This is one in a series of interviews with frontline workers as Today’s Trucking celebrates National Trucking Week, Sept. 5-11.
What can you tell us about your job and the work it includes?
I drive for the bulk division at Kleysen Group. I have been in the trucking industry 25 years and have been with Kleysen for 20 of those years.
My job includes being a local city pickup and delivery driver, delivering cement powder with pneumatic trailers to the ready-mix plants in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas.
How did you come to work in the trucking industry?
I worked at a feed mill when I first came to Canada from Croatia. They needed a truck driver to make feed deliveries and deliver livestock to the U.S.
Since I love driving a car and grew up on the farm driving a tractor, it seemed only natural that I would love to drive a big truck.
I got my Class 1 licence and made the switch to becoming a full-time truck driver.
What do you most like about your job?
I love driving a truck. It’s like going on a new road trip every day! Who doesn’t like that?
When I realized that I could combine doing something that I love with providing for my family with a good income, it was a very easy decision to make and one that I have never regretted.
It also makes a big difference to be part of a great team like I have with Kleysen’s.
Five years ago, my daughter Rianna was able to come with me to work for Bring Your Child to Work Day. She got the chance to spend part of the day with me and the rest in the office. She liked it so much that three months ago, when there was an opening for a driver service representative, she applied and got the job.
My younger daughter Talise just completed Grade 9 and is looking forward to Bring Your Child to Work Day. We can spend the day driving in the truck together, and make a coffee stop or possibly two.
The few times I took the truck home, the girls loved to sit in the driver’s seat and pretend to drive, use the CB radio, and camp in the sleeping area of the truck.
What is the biggest challenge the trucking industry faces today?
An obvious challenge is the shortage of drivers. Truck driving is not for everyone, and it includes sacrifices not only from the drivers, but also their families.
I’m grateful that I have a family that supports me and understands what my job entails. My wife Dana takes care of the home. Our daughters also help with all the household and yard chores. This makes it easier on everyone to be able to spend more family time together.
Why do you think the trucking industry should be celebrated?
The trucking industry is an essential service. Truck drivers courageously put their lives on the line every day during the pandemic, to make sure the essentials were delivered.
As the saying goes, “From your house to your food, if you got it … a truck driver brought it.”
I am especially proud to be a part of such a team who sacrificed for the needs of others and pulled together during this time.
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