By Paster Martinez
USCS Driver Transport, Turlock North
After working in the warehousing industry for 20 years, I decided that I wanted something different in my life. So I went to trucking driving school and earned my commercial driver’s license. I’ve now been a truck driver for nine years and enjoy it very much.
I start off the typical day each morning with a “pre-trip” plan and look at my schedule sent from the dispatcher. Then I’m preparing for the day’s run. This means looking at what route is the best to take to my destination to avoid any traffic accidents, weather, road hazards, etc.
After arriving at my destination, I take the same approach (of studying route options, variables) to drive back to my home base or perhaps a US Cold facility. It’s critically important to consider these factors—particularly in the daytime when everybody’s on the road. I want to make sure we all get home—safe.
I can use an iPhone to officially complete the trip and send traditional “paperwork” information to USCS and to our office. Then I park my tractor and do a post-trip review. That’s my typical day.
Perhaps the biggest misconception about truck drivers is that people think “we own the road and the freeways.” Some even think that we have lots of road rage but that’s not the case. Every day, we are just being very cautious because we carry so much weight. Considering the whole load and tractor and connected trailer, you’re looking at about 90,000 pounds in total weight.
Quite honestly, the hardest part of the job is that we often see accidents—and sometimes fatalities—while driving down the freeway. When you’ve been driving for hours on end, those instances make you think and reflect on your life. It’s important—but sometimes not best to let your mind get the best of you so that you’re not overthinking the situation. That’s my opinion.
The most rewarding part of my job is when I accomplish my goals. I set many goals for myself, which are to drive safely, not to get a ticket, and to safely make my appointment on time. Beyond that, I enjoy talking to my customers and co-workers.
It’s been a positive experience to work with United States Cold Storage. It’s nice to be recognized for your accomplishments—to be thanked by my peers, management, and supervisors. They’ll say, “We know you do a fantastic job and thank you for your hard work. We especially appreciate it during this COVID-19 pandemic, which has been a real struggle for so many.”
I am thankful that our customers, co-workers, and management appreciate us as drivers.
#BestinCold #BestinTruckers #ThankYou #EssentialWorkers