Professional drivers value the simple things from their truck stops—clean restrooms and shower facilities, ample parking, and great food they can’t get anywhere else. Moreover, while these amenities will always be in high demand, there are other more unique features of a truck stop that give it that little something extra that makes us want to come back. As busy interstate exits become more and more corporatized, the beloved “mom and pop,” independent truck stops appear to be in decline in 2019. These independent truck stops have lost ground to the newer, shinier truck stops run by corporate chains, but have instituted various attractions and amenities to set themselves apart. We’ve searched high and low to go over the top and bring you the coolest truck stops in America.
Roane Transportation is known for its transportation services throughout the Southeast and country-wide. Their fleet consists of almost 100 Peterbilt and Freightliner trucks and keeping those trucks on the road is a vital part of the everyday operations within the company. Our latest interviewee was with Jesse Nelson, the Head of the Parts Room. Jesse is tasked with ensuring that mechanics have the parts they need to keep Roane’s tractor trailers on the road. We spent a few moments talking with Mr. Nelson, gathered insight on his work day and family life, and here is what we learned.
Trucker drivers in America ensure that all the goods consumers enjoy arrive at the right place at the right time. Few people understand this symbiotic relationship better than Jason Shelton, a professional driver who drives over-the-road, and who is also tasked with making sure that the men of the University of Tennessee have all their equipment for every home game. We caught up with Jason on his way to deliver a load in South Point, OH, to talk to him about his career as a professional driver and what he likes best about driving at Roane Transportation.
For individuals who are just beginning their trucking careers or for those who aren’t professional drivers, trucking industry lingo can be somewhat bemusing. One of the more confusing aspects that this article aims to clear up is the difference between national, regional, and local trucking and to clarify the different names associated with each form of truck driving work.
The fear of advances in technology taking over human jobs dates back to the 18th century when workers secretly destroyed looms and other factory machinery. Workers during the first and second industrial revolutions were of the impression that automated equipment threatened the jobs and livelihoods of skilled workers. While it is true that some posts did fall by the wayside, many more jobs were either created or transformed into something different entirely while also improving living conditions for hundreds of thousands of people.
Maintaining successful business operations involves several factors being taken into consideration all at once. Oftentimes office personnel who work behind the scenes work diligently to ensure the details of the company mission and vision are in order. One of those roles includes Human Resources, and more specifically the duties of payroll and benefits. Without these, it would be impossible to sustain employees. And not many people do their human resources, payroll, and benefits job with as much heart as Michele Main, Payroll and Benefits Coordinator at Roane Transportation who exemplifies what it means to have love for your work.
Truck driving is more of an encompassing lifestyle, rather than a career. Solitude, freedom, and flexibility are guaranteed parts of the job. As, Eleanor Roosevelt stated, “with great freedom comes great responsibility.” This is true when living the OTR life, as the freedoms are present as is the responsibility associated with the freedom of the road.
The adage, “drive when you have to, sleep when you can,’ used to run through the trucking industry. However, the risk of driving drowsy is very dangerous and poses a threat to everyone on the road. It is even against the law for a trucker to drive longer than required hours to prevent fatigue. Getting enough quality sleep ensures safety and well-being for all while driving a tractor-trailer for long hours. Therefore, maintaining a routine is important and below we offer some ways to maintain adequate sleep while driving long hours at a time.
Nighttime temperatures are beginning to drop, and as cold weather appears on the horizon we want truckers to stay healthy. We have three suggestions that can add safety and fit easily into a trucker’s daily routine to keep the muscles and skeleton limber and ready for any movement.
Professional Truck Drivers have a large amount of time to think and contemplate life on the road. Not many individuals, however, demonstrate the insightfulness and mindfulness of Terry Hodges, a flatbed, OTR truck driver for the Roane Transportation family who has a great outlook on life. We talked with Terry as he stopped for the night just outside the port of Baltimore to ask some questions about what it’s like to be a truck driver, what he likes about his current truck driving company, and to get to know him in greater detail.