The Trucker Spotlight series explores the lives of truckers and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview different truck drivers to understand some life lessons that make them who they are today. We also learn more about their motivations, and the problems that they encounter on the job. We also tackle how Trucker Path’s solutions helped them with what they do. The information that they provide helps inform other people who are looking to delve into the trucking world.Today we are putting the spotlight on Jerry, who’s a driver at FedEx Custom Critical. He also has a Youtube channel called, “Expediter Boogie”, where he talks about the types of things he does in expediting. Let’s get to know more about Jerry and his “expeditions”.
How long have you been trucking?
I have been driving for 11 years all with FedEx Custom Critical and the last 4 of those years I’ve been with HyField Trucking who is a fleet owner leased onto FedEx Custom Critical.
What made you decide to be a trucker?
My mom influenced that decision, she had been driving for 14 years OTR and i was tired of sitting in a cubicle doing the same thing over and over and needed the change. After researching trucking I landed on expediting and thought this would be way better than doing normal long haul. It seemed more exciting and paid more for less work.
In the years that you have been driving, what are the significant changes that you’ve noticed in the trucking industry?
I have noticed many changes, rates dropping compared to earlier years, implementation of electronic logs, trucks getting smarter like the Tesla Truck and technology used on the road getting better. I am happy for the technology changes i believe technology is a driving force to help us truckers in our daily jobs.
What’s the story of you becoming “Expediter Boogie”? Do you also have a name for your truck?
I wanted to start a YouTube channel to talk about the types of things we did in expediting and places we go. Also a lot of people didn’t know what expediting was, so i started the channel. When thinking about what i would call it, I had been called Boogie all my life by my family so i added Expediting to it and came up with The Expediter Boogie.We just got a brand new truck and haven’t thought of a name yet so we are taking suggestions.
Are there times of loneliness while driving? How do you deal with it?
I don’t get lonely on the road. I drive team with my partner of 10 years so i always have someone to talk to and share my day with. I am also a mentor with the company i drive with HyField Trucking. I am always on the phone with my mentees helping them and teaching them the ways of expediting. So I am rarely ever lonely I just stay busy.
As a trucker, what are the current struggles in this COVID19 pandemic?
Definitely the biggest struggle we are facing right now is dealing with the slower freight which in turn is making the rates lower. The other main struggle I find in dealing with Covid-19 is people not taking it serious enough. Not wearing mask and seeming to not care. It makes our job more difficult and having to be out here risking out health on a daily basis to help keep the country moving I just wished more people had more compassion to try and help do their part.
What are your usual routes? Favorite scenic truck route?
We don’t have a usual route, being with Fed Ex Custom Critical we run all 48 states and Canada. I would have to say my favorite area to drive through is I-70 in Colorado. that area is absolutely beautiful and I never get tired of seeing it.
Weirdest or most unusual haul?
At Fed Ex Custom Critical we haul everything from pharmaceuticals to explosives, we even haul priceless art at times. One of the coolest things we hauled was actual artifacts from the Titanic we transported between museums. Another great trip was when we moved 4 different inventions that were made by Benjamin Franklin. You never know what you are going to haul in expediting, which is what makes it fun it is always something different.
How often do you use rest stops / truck stops? What are the things that you look for in a truck stop? Favorite truck stop meal?
We park at truck stops all the time mostly utilizing Loves because that is where we fuel the majority of the time. I love the rewards we get through Loves and it is nice to see them adding more services to their locations. I don’t have a favorite truck stop meal due to we have a custom sleeper and tend to do all our cooking in the truck.
What are the common troubles or problems you encounter while trucking? Pet peeves?
I would say the usual things all us truckers have to deal with like traffic, shippers not being ready on time.I would say my biggest pet peeve while driving is cars cutting you off. Most of them don’t realize just how close they come to causing an accident. It’s not easy stopping this truck quickly and when we have to it causes more headache for us cause everything in our sleeper goes flying.
We’re glad that you use the Trucker Path on your day to day trucking. What features do you enjoy the most?
The biggest thing we enjoy about Trucker Path is the ability to see what truck stops are coming up along our route as well as seeing what other drivers are reporting about upcoming weigh stations and whether or not they are closed or open. Reading the reviews from other drivers is also a big help, like if we want to stop at a Wal-Mart. Being able to quickly see if we are allowed to park there or if we need to talk to the manager is a big help.
What are some tips that you would like to share for aspiring truckers?
I would say do your best and put forth the effort. Don’t just look at trucking as a job, think of it as a career. Don’t fall into all the typical stereotypes of truckers. Put on decent clean clothes when dealing with a shipper or receiver, don’t litter like a lot of drivers do, and just try to take it to the next level. Be proud of what you do on the roads by being a professional driver and keeping America running.