Hello to all my friends, new and old in our world of transportation! I’d like to tell you a little about myself, just in case you thought SRAST-Fast was a product of an engineering mind with no trucking experience.
In the mid-seventies, at the young age of 16, I was employed as an apprentice contract telephone cable splicer. When I hit the “magic” age of 25, I started trying to get into a truck. I’m sure that you have heard, “Be careful what you ask for, you might get it”! In the summer of 1980, I got my chance in a contractor’s truck for ACB Trucking NLR, AR, behind the old Skelley TS. After about a 1 ½ years, I decided that climbing poles all day everyday was a better lifestyle for me. I had a family started, and even though I wasn’t always home during the week, I was home every weekend! As the years went by, life changed. Telephone jobs would end and I would drive until things picked back up in the telephone industry. I ate way too many ” Bingo” hotdogs in those days. I know you older drivers remember the “good ol days” of trucking. What a treat — to pull into a Bingo or King and see that old delapidated trailer house in the middle of a dirt parking lot!!! It was just nice to get out of a spring ride 1978 IH Transtar “B”. (For you younger drivers, that a cabover).
In the early 2000’s, my next wife and I had a transport refrigeration shop near Russellville, AR (I-40 exit 88). Two years later, it was lost due to a major fire on the west end of the building in that complex. I was away, at the time, doing telephone work in MS. (Katrina was a bad girl!!!) After the hurricane, cellular phones had pretty much taken over. (Now I know what it is like to become a dinosaur.) With the telephone industry (as I knew it) dying, the Reefer Shop burned down, now it was time to get back to trucking.
I really don’t know of a better place to be in transportation than Western Arkansas. When I decided to be a truck driver, in earnest, it was time to get my own truck (tried before and failed). I had a small fleet pulling reefers. You get to handle a lot of money, but you don’t get to keep any. I recommend that anyone who wants to try it, by all means do it when you are young! That will give you plenty of time to dig your way out of financial ruin. I have never had my own operating authority, because there were plenty of good companies in my area to work for. Now, it’s a different world. Your customer base is purely 3PL companies. Some of these are great outfits to work with and some will break you. Be very careful!