Profile For Root B.

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    6 years, 5 months ago

Root B.'s Bio

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Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

I was raised in the cattle business with a little farming on the side in N Central Texas. Country. 5 yrs old, Grandfather had me out in the hot sun, holding and handing him wrenches while he explained the tear-down on the Stromberg 1 bbl carburetor on the old Ford 8N.. and other chores about the place. At the age of 10 he had my fast-growing frame on that old 8N raking Coastal hay ahead o the baler.. Work was a way of life. I tied onto that concept way too early. Every summer after that, I was uhh "placed" with various custom farmers as a Hand driving old open-top tractors raking, baling, even Cutting with a Swather - unheard of for a tall skinny 14 yr old. And yes, hauling that hay. Yes, there's a book to be writ.. I'll try to refrain from that here.

Out of a 2A high school, where I did well enough, it was straight to college - where it was not well at all. Went to work at Texas Steel, from the Hot Stack - ReBar side o the plant - on up to the Rebar Fab floor. Union, as a General Helper at $2.25/hr.. was taught by the Operators - they had me running the Bar Shears, Pin Bender, everything but the Crane. But Union - it would be Years before any formal advancement into what I was Already doing. Lasted a year and a half. And on the side, I was bar back at a Biker Bar across the street from the plant. Needed the money. Work didn't scare me.

I went back to ranching with my Dad. He's a Book on his own, but his Temper was something else back then. Found it necessary to move along and found myself back in the big city, in the warehouse of a prominent wholesale plumbing supply company. In 6 years there, worked my way up front to a suit n tie desk job where I found out that my Name wasn't 'such n such', I didn't play golf and this was as far as I would get there.

I went back to the ranch. This time, it lasted 26 years, and for those that know "the romance of the cow business" from television or John Wayne - truly successful ranching is 25 hrs a day/ 8 days a week. As a 5th Generation cattle rancher and a work-a-holic, it cost me two wives and a retirement/ pension plan.. My Grandfather had told me, as a young lad, "Ranching is a great Life. It's just not a good Living." He was right about that and much more. Gentlemen, all wives need Some attention here and there... Be advised.

In 2005, a Business Decision was made in the family to close the barn doors and cease operations. At the age of 49, I needed a new career and pronto. Having spent many an hour, night and day, with a large number of cattle trucks in and out, I had been awestruck - Intimidated - by long-nose Pete's, KW's, cab-overs.. with straight stacks, 18 spds climbing our steep, winding limestone road up the hill to our corrals - using every low gear in the crawl, and by God still racking off those pipes with the Jakes on once they got up on level ground.. Then, from 6 feet up in the air the driver's door Flies open and out crawls a red-eyed, pilled-up crooked pile of a man with his good cowboy shirt unsnapped in awkward places, grasping for his manure- covered Redwing workin boots with one hand and trying to yank off his good Olathes with the other. I would gawk in Amazement, staring up into the cab at the giant steering wheel, 30 chrome Gauges on the dash, a Shifter Stick or Two with Switches all over it.. Got my Attention.. And I'd be Stricken each time: "BOY, I wish I could handle That!" .. very quickly followed by: "Man, there's no way in Hades I'd figure all That out.." Being a successful cattle operator is a Big Thing. But here - here was a Giant Thing.

At 49, with college hours but no degree, an abject Fear of returning to any form of City Life or a Desk Job, etc., and a dire Need to make up for the income 'lost' in living the Dream.. (Grandfather was right..), I startled myself and family by deciding to go get a CDL and drive a Truck. Twice divorced, living in a grand Olde house on leased ranch property from which I knew I would have to eventually Evacuate, I did not have the restrictions and responsibilities most of us have to deal with in the way of wives and families.. God Bless all of you making a Go of Truckin', trying to keep your Personal dreams and the American Dream together in this business. Nuff said.

I did my research on CDL schooling. 2 week, $6,000 CDL mills... Company Sponsored Training/ instant Hire... (let's don't go There, Here).. Living near Fort Worth, TX, I found Houston Community College/ NE Campus and chose their 7 week PTDI CDL course. $2,450? Ranked 4th or 5th nationally.. I wanted the Mostest for the Bestest, got a motel room at a decent weekly rate. Signed up. I got what I paid for, and more.. (I Highly Recommend this school.) Upon graduating, I felt Ready for it. And then it Hit me.. I have to pick a Company. A Type: flatbed. Van. Refer. Tanker. Doubles! HazMat? (Does Houston still have my fingerprints on file?) More research.. Sweats..

Long story short, given my past of hard work and long hours as a Life, I chose flatbed. A certain company in Alabam took me in *90 days* past my graduation from HCC. Been with them coming 12 years. A million and near a half accident-free miles behind me. Rode hard and put up wet, even with E-log.. Still lovin' it, folks.

Please tip your bartenders and waitresses, and many thanks for the use o the Hall....


Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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McElroy Truck Lines

McElroy? At the age of 49, my previous career came to an end. From home up near Fort Worth, TX, I took the 7 week PTDI CDL course down at Houston Community College/ NE Campus, (Highly Recommended.. by myself and others.) The McElroy recruiter came by class, as do a number of trucking companies, to present their case to prospective drivers. For all the dog-and-pony shows put on by the likes of Werner, Swift, Prime, et al, the simple down to earth presentation by a most humble, but most Honest, older fellow from Alabama caught my attention and held it through those miserable days of Truck Job Hunting that followed graduation. (Note: this was back in '05.. no PowerPoint, no brochures, no Nothin'..) Long story short: McElroy took me on, over 90 days past my graduation date.. Back then, the 2 week Orientation was in Cuba, AL. I was lucky enough to get a Texas trainer for the 4 weeks on the road. And then, as now, the Final Week was in Cuba. Coming 12 years later, and near 1 million and a half miles behind me I'm still with McElroy. If I had to do this all over again I wouldn't change a Thing. As others have, and will, point out - flatbedding in general, and this company in particular, is not for everyone. What some consider to be "hard work" is not necessarily so to all.. Compared to a life mostly in cattle ranching with a lil farming on the side, this is the easiest job I've ever had. But in my case, your case, and just about every other situation in life, "Attitude Is Everything". I do definitely recommend McElroy as a flatbed operation. But be honest with Yourself first and foremost, and then be honest about what Works for you and what does Not.. It's my responsibility to myself and family to keep up with Other Trucking Jobs out there. As a driver, you'll be in constant contact with other drivers - there are forums such as these - there are numerous Truck Stop Publications for driver jobs... Lots to see and hear. But to this day, I'll drive for no other company out there.

Good luck, and God bless...

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