CDL Drivers are in high demand these days. In our fast-paced world, the need to get products or equipment from point A to point B quickly and efficiently is paramount to the success of many businesses and our economy. Whether they’re hauling food, clothing, furniture or other consumer goods; moving construction equipment to job sites; or operating heavy equipment and trucks at the job site, truck drivers are now and have always been essential workers. At Grade Tech, we rely on our truck drivers not only to haul dirt, but to get our equipment into place at job sites throughout the Western United States. Our truckers are essential to our business – without them, we can’t do our jobs. In the past, truckers were often portrayed negatively by popular culture. According to United Truck Driving School, the American public undermined the professional career and stereotyped truckers as dirty, foul-mouthed, uneducated, overweight people that drive slow trucks and care little about their jobs.* Today, however, the public is realizing what we’ve known all along – truckers are the backbone which keeps our society and our economy humming. Drivers take pride in their trucks, their careers and the service they provide for others. There are many compelling reasons to become a truck driver. Job opportunity/demand, steady work and benefits, and freedom of the road immediately come to mind. But for many – and that includes Grade Tech’s truckers – the pride in the job and the camaraderie found both on the road and as a member of the company team are the main attractions. For David Barlow, the newest trucker to join the Grade Tech team, becoming a trucker was a no-brainer. “I look good going down the road in a nice truck. I was born and raised in this. You show up, do a good job and feel like a bad-ass doing it,” he says, explaining what drew him to the profession. David goes on to explain the feeling he gets behind the wheel, “There’s nothing in the world like having 525 horse power under your hood and 120k in average weight. You’re the road bully; you have the power and they respect you if you have an oversize load sign.” Whether they are transport drivers, dump truck drivers or Class A or B tanker drivers, David and his fellow Grade Tech haulers take pride in their jobs and in their rigs. Our drivers are known for clean, well-kept trucks and for attention to detail. For instance, our dump truck drivers always do a pre-trip walk-around before starting a job. And they know that, in turn, Grade Tech understands the need to maintain a fleet of up-to-date, well-maintained vehicles. The investment in equipment and support given to our drivers is one of the many perks of working for Grade Tech. “GT allows you to customize your rig and make it your own. The owners always make sure we have what we need to complete our jobs and drive our trucks with pride,” David explains. When it comes to a building a career and earning a good living, Grade Tech supports our drivers with competitive pay, medical, dental and retirement benefits (after 60 days of employment), Paid Time Off (PTO) and Paid Holidays (7 annual), as well as growth and advancement opportunities. The company also understands the challenges of transporting equipment across states (i.e. weight limitations, load balances, requirements at ports of entry, and time limitations) and works with our drivers to lessen the burden as much as possible. We are especially cognizant of the time our drivers and crews spend away from home and their families. “You can be gone for 2 or 3 weeks at a time,” David explains. “But Rory [Hall, Co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of Grade Tech] prioritizes your family and will do everything to make sure you get home within your limitations. He is very understanding about every facet of the job and family life.” For many truck drivers, being out on the road and seeing the country from behind the wheel is the biggest perk of all. To these guys – and to most “blue collar” guys – sitting behind a desk or a computer just doesn’t cut it. Drivers want the freedom and adventure of being on the road and the pride of knowing that they are vital to keeping America moving. Yes, truckers still have to deal with some of the stereotypes and still use some of the lingo or terminology we’ve seen in movies like “Smoky and the Bandit” and “Convoy” (for example, 10-4 good buddy and big bear up ahead), but, all in all, the trucking profession has overcome many of the negative perceptions and has taken its rightful place among the essential professions. Stereotypes and jargon aside, there are many compelling reasons for both men and women to start careers as truck drivers with Grade Tech – the opportunity to earn a good living with a family-oriented company, great benefits, the opportunity for training and advancement, pride in yourself and the job, and the camaraderie of being an essential part of a tight-knit team. David Barlow and his fellow truckers have found all of those things at Grade Tech, and, as he explains in his own words, he is proud to be a trucker: “It’s not a job for me, it’s a lifestyle. I’ll do what it takes to get the job done and I do it with pride.” *Taken from “Breaking Negative Trucker Stereotypes” on unitedtruckschool.net
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