A New Jersey native, regional Tanker driver Rick Bohnsack is certainly no stranger to long winters, but during the winter of 2012–2013, Rick decided that enough was enough. He fled the bone-chilling cold temperatures and settled in the greater Charlotte, N.C., area.
Rick had plenty of professional food industry experience, so he figured he’d land a new job quite easily. When weeks turned into months and he had yet to find work, Rick found himself needing to make yet another big decision. “I realized that instead of attacking my life’s savings, I needed to protect it. That’s when truck driving came to mind.”
As a kid, Rick lived across the street from a gas station and was always intrigued when the tankers would come to unload the gas. He’d watch the process from start to finish, finding it “really neat.”
“I thought to myself, ‘This is the time to do things in my life that I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve always wanted to feel what it’s like to drive a truck.”
Rick started his journey by enrolling at the Charlotte Truck Driver Training School. One day, representatives from different trucking companies visited the school to talk to the students about the jobs they offered. Schneider was one of those companies—and the last one to present.
After talking with all the trucking companies, Rick knew that Schneider had what he was looking for. He officially joined the Schneider family in March 2014.
With a little over eight months on the job, Rick is still learning the business, but he’s enjoying every second of it.
“This is not a desk job. The independence that you have as a driver is great. You manage your own time, and all they ask in return is that you accomplish what you’re assigned to do.”
Additionally, he loves the mental stimulation offered on a daily basis, likening driving to a chess match.
“You have to plan your moves accordingly and accommodate for the counter-play. If something isn’t working, you recalibrate and propose a new solution. There are a lot of variables involved, and no two days are the same.”
While the aforementioned attributes appeal to the responsible adult in Rick, the bright-eyed boy in him cherishes other parts of the job. “I get to see all the things I learned about in school, like the Mason-Dixon line, the coal mines of West Virginia, and things like tobacco and cotton that only grow in certain regions of the country.”
As Rick continues to hone his skills as a driver, he can’t help but want to incorporate some of his past life—over 30 years of experience in the food industry—into his present life. Specifically, he would like to offer truckers a series of tips that focus on quick and delicious cuisine on the road that doesn’t just come from a can. “You can’t eat out all the time—you’ll go broke. I’d help drivers eat well while being cost effective.”
In the meantime, he’s content experiencing anything and everything driving has to offer.
“I constantly evaluate myself and look for ways to improve. I’ll never get 100 percent because no one is perfect, but if any company is worth trying to hit that mark for, it’s Schneider.”
Get in the driver's seat: