The Long Haul Can Lead to Large Opportunities
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Truck driving is not the most glamorous job, but if you’re in it for the long haul there’s plenty of opportunity.
“What made me start? I like a job with adventure,” said Leo Kopasz, a longtime truck driver and employee with Brady Trucking.
If you’re the right person for the job, putting in the hours results in bigger paychecks and other rewards.
“Driving gives a guy the opportunity to get out there and be an individual spirit,” said Kopasz.
Frank Lopez, safety director for Brady Trucking, said, “They’re making anywhere from $65,000 to $120,000.”
Employees in the business say if you’re qualified and experienced, you’ll never be out of a job.
Kopasz said, “Everything in every one of our cities and towns is in some way brought to us by trucks.”
Arnie Shranko, operations manager at Excel Driving, said, “There’s always a call for truck drivers. It’s never going to go away."
However, it’s not always easy making it in the industry. Lopez said, “You're away from your family, you're away from home.”
“You have to have the proper attitude, you have to be strong,” Shranko said.
Lopez also said, “They sleep and live in their trucks. They shower and clean up at truck stops.”
Short haul drivers are typically on the road for three to five days. Long haul drivers are on the road for weeks.
Some drivers have found ways to keep from being lonely. Referring to his dog, one truck driver said, “Makes a pretty good companion. When you're by yourself it’s nice to have someone to talk to. She doesn’t argue.”
Officials also say the industry is making some changes. “Cowboys aren’t wanted anymore. No, we’ve got to have people that follow rules. People that do things safe and still get the job done,” said Kopasz.
Truck driving opportunities are out there; however, mapping out how you’ll fit in the industry can’t be done with a GPS.