As long as Chris Clardy can remember, he’s always had a fascination with big trucks. The engines, the noise, the power, all that a big rig entails – it all was extremely intriguing to him. Chris remembers attending the Mt. Comfort Air show and seeing a C1 Truck Driver Training tent there. This is where he was first able to see a semi-truck up close, climb on in, and get a feel for what driving one might be like.
It was about 1 year later that Clardy, at the age of 12, found himself hospitalized at the nearby Riley Hospital. When C1 Truck Driver Training Owner, Chris Welch, heard about this - he had a great idea. Welch sent Clardy a letter of encouragement (shown below) to help him get back on his feet. Welch promised that once Clardy was better he’d bring him to the trucking school and have an instructor take him for a ride in a big rig. It wasn’t too much longer after that, that Clardy was out of the hospital, and Welch was able to make good on that promise.
As Clardy remembers, Welch, “Took the time to answer every question a 12-year-old boy had about trucks and trucking.” 18 years after that encounter, at age 30, Clardy decided it was time to follow his dream of becoming a truck driver. Eager to start, he found himself attending classes at the same C1 training school he visited as a child.
As a goal-oriented individual, Clardy arrived at school ready to go with his CDL permit and DOT physical in hand. He excelled in school, determined to have his name up on the walls being recognized as one of the top students. That is exactly what he did. After acing his CDL test on the first try, Clardy went to work for PAM Transport. His goal was to get one-year over-the-road (OTR) experience then move into a local job so he could be home more often to spend time with his wife and kids. As it turns out, that’s exactly the plan he followed.
Now, with more than 15 years of professional driving experience, Clardy is ready for the next chapter in his career. With his kids grown and his wife on board, it’s time for him to have some trucks of his own. That’s right, he’s well underway of following his plans to get his small fleet up and running. The goal for this new fleet is to provide great job opportunities to drivers while giving him the ability to manage the fleet as it grows.
The future looks bright for Chris and he’ll never forget the story of how it all began…
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