Interview With A Truck Driver From USA Truck - Part 1

At Driver Solutions, we really enjoy the opportunity to reconnect with our past graduates to find out how they are progressing in their trucking careers.

michael-thomasson-usa-truckLast week, through Twitter, we were able to reconnect with Michael Thomasson (@redman0673) to set up a phone interview to check-in on how things are going in his trucking career with USA Truck.  Michael came through the Driver Solutions truck driver training program almost 7 years ago exactly (he remembers it was right before the 4th of July when he started school) and has been with USA Truck ever since.  He is currently training new drivers for USA truck and has been doing that for over 5 years.  He prides himself on the low accident rate his students have after they get off his truck and next year he, himself, will hit his 1 million safe miles mark all with USA Truck!  Let’s get to know more about Michael.

Q: What were you doing prior to becoming a truck driver?

A: I spent some time working as a supervisor in aluminum re-melts facility and was also a volunteer firefighter/ EMT for 13 years before I started my first truck driving job here at USA Truck.  I’ve always enjoyed helping people which is why I started working with new truck drivers to help with training. 

Q: Why did you get into truck driving?

A: I liked the idea of being able to tour the country and getting paid to drive. I consider myself a paid tourist.  My dad was also a truck driver for a little while when I was younger. I also had an uncle that drove a truck for many years.  Truck driving was a new challenge for me.

Q: How do you like working for USA Truck?

A: USA Truck is a good company with lots of benefits and good people working here.  I’ve always had good dispatchers (my current one included, Brandon Hudson) and support staff, from recruiters to training to payroll & human resources.  USA Truck has also been able to give me the time off when I need it and answer any questions I might have.

I’ve met a lot of drivers who have been with USA Truck for many years, some over 20 years and some less than that.  I’ve made friends with most of them and we stay in contact.  I even plan fishing trips with some of them.

I’ve seen a lot of people quit in order to try something new or a new company and most come back to USA Truck real quick.  The “grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”  I’ve been at USA truck for over 7 years and haven’t even looked at any other companies.  Longevity pays off in my mind.  The longer you stay the better it is because you develop working relationships at your company. 

I've seen a lot of changes at USA Truck in my time.  I think the best change recently has been the promotion of Burton Weis to Vice President of Operations.  Mr. Weis has worked his way up the ladder to hold several key positions here at USA Truck.  I feel he will continue to make a good company great. I feel that if my friends have stuck with them for many years, then they must be a good company.  So far, I’ve seen nothing to prove otherwise.

I am now running a dedicated lane from TN to OR, down to LA & back East; it allows me to see alot of the country that I haven't seen before.  USA Truck offers many different opportunities for drivers including: general freight and dedicated runs.  They also have a lease program and home for an owner operator who’s looking for a place to actually call “home.”

Check back on Monday, July 19th, for Part 2 of our interview with Michael!