Stories from the Road: A Journey

  Friday, December 29, 2023

Hey there, professional drivers, travelers, and story enthusiasts! Buckle up and come along for the ride in our new series we’re calling: "Stories from the Road."

We wanted to share our drivers’ firsthand experiences and shine a light on the unique life of professional truck driving. Get ready for a journey filled with personal stories, cultural gems, and those unexpected moments that make each driver’s story unique. Ready to hit the road?

Our first story captures the experience from our very own video producer, Jake Pendergist’s, as he rode along for one week with tenured Maverick road trainer, Jeremy Tate. We'll include commentary from the cab of the truck, highlighting Jake’s expectations versus the reality that Jeremy educates us with. And we’ll also include some realities that we typically don’t think about as non-drivers.

Jake (Video Producer/Non-Driver): “The inspiration for this driver ride- along initially came from wanting to highlight our drivers performing their jobs day in and day out. We want to portray how hard they work. I was nervous, knowing that we were going to be in close quarters for long hours, but I had met Jeremy before and knew he was very personable. A positive thing that I noticed was Jeremy’s sense of travel and independence. This job is so good for independent personalities. I loved going to unfamiliar places and meeting new people. We also listened to a historical fiction novel on audio, and I got into it too!

It was a VERY eye-opening experience. I learned that there is so much more to truck driving than driving a truck; it’s mathematics, knowing how to secure and tarp all sorts of loads properly, the difficulties that come with the job, and so much more. I have a whole new level of appreciation for our drivers!”

Jake shared learning about the realities of driving professionally, including the ongoing challenge to find safe and well-lit parking spaces, getting comfortable enough to sleep with the hustle and bustle going on outside the truck, and the challenging work involved in securing, tarping, and driving the load from shipper to consignee.

Jeremy (Professional Maverick Driver): “My expectation our ride along was to be professional and answer his questions to the best of my ability. The first thing I always tell a student and what I told Jake is that I like to have fun. I am serious about work and safety, but it helps the time pass to HAVE FUN. I worked in retail management at Walmart and Staples, and we had to be serious a lot. We were always stressing about something. So now, I like to be calm and enjoy my job. This truck is our office. I love travelling and seeing new things. I wish I could explain to non-drivers how dangerous it can be to cut us off, slam on their brakes or tailgate us. We drivers do all that we can to keep the public safe. We leave a generous amount of road space so if we need to slow down, we can do it safely. My eyes are always watching the road, my mirrors, the load I am hauling and the motoring public. At the end of the day, safety is the most important focus.”

This story from the road is a great reminder to us all - there’s so much challenging work that goes into succeeding as a professional truck driver. Remember to respect them, give them space, and thank them. Drivers keep America running, one mile marker at a time.