Truck Driver Appreciation Week – Meet Gilberto, Belly Dump Truck Driver

It’s Truck Driver Appreciation Week! In our business, nothing happens without our drivers. To show our gratitude, we’re shining a light on a few incredible drivers. Keep reading to learn more about Gilberto, a belly dump truck driver.

How did you get your start driving?

Driving is something I came into later. I was working for a waste management company at one point but wanted a change. I’d always wanted to be a truck driver, so I finally got my dream and my career going about 7 years ago when I went to get my CDL. That’s how I started my new career as a truck driver.

I originally went to the job corps to do masonry work, but an uncle of mine who was a truck driver persuaded me. One day I told him, “I’m going to be a truck driver. Not to follow in your footsteps but because I want to be one.” And finally, my dream came true, years later. And here we are!

It was a challenging experience to get my CDL, but overall it came out to a good conclusion, and here I am. I consider myself a pretty good driver. No tickets, no accidents in seven years that I’ve been driving. You just got to watch out for the other drivers out there and keep your eyes open.

What do you love about the job?

I enjoy the scenery; it’s different scenery every day. I enjoy the new people I get to meet, plus all the other drivers. I love my truck. My truck is a Kenworth 880, brand new. It’s got about 40,000 miles on it. She’s the beast. I love it! You can maneuver pretty good around certain things, and it makes me feel like I’m on top of the world when I’m in it.

I just love doing this, it’s an awesome job.

Any advice for those considering a career in driving?

If you’re going to come into this profession, don’t come into it like you’re going to be one of the best drivers right off the bat, and you’re not going to be afraid of these trucks. You have to come in here with a great attitude and a strong knowledge of the truck and what it can do.

Don’t come in here thinking you’re just going to get in one of these trucks and drive away. You have to take control of these things. If not, you can hurt somebody real bad. It’s important to come in here with confidence that you can achieve your goals, just don’t be cocky.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Austin, I’ve been married 34 years, and I have 14 grandkids. I met my wife at Gary Job Corps in 1987, and we’re still together running strong. We have three beautiful daughters and a son.

I love swimming, barbecuing, working on cars and just being with family and enjoying my grandkids. I do this job for them, because my grandkids, they light up when they see my truck around town. You should see their faces, it’s so wonderful.