Featured Over-the-Road Driver

Craig Andrade

Craig Andrade

Type of driver Over-the-Road Driver
With Schneider 12 months
Hometown Columbus, OH
Miles on the road 6,600
Can't live without A backup GPS

Taking charge of my career

It’s no surprise that Schneider Over-the-Road Driver Craig would consider a career in truck driving since he had a fascination with big rigs from a young age. However, it wasn’t until he grew tired of a strenuous and dull manual labor job that he decided to take the plunge and make the switch.

Like a Kid in a Big Rig

Craig wasn’t completely new to driving when he first jumped into the cab of an 18-wheeler. He worked as a dump truck driver from 2005 to 2010 before switching to a job involving more manual labor, unloading trucks from 2010 to 2013.

Growing bored with the sameness of each day, Craig considered switching careers to becoming a truck driver.

“I’ve loved trucks since I was little,” Craig remarked. “I wanted drivers to blow their truck horn when we passed them. Plus, my favorite movie was Smokey and the Bandit just because of the truck in it.”

If that’s not enough, Craig’s uncle gave him his first taste of truck driving as a kid. “My uncle had a junky 10-wheeler he would use to pick up asphalt from a local plant, and he would let me ride with him.”

Navigating the Industry

Craig went to truck driving school and graduated with his CDL. He started driving for a private contractor immediately out of school.

“I hadn’t heard of safety when I first started with that company,” recalls Craig. “It was all about proving I was a hard worker, no matter what it took.”

After speaking to a lot of different drivers on the road, he began to see a pattern. No one from Schneider had a bad word to say about the company. They spoke of fair compensation, incentives and freight availability. And they told him he should switch to The Big Orange.

“After that I didn’t bother to do much research,” said Craig. “If drivers were talking up the company, it seemed like a no-brainer to switch.”

Craig appreciates that Schneider cares about safety and he reciprocates by caring just as much.

“I always wear my safety vest, even if a lot of guys think it’s uncool and laugh,” said Craig. “Especially at the truck stops during the night, drivers aren’t always paying attention – they’re just trying to find a place to park. I need to make myself visible to them.”

A Better Life for Family

Now that Craig is a truck driver, he’s discovered some great benefits. Making more than he ever did in a factory, he now has health and dental insurance and a 401(k) package.

“I never had benefits anywhere before,” Craig exclaimed. “The incentives are great. I especially like the quarterly bonus program and the sign-on bonus.”

On top of bringing home the bacon, his family is very proud of him. “My boys love coming with me to clean the truck.”

Learning and Growing as a Driver

For Craig, the freedom that comes with being a driver can’t be beat. Sure there are challenges, like trip planning for early morning deliveries and late-night pickups, but Craig is loving this career.

“It can be tough, but stick it out and you will learn and become a better driver every day,” noted Craig.

He had one particular incident at a hole-in-the-wall truck stop in Ardmore, Okla., where he met an old man driver with 50 or more years under his belt.

“We talked for a long time and he was a total wealth of knowledge,” said Craig. “These seasoned drivers want to help us young guys. Listen to them and learn.”

Craig wants to continue to grow and learn in his career with Schneider, hoping to move into a Dedicated role some day and to reach a million miles. Based on what we’ve seen in your first year, Craig, you’re well on your way to achieving those goals.

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