|Type of driver||Van Dedicated Driver|
|With Schneider||3 years|
|Miles on the road||200,000|
|Can't live without||Tablet|
For Schneider Dedicated Van-Truckload driver Berdie Tate, a glimpse of a big orange truck was all it took to get her interested in driving for Schneider.
“The first time I saw a Schneider truck I thought, ‘Oh my God, I want to drive an orange truck.’”
However, Berdie took a long, winding journey down a few side roads before she hopped in an orange cab.
Berdie’s first stop: serving four years as active duty Army, the last 13 months of which she spent performing as a vocalist in the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Band and Chorus in Germany. In 1986, she made two big career moves: she transferred to the Army Reserves and took a job as a police officer for the City of Detroit.
“As a police officer, I learned to look beyond the obvious and see what an untrained eye would see,” recalled Berdie. “I know this has helped me, being on the road by myself. Always be aware of your surroundings.”
Throughout her police career, Berdie’s ties to the military remained strong. In fact, she was called back to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.
When her active orders were up later that year, Berdie realized she wanted to move on from police work. She relocated to Grand Rapids, Mich., and started working for a utility company, beginning as a meter reader and later as a linewoman.
After 16 years in the utility business, Berdie could feel the open road beckoning. At the same time, Berdie’s two adult daughters in Georgia wanted their mom to be closer. Knowing Berdie’s dream of driving for Schneider, one of her daughters called Berdie in 2011 to tell her about an ad for a Dedicated driver near them in Georgia.
This time, Berdie didn’t hesitate. She quickly called a Schneider recruiter; 15 days later she was at orientation in Atlanta.
Berdie feels honored to be a Schneider associate because she knows Schneider only hires the best of the best.
“I consider myself one of Schneider’s finest,” she said with pride in her voice. “Schneider is the greatest trucking company out there. If you want to be part of the best, you should work for Schneider.”
Berdie loves driving a big truck, enjoying the freedom truck driving provides.
“Even if you’re not an owner-operator, you’re your own boss,” she said. “You have to trip-plan and get loads where they are going safely and on time. I like that.”
Berdie also truly appreciates the way Schneider treats veterans with honor and respect. “As a veteran and employee of Schneider, the Ride of Pride Program means the world to me,” said Berdie. “It celebrates, honors and appreciates my service in the U.S. Army and every service member in any branch of the military – active duty, reserves, retirees and those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. It’s a never-ending ‘thank you’ from a company that’s clearly devoted to the Armed Forces.”
Dedicated drivers like Berdie have a fair amount of home time, allowing her to hang out with her daughters, explore new restaurants and sing at family weddings and other events—a passion for this former professional singer.
Clearly, Berdie is happy to be living her dream, being the captain of her ship and serving her country.
“It’s the greatest thing about my job,” she exclaimed. “I help make America move!”
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