Donald Young, age 28, traveled much of the world while growing up as a “military brat” and spent a lot of time in Italy. He now lives in Jacksonville, Fla., and drives for PLD Transport out of Stuttgart, Ark., where he’s been for the last seven months, and has been a trucker for about five years.
“I wanted into trucking to travel in the U.S.; we traveled a lot overseas,” Young said. “I love it over here — it’s fun. I’ve got a great company, a good job. If you need help or have a problem, they help you out. They run you good. I’m always busy. They will call you up to see if you’re good. You’re not a number. It’s a small fleet.”
Young said he needs another year of school to get a college degree, but isn’t ready to go back right now. He was in college to get a business communications degree.
He hauls reefer loads of produce and chicken. Young’s favorite places to drive are Florida and Arkansas.
Before he became a trucker in the U.S., Young drove overseas in Italy and said it’s fun but different.
“There’s no rules over there,” he said, “you just run. There’s not a lot of wrecks. I drove too slow over there. They drive 100 km.”
Young attended driving school in Florida, which lasted four weeks, and then drove with a trainer for about six weeks. So far he’s not had any wrecks, but has a few speeding tickets.
PLD Transport calls its drivers and tells them to come in for briefs about CSA 2010, Young said.
“We must be more careful [with CSA 2010,” he said. “Check your logs.”
Young seemed more laid back than a lot of drivers who always seem to be in a rush. He said that on a typical day he drives nine hours. He likes to sightsee when he can.
“I’m always ahead of schedule,” Young said. “I don’t work too hard. My dispatcher lets us be more independent. They don’t book a load that you can’t get to in time. They call and ask me how I am. If I can do a load. It’s all about you. My company will ask how I feel about doing it. I never turn down loads. They are good. It’s a good company to work for; good trucks. I drive a 2008 International.”
Young gets home every week and said he makes good money even though he gets home often. He isn’t married and he doesn’t have children so other than cutting the grass he has fun on his time off.
When he goes home he likes to “party — spend my paycheck. Buy everybody drinks and get my girlfriend stuff. I hang out in clubs, but not the beach. I’m a party animal.”
He said the most beautiful places he’s ever seen are the Utah Mountains and the mountains in North Carolina.
The only thing Young said he doesn’t like about trucking is “doing logbooks.” His truck is equipped with Qualcomm but not for Hours of Service recordkeeping.
And at 28 he already knows what he wants to do with the rest of his life.
“I plan to retire with PLD Transport.”
Barb Kampbell of The Trucker staff can be reached to firstname.lastname@example.org.