Some people love to drive and some don’t. People always ask me “what’s it like to have your job?” and my response is always the same… “Do you love to drive? If so then it’s the perfect job”. I’m amazed at how many people love the open road but spend day by day sitting in an office bored out of their brains, looking forward to any break or lunch, staring at the clock at 4PM like a watched pot. Everyone has their own calling and everyone should certainly follow the calling they’ve been given. But if you LOVE driving and can’t wait to get on the highway, then a Driving Job is perfect for you. I’ve always loved driving. I was the guy chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel at 16, who jumped on every tractor, motorcycle, horse, whatever as a kid. Anything that moved forward that I could ride in or on, I was there!
After college I became a ‘traveling’ salesman. The sales part was just OK and paid the bills, but the driving the company car bit was the best. I traveled Indiana and Michigan and enjoyed every day of the drive. Every small town, every ‘burb, every city and every highway had my name on it and looked forward to me arriving! My first company car was a 1983 Old Delta 88 Diesel! Powerhouse. I flew to Memphis and picked it up and felt like I was driving into the sunset all day long. You never had to turn the car off because the engine would just crank and crank. 4 company cars later and I never tired of the open road.
I recently figured out how many miles I’ve driven in my lifetime (very close estimate at least)… 2.5 Million Miles! And the award goes to… ! I can’t remember a time when I tired of getting in a vehicle and not looking forward to the ride. In the trucking Industry there are awards for guys who go a Million Miles; I know a bunch of them and some who have done 5 Million are more. These are hard core drivers who have decided that Driving WAS their career. If you didn’t like to drive then it’s the worst occupation you could have.
After 30 years working with and around people, I stepped out on faith and decided to pursue any kind of career with a CDL (Commercial Drivers License); I went to Vincennes University Logistics school and on the second day they threw me in the drivers seat of a Big Rig with a 53′ trailer on the back. They said go for it and then told me I would be learning to back up, parallel park and drive on the highway and in the city. I was afraid for about 4 minutes. Then I pushed in the clutch, grinded it into gear, stared at all the switches and knobs and looked up and began to roll. I haven’t stopped since.
People ask me “What’s it like to drive the Big Rigs?” and my response is “I’m King of the Road!”, not because I’m anyone special but because I love to drive, make my living driving and sit about 10 higher than they guy driving next to me. So if you love to drive, driving for a living can be your thing!
Now I own my own company, and move vehicles of all kinds for people all over the country. I’m looking forward to my 3 Millionth Mile!
Scott VanHoogstraat is the Editor in Chief of Jordan Transport and moves vehicles for a living!