|Type of driver||Regional Van Driver|
|With Schneider||18 years|
|Hometown||Iron Mountain, MI|
|Miles on the road||1.5 million+|
|Can't live without||Communication with my family|
Jerry Bartholomew’s interest in technology started at an early age. “My foundation really comes from my Dad. To ensure I had an excellent grasp on numbers, he made me learn how to use a slide rule. While I now appreciate the skills he taught me, I could not wait until he allowed me to use a calculator, a cutting-edge technology at the time.”
This love of technology led Jerry to start his professional career as a computer network administrator and engineer. He spent several years surrounded by computers – designing networks and system integrations. “I am a problem solver by nature. I like numbers and helping people with business.”
While there were many parts of the information technology field that Jerry loved, there were fundamental components missing for him – a sense of freedom and a changing office space. In addition to being tech savvy, Jerry is also a self-identified nomad, which piqued his curiosity in trucking. “Give me a just a duffel bag any day of the week, and I am a happy man.”
Jerry began to research trucking companies, and specifically targeted companies that hold technology with a high regard. Jerry joined Schneider in 1997; first driving over-the-road but now working as a regional driver.
“When you pair up the interest in technology with curiosity to roam, trucking is a great career choice for me. I traveled to 48 states in my first year alone.”
How does technology intersect with truck driving?
“Technology is at the core of everything I do, and Schneider is committed to providing its drivers with the latest. All my logs are on my in-cab computer system with a minute-by-minute record. My load assignments are right there in black and white – I always have a record.”
Jerry also explains that new equipment helps him make good decisions while on the road. “I am alerted if there are any restrictions along my route, and, if needed, I am able to redesign my route to avoid issues such as overpass problems, detours and even bad weather.”
While Jerry enjoys all the technological tools at his disposal, he stresses that the driver is still the most important technology in the truck. “The best drivers are those who are constantly using their multitasking skills, which makes them the true information hub.”
There’s another element of the profession that appeals to Jerry: the sense of freedom inherent in it.
“In my previous work experience, I had a boss standing 20 feet away from me. When I leave the house, I am captain of this ship. Sure, I am assigned where to go, but ultimately I am in charge of getting freight there safely and on time.”
Although Jerry is empowered to make his own decisions, he never feels alone at Schneider. “You always have a team to support you, and you are seen as an equal player on that team. A driver isn’t just a driver.”
As much as Jerry loves trucking, he loves something else more: his wife, stepson and all of their rescue cats. He’s proud to say that his career at Schneider has helped him enhance his family life, too. “My career at Schneider allows me to be a strong provider for my family. I have great benefits such as plenty of home time and excellent pay. In fact, I actually have one full month of paid vacation each year.”
“Although I enjoy what I do, trucking is my job, my family is my life. There is nothing better than putting the keys in the door when I get home because I know who is on the other side.”
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