It’s hard to believe that the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) has come and gone. We spent our time in Louisville learning from the trucking community and re-energizing ourselves to continue our work empowering carriers and shippers. From owner-operators to small fleet owners, we’re sharing the stories of some of the old friends and new faces we met at MATS 2019.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Role in the industry: Owner-operator (and team drives with his wife)
Has been coming to MATS: Since 1998
What brought you to MATS this year?
We are independent contractors now, which means we own our own truck and trailer. We’re trying to see what people have to offer for that side of the business. We’re just out here asking questions and seeing what’s new in the industry.
What are you most excited to see at MATS this year?
I’m always excited to see everything about the industry. I’ve been doing this for going on 26 years. New technology, new trucks, the Pride and Polish, and all the freight booths that are out here, such as Uber. I like seeing who’s all in the game.
If you’re talking to someone who’s trying to break into the trucking industry, what advice would you give them?
My advice would be put the money above everything else. Don’t get me wrong, safety’s first, but sometimes you have a wife and kids at home and you’re trying to be a trucker and do a family at the same time. It just doesn’t work and get the experience. You can’t get the experience in the city, so you go over the road. When I say over the road, you might spend seven months out of your life on the road. You have to be able to leave your family to make the money so you support your family.
What’s your view on the future of the trucking industry?
I don’t believe in automation. Maybe because I’m 50-something years old and I can’t see a semi truck going down the road without a driver and running over my family. You know, you got to have somebody to blame. That’s the harsh reality of trucking. They haven’t put these trucks through every scenario.
What do you love most about the work that you do?
Being my own boss. Being with my wife, first of all. She’s with me now. After 25 years of being by myself, she came on board a couple of years ago so that was the best thing. Let me just tell the truth: being king of the road. Just being out there on my own with no boss looking over my shoulder. Being able to take breaks when I want to without asking somebody. Meeting new people along the way. Be it good or bad, in the course of a day, me and my wife meet about seven people. Some of them are good, some of them aren’t. I like meeting good people.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the individual being featured. Experiences may vary.