Posts written by LLarimore

Author Bio: Lakin joined the CFI team in February 2015 and is Communications Editor. She plays an important role in social media and internal publications like Drive Line to keep drivers engaged and informed. Lakin is a valuable asset to the team and hopes the blog is a useful resource for drivers and inspires them to live a healthier lifestyle. She attained her degree in Mass Communications from Missouri Southern State University located in Joplin, Missouri. She enjoys talking to drivers and sharing their story using all avenues of communication.

September 7th, 2017

Did you know that there are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States?

In fact, one in every 15 working Americans is employed by the trucking industry according to the American Trucking Associations. The food in your fridge, the furniture you sit on and the car you drive were all delivered on trucks.

National Driver Appreciation Week is September 10-16th and we encourage you to choose an activity below to show professional drivers everywhere that they are appreciated!

Pay it forward. Do you know those stories about someone in a drive-thru window paying it forward? You can do the same thing at a truck stop. Whether it’s coffee or a lunch, small gestures can have a big impact.

Witness a good deed? Pass it along! We’re quick to share negative experiences, yet a positive interaction can sometimes go unrecognized. Did you see a driver avoid an accident due to safe driving or are you a customer who had a positive experience with one of our drivers? Tell us!

Advocate for infrastructure improvements. Trucks move America forward, without them grocery store shelves would be empty in less than a week. Write, call or email your legislator asking for them to invest in our infrastructure to help keep our roads safe for drivers everywhere.

Practice safe driving habits on the highway around trucks. Avoid distracted driving, obey road signs and don’t hang out in their blind spot. Distracted driving puts so much more at risk than just yourself.

Say thank you. Most drivers spend weeks away from their family missing birthdays and holidays. Whether it’s a family member or friend send them a quick note letting them know you appreciate their sacrifice.

Share what you’re doing on social media and use the hashtags #CFISaysThanks and #ThankATrucker to help spread the message.

Whether you were hired/contracted with us yesterday or closing in on 40 years of service, CFI thanks you for the difficult job you complete day in and day out.

August 1st, 2017

City pools closing for the season, school supply lists flooding your grocery stores and pumpkin flavored everything can only mean one thing. A new school year is about to begin. Whether you’re a parent dropping kids off or someone passing through on your way to work, we all are responsible for keeping children safe. Make sure you slow down, avoid distracted driving and always be aware of your surroundings.

July 28th, 2017

James Smith has been driving for CFI as an Independent Contractor since 2015. While most drivers sit behind the wheel of a an 18-wheeler, Smith prefers his 20-wheeler. Smith built a lift on the back of his truck for his Harley Davidson so he is always able to pursue his passion.

How long have you been driving? 32 years and I seem to learn [new] stuff all of the time.

What made you pursue this career path? I got talked into it at a young age and kind of fell in love with it. I get to travel all over the country and I get paid to see all kinds of cool stuff. I liked this job so much I got my son into it. He actually drives for CFI too and lives down in Laredo. I have to laugh because most people pay thousands of dollars to travel overseas for vacation, but there are so many awesome things to do here in the United States. I actually ended up at Mt. Rushmore at the 20th Anniversary and ran into a guy who worked on it. That was really cool. There is more to see in this country then you know.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned over the years? Patience. Most of the guys laugh at me because [when] I hit traffic jams I don’t care. I just kind of relax and pull through it. I don’t let any of this upset me. Something else I would [say] is time management. If you can’t get that right you’re going to screw up every aspect of this job.

What is your favorite aspect of driving? The travel part of it. I get to meet a lot of really cool people and if I had a chance I would do this all over again.

Hobbies? I’ve been riding since I was 16. My dad was Harley man as far back as I can remember. My brothers and I all ride and meet up when we can to go riding. I have three children, two sons and a daughter, and the only one that doesn’t ride is my middle son. I have always had a bike on the truck. I worked with a moving company for 16 years and when I did that I could just put my bike in the trailer. When I started hauling freight I did some research and ended up building a lift for my Harley. I like taking the bike because [I think] you need to get away from the truck. I’ll usually have to do a 34 hour restart after six days and when that happens I will take the bike off the truck and just go. One of my favorite rides is from Miami, Florida and driving down to the Keys. Driving down that stretch of highway with the ocean on both sides, doesn’t get any better than that.

Would you say it’s important for professional drivers to have hobbies outside the truck? Absolutely. The biggest thing is to try and stay healthy so you can enjoy your hobbies. Choose a parking spot far away from the building and walk around the building a couple of times before going in. Sitting in the truck all of the time will make you crazy and hate the job. I don’t eat bread or drink, but I do smoke so I make sure I walk a lot during the day. When I stop for the day I don’t just sit in the truck. Doing a pre-trip inspection two or three times a day gives you another reason to get out and walk around. I would also add that you need to make sure your hobbies don’t interfere with your job. For example, an Xbox is one of the worst hobbies you can have because it doesn’t get you out of your truck. I have guys tell me they were late to a customer because they got caught up playing a game or overslept because they stayed up too late the night before playing games. You need fresh air, you need move around.

Why do you like to ride? You get to meet a lot of cool people. Like I said, my kids love to ride. In fact, my son took a ride with some people up to New Jersey and I rode up and met them. I usually go up to D.C. and ride in the Rolling Thunder, which is a ride for Veterans. A couple of weeks ago I ended up in Yuma and the Harley dealership there was having a poker run, so I took the bike off for a couple of hours and then came back to the truck. [Riding] is addictive. You meet some really cool people. I have brothers that live in Maryland when I get out that way that’s what we do, we plan to ride. Down in Laredo, there are about five of us with bikes and we like to meet up to ride. The terminal manager down there ended up making a motorcycle parking area just for us.

Favorite place you visited: Arizona. You can be in Phoenix and go to Flagstaff and it’s like you changed countries. You go from desert and rock formations to bears, elk, buffalo and hundred foot trees. The world changes in just five miles. It’s awesome. I try to work as hard as I can during the week so I have to do a 34 hour restart over the weekend.

Advice for others: Keep your mind open. Never be afraid to ask a question. The second you think you know everything about this job you need to get out of the truck because that is when you get reckless.

Don’t always stop at the same stop. When you can, try to go someplace different so you have something new to look at. There’s a lot of interesting stuff to learn about the country, you just have to keep an eye open.