John Casey represented TMC at the Great American Trucking Show as a top ten finalist in the 2017 Trucking’s Top Rookie contest on August 25 in Dallas, TX.
John first climbed into his black and chrome Peterbilt on June 7, 2016 and never looked back. It was the first day of his new career as a professional truck driver.
A Massachusetts native, John spent nearly two decades working the night shift as a machinist. He spent long hours in a 6’ by 6’ box operating metal working machines, until the day his job was shipped overseas and he was laid off. Not wanting to re-enter the industry at the bottom of the ladder, John knew that it was time to make a change and think outside the box.
Now middle aged and at a crossroads in his life, John decided to enroll at New England Tractor Trailer Training in Pawtucket, RI and obtain his CDL. With two of his three children grown and out of the house and with his wife of more than 20 years’ support, it made sense to finally chase his dream of traveling the country for a living.
“I was drawn to the trucking industry because I wanted to see and experience something new everyday while making a better life for my family,” says John. “I like to tell my wife that I’m a professional tourist, and that essentially I’m retired and just exploring the country but getting paid to do it.”
While in school, John sat through recruiting presentations from several different companies, but none stood out more than TMC Field Recruiter, Adam Hoffman’s presentation. “Adam wasn’t a salesman. You could tell he meant every word he said. He was passionate about TMC; so much it gave me goose bumps,” John explains. “I knew that was the company I wanted to work for. And the great thing is, every thing he said is true.”
A year later, John sits comfortably at the top of his Fleet Manager’s board and advocates on behalf of TMC at every chance he gets. He’s made a few visits to his former CDL school and shares his story with prospective drivers. To John, trucking is about freedom. When you’re out on the road, you’re given the tools to do your job and it is up to you to set those numbers on your paycheck.
When asked what it takes to be successful in the trucking industry, John insists that tolerance and making good decisions are key factors. “Think things out ahead of time. Plan your whole day, picture how it is going to end up and stick to it,” he says. “It is crucial to stay level headed and not get upset about things that are beyond your control. Take it all in but don’t give any back.”
Additionally, John believes that a strong support system is essential to having a successful career as a truck driver. John has two grown children and a 17 year old who still lives at home with his wife of 27 years. “I talk to my kids every night, and when I’m home on the weekends they are very understanding of my needs,” he explains. “It is important to remember that they sacrifice just as much as I sacrifice. It is a two way street.”
John and the rest of the top ten finalists were honored at a special ceremony where they announced the 2017 Trucking’s Top Rookie. Congratulations, John!
TMC Transportation is the nation’s largest employee-owned open deck transportation company. TMC provides expert transportation services and supply-chain management solutions throughout the 48 contiguous states. Founded in 1972, TMC is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and is known for its integrity, innovation, superior safety record and dedication to quality and customer service. The company’s claim-free, on-time delivery record is the best in the business and is consistently recognized by its customers. Visit us at www.tmctrans.com