How did you get started in this career?
I got into ready mix in 2002, working for the City of Houston; we would load our trucks at a ready-mix plant. After over a year of going there every day to load the trucks, the plant manager asked me to come work for them, and that’s how I got into this business. I’ve worked in all different aspects of this industry – I’ve worked in quality control, trained, batched, been a senior plant operator, a manager, and a driver. So I’ve seen it all.
What have you learned in your years in the business?
I learned along the way that a company is nothing without its people. Respect plays a big part in any business, but especially truck driving and ready mix concrete. Every customer is different, but you approach everything with the same set of values. We’ve got to respect our customers and act with integrity and transparency to create a strong relationship with them. It’s things like this that have helped me excel in my role as a driver.
What do you enjoy about the job?
I enjoy driving because it has a quality of singularity to it, and it’s got an aspect of teamwork. If I do my job to the best of my ability, and then everybody just follows suit – the dispatchers, the batch man, the manager – the system works great. It’s orchestrated, kind of like a ballet, with everyone doing their part. I enjoy the adventure of getting out and doing the loads, and seeing different people and dealing with our customers.
Any advice for new drivers?
The first thing I think about every day when I leave my house is, I don’t want to hurt anyone on the road when I’m driving. The second thing is, I don’t want to hurt myself. The third thing is, I want to deliver the product the way the customer asked. Keeping my focus on these priorities is what guides me and enables me to stay safe when I’m out on the road.
And in terms of driving – a ready mix truck is a top-heavy vehicle with a liquid load. It basically drives like a car, but you just have to respect it. Don’t drive it into uncertain situations, and don’t force it to do more than it was engineered for.
Anything you’d like to share about yourself?
In terms of my background, I went to Southwest Texas and the University of Houston. I’ve owned four businesses and spent nine years in management and logistics for Kraft. I work hard every day and I enjoy life.