Last week, we shared part 1 of our interview with PAM Transport driver and recent Driver Solutions grad, Patrick Burcham. Patrick has been chatting with us a bit about his experience at school and what life on the road has been like so far. Last time we talked with Patrick, he told us all about his time at CDL training. In part 2 of our interview today, we're going to focus on what life has been like so far on the road with PAM Transport.
Need to get caught up? Read part 1 of our interview with Patrick here!
Q: Overall is truck driving about what you expected it to be?
A: I’ve got kind of a unique situation because my teammate started orientation a week behind me, so I didn’t get too many heavy miles until just now because I was waiting on him. As far as loads, they’ve been real simple – nothing too hard yet. The hardest thing to remember is to send in the messages! You’ve got all these messages to send at certain times of day and you have to memorize when they need to be done. Like I said though, it’s been easy. Nothing too hard – follow directions, go where you need to go. Most loads are drop-and-hook so you just drop your trailer there, hook up to another, and hop on out of there. It’s all how you perceive it, really.
Q: Your teammate – did you know him prior to school?
A: Me and Charles met during truck driving school. I reckon he’s not all that bad…he’s pretty good. He sleeps a lot. Haha, it’s all good. He just yelled at me from back there – “no I don’t!”
Working as a team is nice. You have someone to talk to when they’re not sleeping. Other than that, like I keep saying, just another day of work.
Q: Have you upgraded to Hazmat or do you have plans to do so?
A: I plan on it as soon as I get home. Like I said, I’ve been out 7 straight weeks so I haven’t been able to do anything with that, but as soon as we get home I’m planning on applying for my HazMat and doing all that. It'd be nice to have that extra cash that comes along with getting the HazMat.
Q: You were mentioning family before. Who do you keep contact with out on the road?
A: No wife or kids, but I have a nephew and he’s most important to me. Other than that, I call my dad, grandparents, just make sure everyone’s doing alright. I always, always, always keep them up to date on where I’m at. You never know when an emergency will happen and they’ll need to know where you’re at. It’s part of my daily routine – call the typical family members and see what they’re up to.
Q: Based on your experience so far with becoming a truck driver, what advice would you give to someone brand new to the industry?
A: Come prepared. Study hard when you’re at CDL training. Work hard. It’s entirely like a bank – you can only get out what you put in. They’ll tell you at school that they won’t work harder than you will, and they’re not lying. They want you to put forth 110% effort and if you do, you’ll be fine so long as you study your stuff, and don’t go out drinking and partying. You’re not there for that; you’re there for a job. My best advice is work hard, study hard! And have fun with it. You have to have fun with it or you’ll never enjoy what you do. As long as you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life!
Q: So overall you're liking everything so far?
A: Yep! You see so many things out here and have a blast. Some things you really don’t want to see, but I won’t go into detail there. It’s pretty cool, I like it out here and I think I made a good choice. I highly recommend it. As long as you study hard, work hard, and put forth the effort, you’ll come out fine.
Q: Anything you’re looking forward to? Seeing certain states or anything?
A: No, not really. I just want to see it all! I haven’t had any preference so far. I just want to go and see cool stuff.
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