The transportation industry truly is the driving force of our country. Without trucking, our goods would not be able to get to store shelves, clothing stores, or furniture stores. Especially, following the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a bigger demand on trucking and logistics companies to get goods where they need to go. This is creating a demand for more professional drivers to drive for these companies.
We have resumed our professional truck driving interview series with driver Eric Fortenberry. When we spoke with Eric, he was getting loaded up and heading through Knoxville onto his next stop. Eric is a family man whose life centers around his wife and four daughters. We took some time to learn about why Eric chose Roane Transportation and got to know Eric a little more. Here’s the conversation.
How long have you been a professional truck driver and what made you want to drive professionally?
I have been a professional driver for almost two and half years. My family hauled logs and my brother began driving flatbeds when I was around thirteen. I grew up watching my family drive trucks.
How did you get started at Roane Transportation?
I saw a Facebook post on the Roane page with a picture of a nice truck and I applied. I was hired in early October, so I have been with them about eight or nine months.
What are your favorite things about being a professional driver for Roane Transportation?
I think the people I work with have treated me well since I have been with them. They also have nice equipment. They keep me moving with the miles and make sure I am compensated.
Why should experienced drivers look at Roane Transportation for employment?
Roane has the total package. They have the best equipment on the market, and they have the freight and keep me moving. They help me provide for my family.
What type of equipment do you use at Roane?
I drive a flatbed, 2019 Peterbilt. It is durable, nice, and fully loaded.
Other than a CDL, are there other education, training, qualifications needed for the job?
No, you can get extra endorsements, such as hazardous materials (hazmat). But as far as flatbed, CDL is plenty.
What type of routes do you drive and how is that different from other drivers?
I only do regional routes. I am mostly in Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and a little bit of Indiana and Illinois. I will drive anywhere but regional routes provide more home time than an over the road driver.
Is driving a truck a high-stress position? If so, how do drivers handle that stress?
Not for me. Driving is a pleasure. I love to drive, and I am pretty good at it.
Are you seeing any changes to delivery/transportation services because of the coronavirus outbreak?
I have not. I did not have a lot of high exposure areas when working.
Do you mostly listen to audiobooks, news, or music when you drive?
I listen to music, and it’s got to be loud. I prefer R&B or the blues. Right now, my favorite artist would probably be Keith Sweat. I’m an old school guy.
Drive cross country with anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I would probably drive cross country with my wife because I love her to death.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My kids, overall. Before I became a professional driver, I was a full-time father. It has been a little different with the time spent with them, but they must be taken care of financially. I keep their picture on the windshield and every time I look at them, I know I have to provide for them.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Any free time I get, I spend it with my kids and my family. All four of my girls are involved in cheerleading.
Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it and how did you get it?
Everybody just calls me “E.”
What one stereotype about truck drivers would you like to see corrected?
Most of them are not dirty. I love to keep myself looking professional. Most people think truckers are dirty. I have to keep my vehicles clean and myself clean.
Is there anything else you would like to say on any topic that I have not asked about?
Let Roane Transportation know I thank them, and I love them. They know I am going to go get it in a safe manner and the DOT protocol.
A Trucking Company that Really is a Family
At Roane Transportation, we understand how important it is to treat all our employees and drivers like family. We know how important family time is for our drivers and work with them to ensure they can maximize their time at home. We do offer opportunities for all types of routes, including national, regional, and local routes. Roane Transporation features up to date, new equipment to provide you with the upmost comfort while driving for us. We have one location in East Tennessee and one in West Texas. We offer an excellent benefits package, competitive pay, and sign on bonuses. Interested drivers click here to see the full scope of what we offer our drivers. Ready to apply, fill out an application form here.
Follow us on our Facebook page for other available positions and to see what’s going on with us this summer. We can’t wait to welcome you to Roane Transportation family.