The other day, I had the chance to sit down and speak with one of our professional drivers Joel “Red” Boswell. Red has been a professional driver for the Cox Companies for the past 2 years. In fact, 2 years is the total amount of time that Red has been a driver. He was brought on to the Cox team by our driver recruiter, Madeana Rodriguez. “Madeana caught my attention when she came to speak at the driving school because she was very straightforward and transparent. She showed us that the most important thing to her was the drivers”, Red explained. Red states that the main aspects of the Cox Companies that keep him here are the dispatchers and the managers because they truly care about the drivers. “Harold Mims is completely there to help all the time. It makes doing the job easier because you know you will always get help, one way or another,” Red explained. He has been able to have the freedom to do a lot of what he wants to do while on the road. He told me how he has made so many friends among the other drivers and that being a driver for Cox is truly a fun atmosphere.
I asked Red what advice he would give to someone that is currently in driving school. His first bit of advice was to remain as patient as possible. He is a firm believer that nothing beats hands on experience when it comes to being a driver. He also advises those in driving school to be wise when it comes to choosing a company because you need to look past all the money and perks that they throw at you and do your homework in order to pick the best company for you. He also offered a bit of advice for those that want to drive. “Don’t doubt yourself. Let yourself have the chance to do the job. Don’t let anyone or yourself doubt your abilities, but take the job seriously,” Red states.
Red does have many things that he enjoys in his free time while on the road. His favorite thing to do is fish. His favorite state is Idaho “because the lakes are amazing.” His second favorite place without a doubt is West Virginia.
One of Red’s favorite things about being on the road is getting to site see. His favorite site that he has gotten to see in person is Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. He had always wanted to visit it in person. Red thinks that the desert has some of the most amazing scenery. He actually only has 2 states left before he has been to every single state!
I had the pleasure of spending the day with one of our local drivers, Garry Corker. He is a veteran driver for Cox and has been just about all over the country. Garry’s day starts between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM when he arrives at Cox. There is one of 2 ways that he learns what he is going to be doing for that day, because it is hardly ever the same thing every day. There will either be paperwork in his locker for a delivery that he has to make, or he will check in with the local dispatcher to see where he is needed for that day. On this day, there were going to be multiple stops.
The day started with a delivery to a regular location. Once we were backed in to the door to get unloaded, it took about an hour to an hour and a half to get the trailer completely unloaded. Once we completed the first delivery, we had to make a stop at a repair shop to get something adjusted on the tractor. It is very important that drivers know their equipment well so that they can recognize an issue if one arises. Lucky for us, it was an easy repair so we were back on our way in under an hour.
Next, we had to go to another warehouse and pick up a trailer that had been pre-loaded with freight to bring back to Cox. This was one of the quicker stops because we just had to go get the paperwork and hook up to the trailer and be on our way. Once the trailer was dropped back at Cox, we had to hook up to an empty trailer and take it to another warehouse. We dropped that empty trailer at the warehouse and had to bobtail to a different location. Bobtailing is driving the tractor without a trailer hooked up to it. Once we got to the final location that would wrap up our day, our job there was to find another loaded trailer and bring it back to Cox.
I am sure that many people think that being a driver is just driving, but there is a lot more to it. I will be the first to admit that after that day, I was exhausted! I had the opportunity to lower/raiser the landing gear which is done by cranking the landing gear handle. I also attempted to pull the king pin lock to unhook a trailer from the tractor, but I was not strong enough to do it! After spending the day with Garry, I tip my hat to all truck drivers and am grateful to them for the outstanding work that they do.
– Sydney Smith, Brokerage Load Coordinator at Cox Truck Brokerage