Like many in the industry, owner-operator Emil Dixson grew up around trucking. His stepdad was a truck driver, which led him to his first driving experience. “As soon as I turned 18, we were in California, and he decided to turn on cruise control going down the 210 and jump in the back. I’ve been in love with it ever since.”
Emil took some time off from trucking after getting married and having children, but he’s been back at it for the last 15 years. He’s driven OTR through all 48 states and Canada and loves it just as much as that first day behind the wheel.
What do you love most about being in the trucking industry?
Being your own boss. I’ve had a lot of jobs in my lifetime, but as soon as I got into trucking again, it just felt like it was me. I like the open road; it’s a challenge. You’ve got to go from point A to B, and you’ve got 11 hours to drive. I love a challenge, which is why I started my own business with my own trucks.
What is the most challenging part of the work that you do?
Dealing with the 4-wheelers. A lot of them don’t understand what we do out there on the road. It’s 80,000 pounds and we can’t stop on a dime. There’s a lot of them that like to play with us, like go in front of us and stop. That’s what gets us most irritated. Another challenge is trying to find the right drivers because finding the right drivers makes you successful. It’s harder now than it was.
You’ve been using Uber Freight for about 6 months. What do you like about it?
You can pick your own loads. It’s easier to find out backhauls, too. It’s quick and efficient. Now that I’ve gotten into dispatching, it’s going to be even more fun.
What advice would you give someone who’s just getting into trucking?
Do the numbers. In the industry of trucking, it’s all about the numbers. Make sure that what you’re going to make is going to cover all those bills. And then enjoy life! That’s a little harder for owner-operators because you’ve got to struggle a little bit. At the same time, you can do it. It’s just trip-planning and making sure the numbers are right.
What are your hopes for the future of the trucking industry?
I’m hoping that we can start turning out better people. A lot of times I hear a dad tell a son, “It’s not worth it. Don’t do it.” In all honesty, if you like to travel, trucking is a perfect spot. You get to go anywhere you want to and get paid for it. You take 34-hour resets wherever you want to. It’s total freedom. I took my wife on an anniversary trip on the truck to Niagara Falls. I got the load up there, and it paid for my travels. Saw Niagara Falls for the weekend and took her back home.
The views expressed in this post are solely of the individual being feature. Experiences may vary.