Owner Operator of the Month – August 2023 – Bill09/22/2023
Owner Operator of the Month – September 2023 – Angela10/24/2023
Meet the Drivers of Trailer Transit
Owner Operator Profile: Neal C.
Meet this Owner Operator
Meet Neal C., a seasoned trucker who’s been on the road since 1979. Neal’s journey into trucking was deeply rooted in his family, as his father and brothers were also part of the trucking world. He started his career outside the trucking industry, working in oil fields in Louisiana and North Dakota before making a full-time commitment to life on the road. Here you will learn a little more about Neal, his life on the job, and what he likes about being an owner-operator with Trailer Transit, Inc.
Family Roots and Trucking Beginnings
Neal’s introduction to the trucking world was almost inevitable, given that his father and one of his brothers truly enjoyed the profession and eventually retired from it. Before joining Trailer Transit, he was a company driver in a range of industries where he gained experience as a lead driver and trainer/instructor.
Neal’s connection with Trailer Transit began long before he officially joined the company. In 1999, while working in the concert industry in Minneapolis, one of the company’s trucks broke down, which led to a call down to Porter, Indiana for assistance. This initial interaction planted a seed in his mind, even though he hadn’t expected to join the company at that time.
The TT Opportunity: From Company Driver to Owner-Operator
When Neal was working as a company/fleet driver, he found himself at a crossroads. The previous company he had worked for, specializing in sand and gravel in Las Vegas, had to close its doors due to the economic downturn in 2008. He signed on with another company, but it wasn’t a satisfying experience. After a long visit with an old friend, who was working with Trailer Transit, encouraged him to apply.
Trailer Transit’s reputation for quality service meant that they had experience requirements, but they took a chance on Neal. At the time, he had never been an owner-operator, but he had experience as a truck boss. He took a leap of faith by applying, believing that he could potentially earn more money and have more control over his routes and schedule. This decision turned out to be a pivotal moment in Neal’s career, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Neal's Rig: A Reliable Companion on the Road
Neal’s power-only journey began with a used 2009 International Pro-star, which he leased from a company in Colorado. It had previously been a fleet truck and almost identical to what he was used to driving. Its familiarity and reliability were major selling points for Neal. He knew he could rely on it and handle any issues that might arise during his travels.
While the truck has been well-maintained and remains in good shape, it’s now too old to meet California’s stringent restrictions, limiting Neal’s hauls into the state. This has occasionally caused him to miss out on preferred jobs, like the first five races of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross with his buddy and fellow Trailer Transit driver, David M. Although he considers upgrading to a newer truck, he’s on the fence because this faithful truck has been a “gift from God” throughout his journey with Trailer Transit.
Driving with Trailer Transit: The Good Stuff
One of Neal’s greatest joys about driving with Trailer Transit is the opportunity to work with Supercross, hauling trailers that are recognized by fans. He loves the excitement of kids on the road, asking him to honk the horn as they pass by.
Neal’s has gotten to experience incredible destinations, including Alaska. His father was part of the Alaskan Highway crew. “It was my dream to run the highway my dad built.” Trailer Transit provided him with the opportunity to fulfill that lifelong dream.
When asked about hauls he would have skipped or would never take again, he said there are no places he doesn’t want to go. He takes every job as a challenge and enjoys figuring out his routes. He did say that he’s glad that the days of dead-heads without pay are behind him and that he’s “happy to never have to haul general freight again.”
On the other hand, here are a few destinations that Neal would like to drive to: Key West, Florida – he’s been down to the Florida Keys, ridden Highway 1 on motorcycles, but he’d like to make that drive in his rig. He could then say that he’s hauled the furthest reaches of the continental United States! “Oh, and they just laugh at me when I say I’d love to take a load to Honolulu someday!”
The TT Difference: A Family of Drivers
Neal has an undying trust in Trailer Transit, Inc. and views the company as more than just an employer. He appreciates the company’s, and their customers’ leniency and support for drivers with travel companions, namely his wife and his beloved Shih Tzu. This flexibility is a testament to Trailer Transit’s commitment to its drivers’ well-being.
In addition to the company’s accommodating policies, Neal finds that Trailer Transit treats its drivers like family. They consistently go above and beyond to support drivers in their personal and professional lives. Whether it’s adjusting load schedules to accommodate personal commitments or helping drivers achieve their desired routes, it has proven to be a company that cares deeply about its team.
Neal on the Road
Neal’s eleven-year career with Trailer Transit has formed what it means to be a professional driver. He emphasizes the importance of treating every load as if it were his own and being a cautious and courteous driver. He takes pride in representing not only Trailer Transit but also the AMA Supercross when he’s pulling one of their billboard-like trailers.
While trucking can be a challenging and solitary profession, Neal has found solace in prayer, trusting in the Lord for guidance and protection. If you were to see Neal at a truck stop when he’s on the job, you’ll recognize him by his BBQ and lawn chairs – he’ll even have an empty chair for you. When many other drivers pull in, close the curtains, and never get out of the cab, Neal prefers to get out and find a good conversation!
Neal would tell any owner operator not to miss the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC and Niagara Falls if you have the opportunity. Other recommends:
- White’s Travel Center on I-81 in Virginia
- Iowa 80 Truckstop – near where he grew up
- Milan Dog Park, New Mexico
With Trailer Transit, the time constraints on jobs aren’t so tight that you can’t stop and enjoy sites along the way.
Neal’s eleven years driving with Trailer Transit is a testament to the company’s commitment to its drivers’ success and well-being. He appreciates the variety of loads, variety of destinations, and challenges. He values the relationships he has built with both Trailer Transit, Inc. and industry peers, forming friendships that extend beyond the road.
If you’re looking for a power only career and experience like Neal’s, visit our website and give us a call to join the Trailer Transit family!