Pride Driver of the Month: Jerry Reeves
In company where excellence is the norm, it certainly means a great deal to be singled out as someone special. Here at Pride, from time to time, we like to shine a light on one of our employees, show them our appreciation and assure them that we understand that what they do keeps Pride rolling. That’s the reason we have our Driver of the Month Program.
The driver of the month program is that shining light. This program honors a driver who exceeds expectations and truly embodies the culture, the core values and the excellence that makes a driver a Pride driver.
For the month of July our spotlight falls on Mr. Jerry Reeves. Jerry is a driver who hails from Louisiana and has been driving a truck for 6 years, three of those years he’s been driving with Pride.
Jerry is not only a driver he’s a trainer as well. We recently had a chat with Jerry, asked him about his years on the road, his time with Pride and some of the things he likes, dislikes and loves about being a driver. Jerry is smart and soft spoken, but you can hear the passion for driving in his voice and his great love of working with Pride.
What’s your favorite thing about being a truck driver? As we said, Jerry is not only a driver but he’s also a trainer so he’s very active in the company.
“I like being able to interact with the new drivers,” Jerry said, “help them get started and provide them with guidance on how to transport safely. Working with the new driver’s is really exciting.”
Where’s your favorite place to drive? Jerry is mainly an OTR driver so his experience across the country is vast and wide.
“Anywhere east of Iowa,” he tells us, “I love the east coast. I’m from Louisiana and I just love the lakes, the lush greenery and the feel of the east coast, it’s home and I love driving around home.”
Any advice for people who are thinking about getting into truck driving? With 6 years under his belt and being a trainer, Jerry knows his way around the business so he’s a good person to give advice.
“It’s really a great career,” Jerry said, “There’s good money to be made, and sure there are some sacrifices to be made but, you get that with any job. Being on the road, time to yourself, seeing the country, nothing better than that.”
What’s your least favorite part of driving a truck? Because he loves the job so much, it was hard for Jerry to pick out something he didn’t like about it.
“I don’t know,” he said, taking a moment to give the question some thought, “I guess I’d have to say making late night deliveries, like 2 or 3 in the morning. Those can be tough.”
What’s your favorite thing to snack on when you’re on the road? Snacks on the road are big for drivers and they all have a favorite snack to get them across the miles. Jerry is no different and he didn’t hesitate.
“I’m a beef jerky guy,” he said, “no strange meats like turkey or elk or whatever, straight, regular, beef jerky. I love it.”
What do you do to occupy your mind when you’re driving? Drivers do a lot of different things to keep their minds alert and awake when they’re on a route. They’ll listen to podcasts, books on tape or just the radio.
“Well,” Jerry began, “I’m from Louisiana, down south so, I listen to a lot of good country music. That’s my go to. But, sometimes I mix it up with some ‘80’s classic rock as well. But, country music is my sweet spot.”
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen while driving? Drive long enough and you’ll see lifetime of weirdness pass by your windows they say.
“Oh, well,” Jerry says with a chuckle, “there’s some weird stuff going on out on the road, let me try to remember something that’s proper to put in writing. Okay, here’s one, once I saw a pick up truck pulling a trailer that just stopped, right in the middle of the road, no lights on, no hazards, no flares, just parked right in the middle of the road. Maybe you don’t think that’s too weird but, I tell you, when you’re driving down the highway and you come upon something like that, it sticks in your memory.”
What do you love about driving for Pride? Now, Jerry had driven with two other outfits before he joined our Pride team so he certainly has something to compare his experience with Pride to.
“I drove with two other companies,” he says, “not going to say anything bad about them but, with Pride, from day one, I mean first day on the job, they were very open. They say they have an open door policy and that’s not just words. You can talk to anyone, you can go into anyone’s office, the CEO, the CFO and talk to them, you really feel like you’re part of a special family. Like I said, I’m not going to say a word against my former employers but, this family feeling, well, I’ve never felt that anywhere before I started driving for Pride.”
What have you learned about being a driver that you never would have known unless you were a truck driver? Driving isn’t just a job, it’s really a way of life and being on the road, if you’re smart and observant, like Jerry, the road can be an education.
“More than anything else, the most important thing is that you’ve got to be a defensive driver,” he told us, “most people driving along in their little cars have no idea what it takes to maneuver a truck. It’s not as simple as swerving out of the way or hitting the breaks. It’s heavy, unwieldy piece of machinery that takes time and skill to master. So, basically, now and again, you have to stay on top of it and save some careless driver’s life because they don’t know and they don’t care. I wish more drivers understood this but, doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen anytime soon so, if you want to get home in one piece at the end of a run, you’ve got to be a good, alert, defensive driver. I’ve learned that.”
What is your Pride? This is a question we’ve been asking ourselves and each other lately. What is your Pride, is it your truck, you’re skill at maintenance, you’re exceptional driver support skills? We asked our driver of the month and this is what he told us;
“My Pride?” Jerry allowed the question to sit for a moment before he answered. “You know, I’d have to say my Pride is that fact that I was told, when I was hired, that this is family company, that I wasn’t just joining a trucking company, I was joining this … this tight family. Now, people will say a lot of things when they’re trying to get you to sign on and, honestly, I just figured this was part of the pitch, but, it’s not, it’s the way this company operates day in and day out. My Pride is that I work for a company that says they are family, says they have an open door policy and they really mean it.”
Thanks, Jerry. We appreciate you taking time to talk to us and we really appreciate all you do driving and training drivers for us, you make us great.
Check back each month and meet the next drive of the month, learn something about what it’s like driving a truck and maybe, you’ll discover what your Pride is.