by Pride Transport | Mar 01, 2019
Here at Pride Transport, we have the finest drivers on the road today. Our drivers are the heart of our operation and we know that we’d be nothing without them. Each one is unique and important to us but, now and then, we like to acknowledge a driver that stands out, goes the extra distance and is worthy of special recognition by his fellow drivers. That’s why we created the Driver of the Month Program.
For the month of February, we have chosen David Foster, who has been driving with us for 3 years. David is also a driver trainer for Pride.
Dave has had an interesting life, he joined the army when he was 17 and when he got out, he didn’t have the skills he needed to get steady work. He was actually homeless living with his pregnant girlfriend in his pickup truck. David is a driven and resourceful man. He was in Shelbyville, Tennessee looking for work when he saw a man get out of a car wearing a T-Shirt that said Ron Dixon Metal Fabrication and the man’s shirt had Ron written on the pocket. Dave just assumed he was the owner and he asked him for work. He said he’d do anything, he just needed some money. Mr. Dixon let him clean up the shop and had him come back the next day. Well, Dave did such a good job, he worked for Ron for 12 years. He learned mechanics, how to weld and problem-solving, and much more. Skills that have taken him far. But, Dave always wanted to be a truck driver, he just never acted on it. After moving to Vegas and working in a metal fabrication shop he says he got tired of being dirty and he went to driving school. He got out and immediately went to work for us here at Pride.
David Foster, Driver of the Month
We’re sure there’s a lot that you love about being on the road, but what’s your favorite thing about being a truck driver?
“Seeing the country. Seeing different parts of the country, different landscapes and such. But, honestly, the thing I really love about driving a truck is the money. Last year, my third year driving, I made $96,000. That’s not too bad for doing something you love. In my first year, I made $ 65,000. The money is really good. Also, I like that I can bring my kids along with me in the summertime. I have two sons, 11 and 13, and we live in Vegas so they get to see grass and trees, mountains and forests when they ride along with me. I think that’s great for them and I love having them along with me.”
It’s a big country and I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of it but, do you have a particular place you really like driving?
“Pennsylvania. I love the farmland, the trees, the rivers, and the mountains. It’s such a clean, beautiful state. Fresh air and history. There is so much of the history of this country in the cities and towns of Pennsylvania. I just love driving there.”
Being a first-time driver can be tough, do you have any advice for people who are thinking about getting into truck driving?
“Give yourself time. Take time to see how the planners and the dispatchers work. How the company operates. The longer you do it, the easier it gets. It’s tough at first but, if you breathe, take time, listen and understand all parts of the company, you’re going to be fine. You can’t just be concerned about yourself. You need to know how you work into the company and what everyone brings to the company and then you’ll feel your fit.”
What’s your least favorite part of driving a truck? It’s probably hard to think of something, but if you had to choose one thing.
“Being alone. Being alone is the very worst part of this job. That’s the only thing I don’t like about this job, the only thing. It’s great when my kids are with me but … I hope to find someone, a nice lady to spend my time with, that would make life a lot better. But, for now, I stay focused on the work, being the best driver I can and hope for the best.”
What do you listen to when you’re driving, any particular music or podcasts?
“Road Dog Trucking on SiriusXM, in particular, I like Keith Rutherford. He talks about the industry and he talks mechanics, truck engines, he talks about the whole truck, I find that really interesting. When I’m not listening to that then it’s Willie’s Roadhouse, pure country classics.”
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen while driving? When being out on the road is your job, you’re bound to see some questionable things.
“It’s the weather. Thundersnow. Have you ever seen thundersnow? I’ve seen it twice now, once in Nebraska and once in Wyoming. Clear night, stars are out and then all of sudden these clouds roll in and I start seeing a ton of lighting then, a wall of rain that turned to sleet and then into driving snow in a matter of a hundred yards. To be honest, it was kind of terrifying.”
You’ve been with us for three years, what do you love about driving for Pride?
“There’s a lot of reasons but number one, my phone doesn’t ring. No one is micromanaging me, no one is telling me when to sleep when to eat. I get my load and they trust me to do my work. I really like that. The other thing is my relationship with my dispatcher, James Wilson, we all call him Jimmy Neutron. He is so great, I just love this guy. He says thank you, he cares, sends me loads in advance so I can plan. He is just great. It hards to explain but, believe me, when you have a great dispatcher, like Jimmy Neutron, it makes work so much better. Here’s something else I like; when they call me they ask will you, can you, do you want to? It's never; go to and do it. They are very, very respectful of their drivers. This isn’t just a sales pitch on the website, they really do care about their drivers and they put us first. It’s a very family, very respectful place to work.”
What have you learned about being a driver that you never would have known unless you were a truck driver?
“I have learned how many people text and drive, watch videos and drive or Facebook and drive. The statistic is 6 out of 10 but, I have seen it with my own eyes and I know it’s more like 9 out of 10. People have no idea how dangerous it is. Some of them hold their phones right up in front of themselves, but most people keep it down on their lap like they’re fooling anyone. Don't do it. Seriously, just don’t.”
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, your skill at maintenance, your exceptional driver support skills? What makes you proud to be a part of the Pride family?
“I’ve never been late. We can be late picking up but you’re never, ever supposed to be late to drop off. Well, I have never been late once in my three years working here.”
Thanks, Dave for taking the time to chat with us!
“Can I just add one more thing? I really want to stress how much I appreciate and respect my D.M. James Wilson. My son gave him the nickname Jimmy Neutron and it just stuck. But, James is so good at his job, he’s so professional and kind, he’s just a really great human being and he makes my job so much better and easier, I really wanted to say thanks to him.”
Well thanks, Dave, I’m sure Jimmy Neutron appreciates your kind words. Check back each month and meet the next driver of the month, learn something about what it’s like driving a truck and maybe, you’ll discover what your Pride is.