.”
- “Trailer Transit is organized, and experienced; they’ve been in the business long enough. And I don’t use my truck number when calling in anymore, they know me by my name, we’re pretty much like a family here.”
Ready to hit the road alongside David? Join our team at Trailer Transit, Inc. and experience the professional and friendly atmosphere we’ve created. We can’t wait to welcome you to our family!