Anthony Petitte

Interview by
Published on
November 23, 2022

In this episode...

When you go to the grocery and pick up your favorite bottle of juice, or a half dozen of your favorite fruits, or have something delivered to your doorstep, a truck driver made sure those things get there safely and on time. The food we eat, the things we buy, and the comforts we enjoy - were all delivered excellently by truck drivers. Truck drivers make sure no matter what, no matter how, and no matter when - they WILL DELIVER. No matter how tough the weather is. No matter how long the drive. No matter the long days away from family. The comforts we enjoy today are built on the hard work and sacrifice of all the drivers out there. Would it hurt so much to thank these truckers? Or share the road politely with them? Or help address their concerns? Supply chain investor and strategic advisor Anthony Petitte joins Life By The Mile to talk about the highs and lows of the truck driver living in an emotional and engaging episode, delivered by FreightWorks.

Anthony Petitte

Former Founder | Supply Chain Investor | Strategic Advisor


everything about this industry gives me joy I found a home right this is my house it's supply chain Logistics Transportation I love drivers I you just asked me a question a couple minutes ago I couldn't even really even answer it because I was getting tripped up emotionally about answering the question like I love this industry so much this is my home this is my house and this is what excites me welcome to life of the mile delivered by freightworks one of America's fastest growing podcasts actually produced by Trucking indicted to tell story compelling driver story I need to do something insightful industry Excellence all here right now Mr Life by the mile delivered by freightworks I'm Butch Maltby your host and you know what uh we love having the opportunity to deal with people that are actually moving the supply chain forward I want to make sure that you know this folks our ability to keep doing interviews like the one we're going to have right now with Anthony petite it's all driven by you pushing that notification button subscribing becoming part of the Life by the mile team now Anthony listen I love the fact that when we have interviews we have people that are on the road they know the stuff they know what's going on tell us tell us your story how did you get into the middle of the whole supply chain of America yeah first of all thanks for having me on I really do appreciate it Butch um you know I really started this business with my late Uncle he was a Teamster driver and that was uh probably actually in the mid 70s and he uh you know always tell me stories when I was a kid it's now we're pushing up maybe about 20 years in the early 90s and he would just always tell me hey you know what truck drivers have always faced all these issues over the road they face truck parking they faced uh driver compensation they faced attention and censor was always obviously one of the the largest ones um and it basically really made me it stuck with me right like it made me really want to learn more about the transportation industry um interestingly enough I did it like as I graduated high school I went off to college I actually graduated with a Hospitality degree but nonetheless I I came back right like something there was some sort of charge sort of energy that was pulling me back and when I actually did recruiting for about three or four years some in the Aerospace industry and actually some in heavy duty truck interesting I'm sorry no I was saying that it's interesting oh yeah absolutely and and you know I don't want to make the story super long but I do want to say that what was driving that energy that Force back was really my late uncle and he was like Hey listen you know I have an idea where I want to build up a park like a truck parking location so that's actually how I got in and um interestingly enough to make this super short I actually just came was it five years of building a truck parking startup uh we had a successful exit in September of 2021 and um after that I I joined one of the best companies so first of all I did the transition with the with the buyer the purchaser right um and then took some time off but then I actually joined one of the best companies in my opinion that's out there called Zoom so if you can see my shirt Zoom transportation is who I'm representing to the so that's my story yeah yeah yeah you know we we love stories here at life of the mile delivered by freightworks here in Western North Carolina and the reason we love stories is because it's in the stories we learn about the incredible vagaries and changes and differences in trucking and Logistics now Anthony I I want to ask you this what do you see is going on in the trucking industry right now yeah so right now in terms of what drivers face I I would like to actually list them chronologically so I think number one uh driver conversation excuse me driver compensation yes driver conversation as well but driver compensation is certainly one uh number two would certainly be Chuck parking number three is the driver retention for field prices and then five lastly you can even kind of equate it to the the lawsuits that are over the road right and and when you when you look at that a lot of people in the marketplace don't understand Anthony what it's like to be a driver if if you were to try to explain to like Mrs Smith around the corner who's 70 years old and Mr Jones who's in his mid-60s like if you were to explain to them what drivers deal with every day given your background what would you say to them I mean most Americans don't know that our supply chain is driven by men and women who Faithfully get up every day what what would you say the word for mine is hardship I think it's it's really difficult to drive over the road first of all truckload full truckload long-haul drivers they barely get to get home they barely get to go home with their families their wives their children it's really tough to be a truck driver and even a short haul you know I'm not not I'm not segmenting them they're they're just has just as tough days uh as as a long-haul driver but kind of going back to the Long Haul because that's where I spent about five or five or six years um it's just it's tough It's not an easy job and yeah just like you said they are the ones they are the backbone of this country they supply all of our freight meaning everything that we eat we do we have this desk that I'm I'm pretty much uh operating on today is was moved and brought on by a truck so yeah they power the country and not a lot of people know about that but they should now Anthony can you talk a little bit about this whole issue of the lack of truck parking spots I mean I I speak to many drivers here at freightworks one studio right around the corner I got rid of my office right around the corner are the drivers that come in and they tell me stories that they drive across America and they can't find places to stop okay can you wax eloquent about that talk talk about it course so truck parking has been an issue since time began truck park has always been there uh 60s 70s as my uncle experienced it I mean you look at that what 40 50 years ago Chuck parking existed and still exists today that's incredible so there's 313 000 truck parking spaces out there and that's to the data they that they get right so maybe there's more I think we've so when you're building our business um out of the I think we calculated about four four hundred thousand truck parking spaces but still that's not enough I mean look at how many drivers there are so maybe a couple years ago there was about 3.2 million let's call it 2.7 2.8 million drivers today against or hedged against 400 000 parking spaces where do they go how do they get barking how do they find parking this is definitely a big issue where do they where do they go where they can't find parking that's a great question so they're first of all before us right and before marketplaces or there was technology applications out there to help them find parking a lot of drivers would just tell us that they would go to either a truck stop and if they went to a truck stop and the spaces were 100 full they would park on the side of the road they would park out on-ramps they would park in alleys they would park anywhere they could away from the general public but then also put themselves In Harm's Way

right and and this issue of parking can you explain for people because here in life by the mile delivered by Freight Works we've got a lot of different folks that watch and there are a number of people that are curious about the industry but they don't really understand for example this this parking issue when it comes to parking can you explain a driver has to park at some point right

yeah that they definitely do um and yeah I mean that's a good question actually for me too to be honest oh man I just because I've been in this industry for so long it's just so interesting that um drivers really need help from other people right they a lot of people that don't know about this industry it's it's hard to like figure out how drivers go through so much pain and so much uh just not only with parking but obviously the the number the five numbers that I listed and um and I'm sorry I just got to take a step back everything gets me emotional when talking about drivers because I love them so much yes yes like sometimes I trip myself up because I'm like love it I love them so much and I want to like give the best information I possibly again I just want to like pause for a second if you look at my hat it says truckers run the nation so I wanted to make sure everybody that is a great Hat by by the way at the end of this raw podcast we're going to offer you something and I'm just going to pre-call it and say it's not that we're making an exchange but I want one of those hats hey I wish I could give it to you actually got this hat personally in 2019. all right we'll we'll make we'll make a picture and and uh and make sure that we can make one now now listen listen when we when you grew up did you think you were going to be in trucking and Logistics I mean where did where were you born by the way I was born in Chicago on the outside of Chicago uh okay I went to Wheaton College which is 25 miles west of Chicago where were you like downtown or okay so I was actually I grew up in Wilmette and I went through a new career high school I a New Trier was an absolute okay okay this is gonna be like a rabbit Trail we rarely take I was extremely involved in high school debate and New Trier and they're they're like two new triers like a New Trier West right right yeah yeah I I I I I met them competitively in debate all over the country all right so I know exactly where you come from and and I'm going to ask God to help me deal with the fact that I lost often to New Trier teams they hey they were really good in everything they did exactly they're brilliant it's they're they're brilliant schools all right so from there you went where from there I went to Bowling Green State in uh Bowling Green Ohio okay sure and you know what's really interesting is most people don't know that Ohio has got all these great sort of not lower level but Mid-America schools yeah so you went to Bowling Green and and then what uh then after bowling green I graduated again without the hospitality degree and I um where did that go actually I started off in recruiting that's where that's where I went so okay and did Aerospace and all that what what do you think makes for a good recruiter by the way what what does it take to recruit people for an industry leveraging your network and if you don't have a network yet and you're kind of at the the grounds of doing so I certainly believe it's relationship building okay and and so and so through all of that you came into Trucking and Logistics so as you look ahead what what are what are some of the key things that you're looking forward to to doing like like uh you know it's interesting in the in a cinematic expression of this uh Chariots of Fire the the actor was asked what gives you Joy and he said when I run it gives me joy so what what gives you Joy

um you know honestly if we're talking about in particular this industry everything about this industry gives me joy I found out how I found a home right I this is my house it's supply chain Logistics Transportation I love drivers like you just asked me a question a couple minutes ago I couldn't even answer it because it was getting tripped up emotionally about answering the question like I love this industry so much so I don't know if that really answers your question but this is my home this is my house and this is what excites me yes and you know so many people so many people Anthony don't know you know they they look at a truck coming down the road and they don't realize that's a story that's a person looking out the windshield that's a solo driver or a team driver they're headed somewhere and they're helping move berries or fruit or milk or supplies and you know people go to Walmart for example and they they never ask the question how did all this stuff get here right right and so it's a passion we have at freightworks and with this podcast particularly to make sure that America knows that we don't have a country in the way that we know it without all the drivers the men and women solos and teams that are out there every single 24 7. you know if if you were to express it in ways that you can do better than me what would you say like if if you were on prime time Television right now and America was listening to you and the question was Why do drivers matter what would you say because they deliver everything to your doorstep they deliver everything that you eat that you sleep on that you sit on that you do every day comes from a truck and I would say that on any new station I'd say that on Fox CNN wherever you put me I'd be there to say that and the interesting you know point on that as well is that truck drivers have our backs but do we have their backs and I would say that too because do we have their backs you know do how much do we know about the truck driver do you know the truck driver for if we want to talk about parking do you know that they spent fifty five hundred dollars an average year just to search for parking do you know that they that's 12 of their income I mean we don't know these things because we don't really look and dive deep into them so how would you possibly know that or how would you know that a truck driver like you said delivering milk delivering berries doing all these things I mean this should be honestly a curriculum in high schools and colleges I mean you should give everybody the opportunity to become a truck driver or to become part of this great industry whatever that means you know it's interesting we've had conversations by the way it's it's Anthony petite he is uh he is so I I want to say this I'm not I'm not going to give you like monikers I'm not going to give you like qualifying statements I I just I just like that you're a guy that cares about Truckers okay and I I'm gonna say that you know it's so interesting because here locally here in Western North Carolina we've started to have conversations with our local community college with uh local schools and the like very few young women and men no growing up that Trucking is an option for them what why is that what why why don't young people know hey I I don't want to go to college I don't want all that debt whether it's forgiven later or not I don't want all that debt why don't more young people Anthony know that there may be a great option for them vocationally in this industry you know I I don't know I really don't know why we don't put enough time effort money dollars into those things when we should because there is a lot in this country a lot of a lot of men and women are graduates from high school that you know don't want to go to college or maybe they can't afford to go to college and trucking would be a wonderful option some go to the US military right different branches of the military some go to you know retail stores restaurants bars whatever it is but why isn't Trucking an option and we really failed to do so to be honest the supply industry myself included failed to do those things every day that we need to be pushing people to really understand or to give the education is really what it is Teachers to be teaching this stuff at schools I mean you learn about all this other stuff at schools that sometimes you don't even apply to your life right but this is stuff that that students you know and I can't I'm not going to get into the Rabbit Hole of that but students that may not be able to afford college is probably the better way of saying it could have an alternate opportunity to become a truck driver or be involved in the great industry transportation exactly and and by the way folks this is Anthony petite and uh I'm enjoying this conversation because we want to make Trucking and Logistics real it's not some headline in the Wall Street Journal The Washington Post it's not a Fox news release or CNN it's down in dirty and and dirty in the best sense of the word you know I've watched drivers it's the reason I got Anthony it's the reason I got rid of my office I don't have an office I'm here at freightworks one Studio around the corner is the driver's Lounge well appointed at freightworks and you know what I love being around drivers and you know what Anthony when I walk out there and say Hey you know know what I came into this and I don't know anything about Trucking and Logistics and you know what every single driver looks at me and says I'll teach you I'll teach you and and and that that is and and they're so different it people think drivers are all the same they're not are they not at all not at all and there's such a big stereotype by drivers how they look what they do they smell it's like there's so many drivers out there who actually run their own businesses on the side incredible incredible businesses they they have multiple streams of income driving the truck all day and being able to park for you know eight nine hours some of them don't go to sleep some of them are like hey I'm gonna do something else to bring income for me and my family it's really incredible it's it's absolutely incredible and and without sounding like I'm being political here because I'm not it's true for Democrats Republicans and independents truck drivers you know I've got an old friend Bud buyers he's in his mid-80s he drove for Yellow Freight for I don't know 48 years or whatever he had more than 4 million miles not one reportable accident he's got all these jackets for all the affirmation that he got and he said to me more than once Butch truck drivers the last American Cowboys and you know I I just I can't help but smile in my heart when I hear that because most Americans don't know that every single thing we buy Anthony and you know this every thing we buy comes from somebody who's hearing an alarm clock in the morning or an alarm clock in their heart and they get up and they suit up and they show up and they move out right that's that's right and and um yeah I think like I said it goes back to just that education component it really needs to everybody needs to know what these drivers are doing I mean it's so incredible just to hear that Story 4 million miles and uh not even a driver accident not one reportable accident and and uh and he's still you know he still looks at me when I see him Bud buyers he still looks at me and he says Butch if I could be driving I I'd be driving now and and I and I've often said to him privately you know what bud it is so sweet that after all these years you still love the industry so much and um you know what Anthony I I'd love that there are younger people like you that are still encouraging that industry oh okay so as as we look at the days ahead we're in a market that it's got diesel fuel that's going up and we've got a lot of concerns about the economy and this that and the other can you give a a quick snapshot on on what you see and know is okay yeah let me let me say it this way so um there's been a driver shortage uh awareness if you will um and what I've seen it's actually starting to ease up and this this really does answer your question but I'm taking it from a different approach and and some excuse me 80 000 it was under 80 000 in 2021 for drivers like the shortage now it's 78 000. so it's starting to ease and pull back and some of that has been through trucker pay right so there's I think the statistic was like 90 of truckload uh carriers were actually paying the you know their drivers more money and that's certainly helping drivers to be sustainable or retain drivers within their companies um but how do you really attract some of the the younger generation let's call it Millennial Generation z um you can even put up like no because this industry really is made up of a lot of men it would be really great to see more women driver female drivers and how do we like literally get them and pull them in in my opinion is having technology and there's not I wrote it down here because I like to to be you know I like to research I like to be educated when I talk to and not just say the things that fly out of my mouth but um the industry says they need to recruit 1.2 million drivers in order to kind of be balanced out from the driver shortage um I believe and this goes back to answer your question I believe tech companies that are utilizing and a lot of companies are coming out with gamification coming out with uh drivable loyalty uh the payments companies that makes it easier for a driver to get paid within a couple hours yeah you know not 10 to that 90 which it used to be um so to really digress here it's all that technology companies like I'm working for Zoom now the gamification process that's really what's going to bring forth those younger generations of this industry and make them more aware as well of what truck drivers really do so that's that's that's that's excellent now Anthony uh real quickly uh we you know I often say this the mark of a great conversation is that you see the exit coming up soon and we got five minutes left and a handful of things to do now when when when you look at your own life where do you want to be in 10 years

10 years that's that's a great question oh man where do I want to be well I know for a fact I'll be in supply chain Logistics but what do I want to do um I think just to be honest to be transparent I'd love to go back to Market I don't know what that looks like so I'm not gonna say anything but I do know that it's going to involve me starting another business and it'll allow me to help the truck drivers in some way shape or form and to pull to pull that energy is like I always go back to that works I think there there needs to be energy to pull that it could be a driving force like magnetism right to pull those younger generations to this industry and make this industry sustainable it's really not a really good question or a good answer I know it's it's it's it's it's it's a great answer and a a good way to segue into it's Anthony petite he's got great insights on trucking and Logistics slight by the mile delivered by freightworks now real quickly folks the reason we're able to have these kinds of conversations is because you like share and subscribe hit that notification button you know become part of our team now Anthony uh this is the point where I get to give you something okay okay all right so it's it's gonna seem like I'm a Shopping Network person and I'm not okay all right so we we've got we got we've got three options for you all right we know that we love we we love that people in trucking and Logistics love hats all right so we got hat options option number one of course this is the freightworks one that's that's our Livery that's our uh logo got that freightworks one cap that's option number one okay I'm excited uh option okay folks he he said he's excited um option number two we debut this at the Mid-America truck show have you ever gone to that I have yes okay that that was I'm just gonna confess this that was almost overwhelming for me first time a million square feet all thousands and thousands of people but we created this hat a life of the mile hat it's got the leather logo on front it's got the Patriotic theme there in the back this one over is a big hit there it it matched that's option two and then because we've been telling our drivers you got to get your chains out the snow is coming right so we've got I don't know if they call him a a hoodie I don't know what they call them it's like a skull cap kind of thing it's got the leather Life by the mile there and uh you know I've been finding bald people in particular like the the this option you're obviously not bald so we've got those three uh William our associate producer will get your email address which of these three might we send you can I see number one and two I'm like I'm really into that and and just to show everybody I do have hair so sure sure so so so that is that is number one that's the freightworks one logo and by the way here at freightworks we put in a major order with Peterbilt so we've got Peterbilt 579 Ultra Lofts 75 another 50 uh on the way and if you're a potential driver by the way call us and check us out we're not a perfect company but we're a company that is committed to tell the truth and be caring for drivers that's option one option option you're you're a very good shopper by the way option number two is this hat it's got that patriotic theme there in the back and at mats everybody seemed a like that one so it's that and then it's the uh

I'm gonna go with option number one uh because I really want to represent Frameworks I think I think I've I it's hitting my heart I'm doing number one great all right well William is gonna get make sure he's got your address okay and uh and we're gonna make sure that you and I stay in touch you know the great thing about these conversations on life of the mile uh it's it's just open-hearted open-ended it's not scripted I didn't call you and we just had a conversation it's really been great I'm I'm so grateful this life of the mile delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch Maltby we've had another incredible opportunity to check in on what's really happening with Trucking and Logistics in America you've been a great guest uh we want to make sure we have you back okay thank you so much appreciate being on thanks for watching this episode you know life by the mile delivered by freightworks is one of the newest largest and fastest growing podcasts actually produced by trucking company now we want you to like and share this episode if you'd like to see more episodes click here and make sure that you subscribe to this channel by clicking here we'll see you there

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