National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 8-14, 2019, is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. These 3.5 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, but they also keep our highways safe.
That’s why SmartDrive is recognizing drivers who have been nominated by their fleets for the work they do to keep our roads safe, while delivering the goods that drive America. Our third profile is Jerry Burks with Transco Lines. SmartDrive was excited to talk with Jerry as he traveled home from a family camping trip.
After being a regional director for a large company for many years and losing his job due to the company being sold, Jerry was inspired by his uncle – a truck driver for 58 years! He had been on runs with his uncle and learned that, as a truck driver, he would have more control over his career and less chance of losing his job. So he took the initiative to go to Arkansas State University, get his CDL and – after getting his feet wet at another company – found Transco and never turned back.
“I love working for Transco – they’re a really good company and have always treated me extremely fair. As a result, I try to return the favor by doing a good job for them.” He was thrilled when he was given the opportunity to get a new truck. “They asked me what I wanted, what I wanted on it and what color. They searched around, selected some options and let me pick the one I wanted. These are great guys. You won’t find people like them in the trucking industry. If you’re ever in need, they’re right there for you.” He appreciates the culture at Transco so much that he doesn’t plan on retiring for a very long time.
In turn, Transco appreciates Jerry. According to Travis Cooper, Manager of the Safety Department, “Jerry is a class act when it comes to his professional driving career, as well as his character in both his personal and professional lives. Jerry’s dedication and resolve to not only his, but the motoring public’s safety, is unmatched. He embodies the spirit, level of professionalism and class that Transco Lines, Inc (TLI) strives for day in and day out in everything we do as an organization from Safety to Customer Service.”
Jerry enjoys his dedicated route, which affords him the opportunity to be on the road, enjoy the scenery, meet different people and personally interact with his customers. He particularly likes being able to get to know his customers and is committed to doing a good job for them. “I was shocked when I made an initial delivery to a customer and he gave me a handshake and a thank you. When I asked why, he responded, ‘this is the first time we’ve ever received our load six hours early.’ I was surprised as I was simply doing my job.”
Jerry is quick to let you know that Transco is a very safe company. “They have a fantastic safety department, who has our backs. People are always watching, coaching and helping us do a safe job. In fact, SmartDrive was one way they proved their dedication to safety. I know that if there’s an accident, I’ve got actual video to show what happened. I really enjoy having it in my cab and am thankful it’s there.” It wasn’t long ago when some people, who had been driving in a car, accused Transco of causing an accident. When they were told that everything was on video and the driver was doing everything right, they quickly changed their story. “I also appreciate that when I do something right to avoid an incident, someone from safety calls and thanks me for doing a good job. Once again, I’m simply doing my job.”
For those who are uncertain about having a camera in their cab, Jerry is quick to tell them to “go for it. Put a camera in your truck. It’s well worth it.” For those considering a truck driving career, Jerry – once again – is quick to reply with “go for it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There’s a lot of opportunity out there. It’s great! You’ll spend your day seeing beautiful scenery, meeting a lot of very nice people and getting the support and backing from a company that cares, like Transco.”