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The brotherhood behind the trucking industry

Sitting behind the steering wheel as a professional truck driver can come with its difficult moments, like any other career. Richard Jones, who drives with NFI Industries, tries to focus on the positive, as reported by The Trucker.

“You have to put things in perspective,” Jones said.

From frustrating passenger vehicle traffic to a general lack of parking that is both safe and convenient for big rigs, Jones tries to look at it all from a different perspective than the one he gets behind the wheel.

“A lot of people are just not used to being around big rigs and don’t understand how we work,” he said. “Or they are intimidated by the size of the rigs. I don’t think anything they do is intentional. Things happen. The sound, the size — it can be intimidating.”

Bringing this sort of attitude to his job allows him to remain calm and enjoy all the beneficial and exciting aspects of a truck driving career. Jones has also had a sense of natural and ingrained curiosity, which led him into truck driving in the first place.

“I needed to kill some time one day, so I went into this trucking business to talk to them because I was curious,” he said. “They told me it was a good opportunity to see the country. So, I said I would take a chance, take a course and do that.”

Jones earned his CDL and decided a career in truck driving would be a good back-up option, however, he quickly fell in love with the profession,

“(Going into it), I didn’t know I liked trucks — but I did. I liked working outside,” Jones said. “I just made the decision to go and pursue it. I met a lot of interesting people along the way who taught me a lot. I had a really great trainer that I liked.”

Jones has been in the industry for about 20 years. In that time, he has witnessed several changes to the way things are operated. He faced all these changes, which he said were challenging, with a positive attitude.

Recently, the CEO of The Trucker Media Group Bobby Ralston, rode along with Jones as he drove through a route.

“It was a great experience,” Ralston said. “I was impressed with how hard he worked. He is in great shape. He moved a pallet jack faster than anyone (else) could, and they had to stand out of his way.”

Ralston immediately recognized how respected Jones is with his fellow truck driving professionals; Ralston said that at every truck stop Jones was recognized and greeted with joy.

Jones shared with Ralston his perspective on some of the larger issues facing the trucking industry. He said that gathering information on a route is any of the most helpful things a trucker can do to ensure a successful and safe route. Jones has met many friendly and helpful people along the way, affirming his belief that the concept of brotherhood is still strong in the trucking industry.

Once, Jones was stuck in an emergency. The weather has extremely cold, and he needed help.

“I was in 25-below weather, and my truck froze up,” he said. “Someone came up, and they got out of their truck and took the time to help me. They saved me.”

He said that the one way to succeed in life is to pay it all forward.

“I try to think that way,” he said. “We are a big group — a big family out here.”

Sometimes, Jones has the opportunity to train new NFI driers. His best advice for those getting into trucking?

“Attitude is everything. It makes you a better driver. It makes your job easier,” he said.