Drives for: Mesilla Valley Transport
How long driving? 22 years
Hauls: General freight
Favorite place to drive: South of I-40, East of I-35
Drives: 2008 International
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Ralph Morgan, from Nashville, Tenn., used to run a nightclub in Tulsa, Okla., so how’d he end up here?
“My dad was a trucker,” Morgan explained. “I didn’t want to go through the three wives he went through so I went through two. I decided trucking was the way.”
Morgan has been divorced twice and has one 35-year-old daughter and one grandson.
“I live with them,” he said. “That’s why I went to work with MVT (Mesilla Valley Transport). I don’t live with them. I stay there with them and use their address for mail.”
Morgan said he stays out two to three months and then is home for about a week. If he tells the company he wants to go home they get him there within two weeks.
When Morgan goes home he stays busy although at first when asked what he does when he goes home he said, “I chill. I don’t do anything.”
Upon further thought he added that he plays Wii with his 12-year-old grandson and goes to his ballgames.
“Whatever he’s into, that’s what I’m into,” Morgan added.
“Trucking is a good profession,” he said. “It’s just getting riddled with so many this that and the other. That CSA 2010, I think it’s going to take a lot of drivers off the road if not for health reasons, just for the frustration.”
Morgan said he likes trucking because of the travel, meeting new people and seeing different things. As for the nightclub, “I’m too old to miss that,” he said. “That’s a young man’s game there.”
When asked if he’d seen a lot of changes over the 22 years he’s been in trucking, Morgan said not really except the Hours of Service rule change that allows drivers one more hour of behind-the-wheel time. And what does he want from HOS?
“Anything with a split sleeper-berth,” he said. “Because you can run up in traffic jam and take a nap and then zip on through. Now that you got that 14-hour clock going and you have to work on through.”
The Trucker wondered what Morgan does to keep from getting sleepy.
“Sleep,” he said. “I get a good night’s sleep every night.”
Morgan said he’s lost 50 pounds and did it after he lost his job when Sitton “went under.” And he did it in the old fashioned simple way.
“I went to the ‘Y’ every day and ate right,” he said. “I can feel myself putting it back on little by little, though. To attempt to eat right on the road I stop at Walmart and get fruits and vegetables for snacks. I try to watch what I eat.”
For breakfast at the Petro here where The Trucker talked to Morgan he’d had a cheese and veggie omelet with the fruit bar and coffee.
“That cost me 16 bucks,” he said. “To eat healthy it costs more. My blood pressure is good. All my numbers are good.”
Morgan plans to keep trucking until they “put me in the ground, I can’t do nothing else, because I don’t want to. I couldn’t have a meet-the-public job because I’m too vocal out here.
“My dream job would be a big cattle ranch, cattle operation,” he said. [I was around them] when I was a kid down on my grandpa’s.”
Morgan offered a little advice for his fellow truckers.
“Be careful, following too close is my pet peeve,” he said. “They get right up on your bumper and then they go around.”
Barb Kampbell of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.