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‘Keeping busy’ name of the game for Dart trucker James Holt

“That’s another thing I like about trucking: I get around to see people,” trucker James Holt said. “I go all over the place. If I let [Dart] know like a week ahead of time that I’d like to get to Maryland to see my mom, within a week or two, they get me through there.” He’s shown here with his two dogs, Rocky and Heather. (The Trucker: TONY LENAHAN

By TONY LENAHAN
The Trucker Staff

6/15/2011

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — James Holt has been trucking for 23 years. Originally from Maryland, he now calls Hot Springs, Ark., home and didn’t plan on staying on the road all these years. Tough times drove him toward the consistent pay of trucking.

“I was into well drilling in Maryland and they needed me to haul their big tanker trucks around with the water and the mud,” Holt recollected. “That’s what got me started. And then the economy crunched where they stopped doing a lot of building. I went to working seven days a week to working three. I thought I better get back on the road. Gotta do something to pay the bills.”

Driving with his dogs, Rocky and Heather, during the past year on a lease program for Dart, Holt said he likes the freedom that trucking provides and takes his job in stride.

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“Really, it ain’t a very hard job when you’re on the interstate,” he said. “The only time it gets hard is when you’re in the city loading and unloading. That’s when you’ve got to be careful.”

Loading and unloading brought Holt to the worst thing he said the trucking industry had to offer.

“The worst part of the job is dealing with [shippers and receivers],” he said. “They shouldn’t charge the drivers that time on the clock. That can put you in a bad situation. I’ve been in situations where they tell you to get off their property and you don’t have any time left after they let you sit there for six hours. I want all drop-and-hook; that way I can control my time a little better.”

Holt still has family in Annapolis, Md., and appreciates the way his company does business, making his job even more enjoyable.

“That’s another thing I like about trucking; I get around to see people,” Holt said. “I go all over the place. If I let [Dart] know like a week ahead of time that I’d like to get to Maryland to see my mom, within a week or two, they get me through there.” Holt said he got burned by another company before joining Dart.

“That’s the best move I ever made,” Holt said about getting on with Dart. “I was with another company for a year and two months and they got me good. What I really like about Dart is they’re willing to pay you what it’s worth. I’d say 95 percent of my work is drop-and-hook so I don’t have to sit there and wait.”

 Holt said he likes to hunt, fish, go bowling, garden, and farm when he isn’t on the road, but he hasn’t had much time to partake in his hobbies lately.

“I hunt deer and turkey, but I haven’t done it the last couple of years,” he said. “I’ve been staying on the road trying to get this truck paid off. It keeps me busy.”

Tony Lenahan of The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article a news@thetrucker.com.

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