Owner Operator of the Month – June 2023 – Kevin07/19/2023
Owner Operator of the Month – July 2023 – Omar08/25/2023
Owner Operator Profile: Sammy W.
Meet the Drivers of Trailer Transit, Inc.
Sammy W. is a seasoned Owner Operator with over 25 years of driving experience under his belt. He’s been part of the Trailer Transit family for over 9 years.
Meet the Owner Operator
Sammy served 20 years in the Navy and then Coast Guard before starting work in boatyards. His transition from boat maintenance was influenced by a friend who wisely pointed out that with trucking, you have air conditioning when it’s hot and you can be warm and dry when it’s cold and raining. That buddy also said that there are just two sides to trucking: you either love it or you hate it, and Sammy is definitely a member of the “love it” camp.
Sammy’s truck driving career began with a well-known trucking company, where he went through their driving school, primarily handling dry van shipments. He then transitioned to flatbed hauling for a different company, gaining two and a half years of valuable experience. When he tired of having to break the snow and ice from his flatbed loads in colder climates, he returned to boats. For 15 years he hauled boats to dealerships across the US and Canada until the economy crashed in 2008 and the demand for “high-priced toys” fell. His final years of transporting new boats was mostly spent on roads up to Canada because the Canadian dollar was stronger at that time.
Company Driver vs. Power Only
Once layoffs began, Sammy went to another large company with their lease-purchase program. As he put it, “eventually romance kicks in” and he returned to South Carolina to be a local truck driver in order to have more time for his personal life. But going back to being a company driver after having the independence of power-only proved challenging. It didn’t take long before he was tired of the late-night loading and forced dispatch that sent him to tight city spaces. Then he heard about Trailer Transit, Inc.
Sammy had already started a search for a used truck to buy. On a friend’s recommendation, he got in touch with a recruiter at Trailer Transit and, after several conversations with Audrey, asked for the application, was checked out, and signed on. He then went on with purchasing his Kenworth W900 from a small local shop in eastern NC, which he paid off in two years’ time.
Hauling Life at Trailer Transit
On April 1st, 2014, Sammy joined other owner operators at Trailer Transit with the ability to choose his hauls, work with an understanding and hardworking dispatch team, and have a variety of loads to haul. He values the opportunity to transport everything from military simulators to shows like Disney on Ice and Cirque du Soleil.
What sets Trailer Transit apart for Sammy? He praises the company for their transparency about pay, miles, and options, as well as how hard they work to make sure deadhead time is kept to a minimum. He understands that the transportation industry can be unpredictable because of election years, the economy, and fluctuating freight demands, but Trailer Transit’s honesty and respect and appreciation for its drivers never changes
Choosing a Company to Drive With
Sammy didn’t have any specific “deal breakers” to mention when he was considering signing on with Transit, but he did say that being able to have honest and upfront communication with recruiters made his decision an easy one. He also stressed that word-of-mouth recommendations are very important when finding a transport company to join. It makes a big difference.
During his orientation, he talked with the dispatch team about what routes looked like. He joked, “I’ve left nothing in any of the provinces of Canada that I need to go find.” Sammy has not taken any loads across the northern border since he started driving with Trailer Transit. They have plenty of jobs in the other parts of the US so he doesn’t need to worry about a passport!
What’s Good on the Road
As a power-only driver, Sammy plans out his routes. He prefers TA Petro truck stops over all the others for the best fuel discounts and the security of guaranteed parking. His travels have taken him all over the country, from the upper plains of Wyoming and Montana, across the expanses of Oklahoma and Texas (where he makes sure to stop at Bubba’s BBQ). He remembers driving a load through OK and thinking about what it was like for people in the 1800s exploring that part of the country for the first time; their experiences with the Native Americans and the buffalo herds.
Navigation was much different when Sammy started driving professionally. There was no GPS. Drivers were using maps to find the best routes and calling customers to verify how to best access their drop points. If you talk with him, he still sounds fond of his maps, but he says that GPS is one of several tools that definitely helps. Especially when the shortest route is not always the fastest.
So, Owner Operators, if you’re looking for an established company that values your input, respects your choices, and offers an array of benefits and exciting hauls, just like Sammy, Trailer Transit, Inc. is the team for you. As Sammy puts it, “If I’d known about Trailer Transit when I first got started, it would have been here from the beginning. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. That’s how I look at it.” To learn more or to contact us, visit our website today.