NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Marvin Kelleware got into trucking because he loves to drive. From Cleveland, he said he hauls everything except hazmat for PAM Transport all over the country.
"I go everywhere," Kelleware said. "I'll be in New York one day and three days later, I'll be in Texas. I'm solo. I drive by myself. If they're paying me, I'm going."
Kelleware, 28, didn't have any family in the trucking industry and has been trucking for six months, but already has a responsible driving philosophy.
"Take your time," he said. "I'm in a truck. Some little car isn't going to push me out of the way. I take my time. If I need three lanes, I'll wait until they're out of my way and then turn. I don't get stressed out."
Kelleware told a story about how a friend of his lost his job and went to truck-driving school to find that there were a lot of people there of all kinds.
"He said he got to truck-driving school and everybody was there," Kelleware said humorously. "People were saying, 'Yeah, I own my own business and I'm a truck driver.' One guy was like, 'I've got three degrees and I'm a truck driver.'"
He said he warns his friends who may have aspirations to into trucking not do it if money is their only motivation.
"That's not it, man," Kelleware said. "Your life is on the line. Peoples' lives are on the line. Some people are only out here for the money and I try to stay out of their way.
"I was in St. Louis and a truck just came over in my lane and I had to swerve over so he wouldn't hit me," he continued. "What if someone was in the other lane? I probably would have killed them. It would have been a split decision to go ahead and collide with [the other trucker]."
Kelleware said the best thing about trucking is the travel and being able to see the road, but he would like to be home more to be with his four-year-old daughter who he sees maybe once a month. He said he has never gotten a ticket while driving, trucking or otherwise.
"My goal is to get the experience so I can try to find something at home," he said. "My main thing is to be safe, no tickets. Pull over and take a nap. I need to stay alive. What are ya'll going to do with the load anyway if I'm over a bridge?"
Kelleware said he makes a pretty good living trucking and sleeps when he is not on the road. Being away from his family is the worst thing about trucking.
"With my daughter being the age she is, there is more of an urgency to be at home," he said. "Right now she's only four and I need to be there. I can't come popping up when she's 14 and start trying to be a daddy then. I can't have that. She's the only one I planned on having. She's the reason I'm a truck driver."
The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.