|Type of driver||Regional Van Driver|
|With Schneider||6 years|
|Miles on the road||600,000|
|Can't live without||Lawn chair, walking shoes, portable stereo and a stadium grill|
Not many people can say they began their career as a man of steel, but for Schneider Van Truckload Driver Brad Cook, that was exactly the case. Brad put in 25 years in the steel industry, spending much of it as a quality control manager before joining the Big Orange.
When the industry up and left his Memphis, TN, hometown, there weren’t many opportunities in the area for him to break into a second career. Brad quickly went to the Internet, scouring for viable job openings and began looking at trucking companies. That’s when he happened upon Schneider.
Brad noticed during his search that people had more great things to say about Schneider than other transportation companies. After going to schneiderjobs.com, he discovered he could get licensed and start making money in a month. It enticed him to fill out the online application, and he received a phone call from a Schneider recruiter the same day asking Brad if he wanted to train in Dallas. Brad accepted, choosing the Van Truckload division in order to be home weekly for his children.
“I did a lot of research online and no one from Schneider complained about home time or scheduling flexibility."
Another bonus for Brad is the excellent training Schneider provides. “I don’t think there is another fleet out there with training as rigorous as Schneider.”
Brad always hits the road as prepared as he can be.
“Every assignment is a challenge to navigate to the customer, get there safely and on time, and deliver the load in one piece. Good trip planning is the best tool you can have.”
His advice for new drivers is valuable no matter how long you’ve been on the road. “Fix any problems with your truck before you get started.”
He also offers a piece of useful advice when it comes to navigation. “Get out your atlas and study the roads, look at alternative routes,” said Brad. “Go through the directions and write them down just in case.”
Brad has committed more than six years and 600,000 miles to Schneider.
“The home time is great, but there’s also a lot of flexibility in what they offer,” he said. “They have so many different options – whatever your interest is you can pursue it.”
Although he spends his days operating an 18-wheeler, Brad hopes to take to the sky, in a plane, of course. While growing up, his father had a four-seater plane and took Brad for rides. “My brothers and sister would be in school and my dad would take me out to fly,” he recalled. “We would go to a nearby state and buy produce.” Although his father passed away when Brad was only 12, it’s a passion that has stuck with him.
“A college friend got his instructor’s license and rather than just ride with him, I had him teach me how to fly,” said Brad. “Several of us would go and we would split the cost of a plane. Some of them are professional pilots now.”
Brad has roots as a man of steel and may have dreams of becoming lord of the sky. For now, however, he loves being king of the road in a big orange truck. He gets to see something different each day and meet new people. Not too bad for someone’s second career.
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