Clark Reed

Interview by
Published on
June 1, 2022

In this episode...

In today’s episode of Life By the Mile, we sit down with Nussbaum Transportation’s Clark Reed on the road as he talks about how truckers today can make their voices heard on important industry issues online. He cites the FMCSA’s proposed rule that would require the installation of speed-limiting devices on trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, and how commenting on FMCSA’s website can help spark discussion before it moves forward. Go to and leave your opinion there. He also encourages more truck drivers to take advantage of online movements to help make the world better, such as his Three Pieces a Day social media movement, where he encourages everyone to pick up three pieces of trash on the road and dispose of them properly. Whether it’s impacting serious industry decisions, helping clean up the environment, something funny to help drivers unwind after a long drive, or listening to the Life By The Mile podcast - Clark wants truckers to enjoy being online.

Clark Reed

Clark Reed is a Roscoe, IL-based over-the-road driver with Nussbaum Transportation and a Freightliner “Team Run Smart” PRO.


when you're walking into the grocery store when you're walking into anywhere the the gym when you're walking into the truck stop see a piece of paper pic on the ground pick it up throw it away there's trash can somewhere nearby just toss it away and don't throw stuff out your window don't pick up your own three pieces that's you shouldn't you shouldn't leave those there anyways but just pick up three pieces a day and then uh if you want to do more do more put on social media hashtag three pieces a day let other people see what you're doing and why and that motivates people well they're doing it i can do it and it really does man you'd be surprised many people will jump on that with you and do it welcome to life of the mile delivered by brakeworks one of america's fastest growing podcasts actually produced by trucks indicted to tell stories

this is life by the mile delivered by freightworks i'm the host butch maltby and i love the fact that we've got clark reed back with us i told him before we started this podcast you know what clark you've got so many things you could talk about we could just line up a salad bar and kind of pick a plate and uh and just move move down the line so it's great to have you and most people that i know are aware of who clark reed is i'm gonna mention this in particular in addition to being a driver extraordinaire he's also a pro with team run smart they provide owner operators with a platform to receive incredible information resources from professional drivers representing multiple stages of the driver career basically they're there to empower drivers all across the country and we're just grateful that you took some time today now where are you uh thanks for the kind words butch by the way i appreciate it i am just a little bit south of um wisconsin del's in the beautiful state of wisconsin yep yeah i used to live in the twin cities and so we would go to the the dells there now is there some place is where is janesville janesville's just south of me about oh 60 miles 50 miles or so there used to be a place that had a big cow is there still a big cow somewhere oh there may be i don't know off the road there's so many weird things around yeah there's a big bowl north of here somewhere and there's so many little weird things on the sides of the roads here in wisconsin there's a truck sitting on its tail end it's kind of weird well you know what this has absolutely nothing to do with what we're going to talk about but that's okay you know clark um i i know that you stay on top of things in the marketplace we want to make sure we take advantage of of just your capability in this arena i want to jump right in and ask you about the uh the the fm csa speed limiter pending rule it's as you mentioned to me it's hot um and i i just want to talk about that what's going on there what do you think is going to happen what are your opinions and just for people what it is okay well let me let me uh say where i'm coming off first off i am a company driver i drive a governed truck at 65. so with that being said i am personal opinion but i think the speed limiter is a bad idea even though i'm perfectly happy running 65 in fact i run less than that most of the time but i think having everybody all running the same speed and they won't all be running the same speeds some are going to be a little bit faster some are going to be a little bit slower and so you're going to have this mess on the highways where nobody can get past anybody else and i i just think it's a bad idea the the studies that have been shown that a split speed limit are bad now you're making it mandatory across the whole country not just in in california what what's behind us they say it's for safety because of all the accidents that include trucks and there's been so many deaths i i think the last count last year was 970 something that were truck involved accidents where the truck was going at a high rate of speed one of the things they never mentioned in those studies and in these talks is that 80 to 90 percent of all truck accidents that involve a truck and a car 80 to 90 i'm not i don't remember the exact number are the far are the fault of the car right it's not the trucks fault it's it's the car driver's fault so now they're trying to make this mandatory where every truck is governed that doesn't even come out with a speed so it could be 60 it could be 68 65 but making every truck do that speed it's gonna it's gonna affect everybody not just trucks so people that are driving their cars they're gonna you think it's bad now where they're stuck behind this big truck and they gotta go they gotta go well now you're gonna have trucks all holding you up and the guys that are on the older trucks that aren't going to be able to be governed well they're going to be held up too because they they won't be able to go faster just because of the volume of traffic it's going to be on the road right and then you've got these guys like me well i don't hold this thought but the guys like me that are governed that they think that this won't affect them either well i'd like those people to think about how how is it out there when you're caught up next to another truck it's just a little bit faster than you are a little bit slower how does that feel right next to them for you know eight or nine miles now imagine every truck doing that so i just think that the speedometer is a bad idea uh education on safely operating trucks and and cars i think that's what the way to go but they want to push down these more regulations on us what are you hearing from other drivers same thing so the interesting thing is fmcsa leaves a 30-day period where you can comment on any future rulings they take them they read them they never get very many uh comments on these things well this one's gotten a lot of traction and i say a lot in quotation marks because last i saw it was 5700 comments most of them against but when you consider there's over 3 million drivers out here truck drivers and only 5 700 of them have gotten on there and commented we can't really complain a lot when they push these down on us when we get on social media and we complain but we don't go to the people that can actually do something about it and complain so i'd like to take this platform here and say go to find that docket and comment comment comment politely lay the case out there so they know how you feel about it that is so important that's a call to action tell people the the website again and tell them what to do it's gov look for the speed limiter they're calling it equipment for safe operation or something like that i'm sorry i don't have that right on top of my head there but just look for that and then follow the links through you'll be able to comment on it they give you like 5 000 words use them up and let them know how you feel about it and and if you if you're not quite sure how to feel uh because you haven't really thought about it that much put a little thought into it do a little digging talk to some truck drivers out there and find out what it's going to be like you'll you'll see i don't think it's a good idea now in terms of federal regulation what's happening in that arena you've been driving for a while you've seen a lot your team run smart pro you kind of know what's going on there do you see more regulations coming down the pike well it always seems like it's a it's a it's a solution looking for a problem sometimes they just ah we need to do this what's the problem that'll solve it and it's always more regulation because just this opinion but if they push down this speed limiter thing and when it doesn't give them the results they desire they're going to say well we didn't do enough or we need to do more or maybe we picked the wrong speed and they'll they'll come up with more regulations and we're already the second most regulated industry in i think in the world behind airlines so i just i i just don't think more regulation is actually the the solution to the problems we have it's it's education and it's pay you know the hours of service is a big thing where we're paid by the mile but we're regulated by the minute and those two clash sometimes so education making changes where the changes will actually do some good i think that's the way to go but getting people that don't drive truck to understand that in in government that makes the regulations that's a tough thing they just don't want to see things the way it is either let me let me uh put a turn signal on here and switch into another tough topic because we want to take advantage of you uh while we have you here and it's sure what i love i love when we have podcasts from the cab it makes it it makes it real you know it's it's not like people that are trying to make sure the picture in the back is okay and the dog doesn't walk through looks it looks really good let me ask you this where we had dean croak on here just just before you where do you see the market these days i mean it's really got a lot of churning forces what's going on in the market from behind the driver's wheel well i i got to admit i'm not really on top of what market forces are going on but i can tell you what i see going on on the road that's what i mean yeah i see a lot of drivers waiting to get loaded i see a lot of drivers sitting around a little bit now that really wouldn't want to be um i hear freight rates are going down i don't know what drives that but rates are going down fuel's going up i know drivers that are parking it and there's already uh you know a perceived driver shortage i don't know whether that's true or not but there's that perception rate's going down fuel going up guys are just going to park it they can't make money out here and that makes the market even tighter that makes capacity less and it's just going to until this these things get strained out i don't know what's going to happen i don't see it getting better anytime soon especially with fuel prices going up right right and dean was telling us a little bit earlier that you know you have a lot of people that are having to make decisions about whether to drive or whether to park it and you know those that aren't well capitalized or have some savings they got some debt you know there are some people turning back in their trucks and so and people that came into the industry during exemptions and all of that thought hey this is a great industry i'm making money and then things change and you have to learn to be adaptive don't you oh that's absolutely correct and you know i i saw a bunch of people jump into the market and get their own truck when the rates were really high and fuel was really cheap and now they didn't plan ahead or they didn't foresee what was going to happen because those rates always go up and down and fuel prices always fluctuate maybe not to this extent but i see a lot of them now i'm getting i'm selling my truck i'm getting back to be a company driver and uh i see a lot of that so there's a lot of churn again because of market market forces that we can't control really well and of course what you had too is you had people that bought trucks at inflated prices right and now now we've got a part shortage out there where if your truck does break down you can't get the parts to fix it so now you've got truck that needs fixed you got no parts to fix it you got no income coming in it uh you know things could fall apart pretty quickly that's why i'm glad i'm a company driver i'll let those other guys worry about that and this is a great opportunity for you to talk about the truck you're in so go ahead and do that sure okay well uh from what you can see it's a 2021 freightliner cascadia uh it's got i just turned over 200 000 miles on this thing it's got the dd15 450 horsepower 1850 foot-pounds of torque and it's the gen 5 dd-15 it's got the newly redesigned dt12 amt and it's got a super secret rear that i'm not allowed to talk about because it's we're testing it so arrow packages love stuff like this you know what's great we know there's a subset of the audience that will say just have them talk that way the whole time talk that way the whole the whole time they'll talk about the truck yeah yeah but i'm happy to talk about the truck anytime they want yeah oh yeah yeah you've got a great relationship with them and you know it here at life of the mile delivered by breakworks we're never apologetic about letting guests talk about companies that they love to work with talk a little bit about uh the pros tell us who you are and and why you're called that well you did a good explanation of that at the beginning um the team run smart is just a group of uh it's mostly an online presence i gotta say that right but we're just a group of professional drivers there are three of us that are the pros they only i think they only call us that so people will know we're real drivers we're not just somebody that sits behind a desk and writes stuff so we just talk about truck driving the trucks driving life regulations we talk about the lifestyle fixing food on a truck staying healthy anything that has to do with trucking we talk about and and like you said earlier we've got jimmy navarre started out as a company driver then he bought his own truck now he's got a fleet of 10 trucks to the point where he's not really driving a lot but he can talk about that transition from one to the next and we've got henry albert that started out working for a private fleet then he bought his own truck he was a fleet owner for a little bit i think he had three trucks now he's just back down to a solo truck operation his own authority running freight and then there's me i'm a company driver and i talk about being a company driver and how to make things better at our companies maybe and and how to just make life on the road a little more tolerable so we've got the breadth we can talk about the transition from one to the other to the other and i i think team run smart is a great source for just all kinds of information it really is it's a wonderful platform and folks i want to encourage you if you've not gone to it how can they get to it again what is the website it's absolutely free and you can actually sign up for an email newsletter that comes out once a week they won't burn you up with spam and junk like that by the way but it'll come to you once a week with links to new articles blogs information like that completely free so it's so good i i'm a regular there so folks this is life by the mile delivered by freightworks if you haven't subscribed to the youtube channel make sure you hit that subscribe button engage talk about it encourage others to become part of our life by the mile family now let's jump into something that i'm gonna love talking about because it reflects the compassion and philanthropy really and community service of the trucking industry we have got a serious problem i was reading about this earlier today with waste in america it's it's horrible clark as a matter of fact the average american produces about four and a half pounds of garbage per day and about three quarters of a ton a year and a lot of that gets thrown out there which is horrible now you've come up with something that tries to address that tell us what it is butch thanks for bringing it up um i'd like to say this was solely my idea i'm just kind of the guy that ran with it so as you know i'm on tick tock i'm on all the social media platforms i was talking uh i did a real quick tick talk about garbage and i'd pick some up on the way and threw it away just you know trying to encourage people to do that somebody jumped on and made a comment about while i did that when i was in army three pieces a day just pick it up and throw it away whether it's yours or not throw it away and i thought well that's a great thing i'm gonna incorporate i'm gonna start doing that and then i started sharing that and using the hashtag three pieces a day the next thing i know there's people that are not just doing three pieces a day they're picking up garbage bags full of stuff they're going to the back row of the truck stop and they're cleaning it up and they're throwing it away and there's no pay in that there's no you might get a little pat on the back but there's no real recognition for it or then look i left this place a little bit better than when i got here so i'm seeing more and more people do that and the great thing about that is besides making it cleaner is it becomes part of who you are so i you end up doing more than three pieces a day you end up every time you're walking in somewhere you're just picking up a piece of trash and throwing it out it takes zero effort except bending over which you know can be a challenge sometimes but it it takes zero effort and the rewards are just fantastic i everybody that's watching this i would say try it you you won't be surprised be be careful wear gloves don't pick up anything hazardous needles or anything like that but just pick up a piece of paper that's floating around throw it away and see how much better you feel you'll love it you know it is so great and you know people grow up differently i i grew up where you know the room had to be clean the chores had to be done you couldn't go out and play until you did that and and you assumed that the area around you you were responsible for not everybody perhaps grew up that way but i will talk i will tell you this there is a sense of satisfaction in doing this isn't there oh there absolutely is there absolutely is and it it really kind of surprised me at first i was like oh that's uh i just couldn't stand looking at it i'll just do it and you know but then as i did it more and more i'm like wow this really does make you feel good i made this a little bit better than it was when i got here and that's kind of what this is all about right leave things better than when you got there in your head at your house at the truck stop wherever right and so the action item for people that are listening or watching would be what what would you tell them practically to do when you're walking into the grocery store when you're walking into anywhere the the gym when you're walking into the truck stop see a piece of paper pic on the ground pick it up throw it away there's trash can somewhere nearby just toss it away and don't throw stuff out your window don't pick up your own three pieces that's you shouldn't think you shouldn't leave those there anyways but just pick up three pieces a day and then uh if you want to do more do more but here's where i'd like it to go and i'm not doing this for any personal gain at all but put on social media three pieces a day let other people see what you're doing and why and that motivates people well they're doing it i can do it and it really does man you'd be surprised many people will jump on that with you and do it yeah you know what i really love is this is really talking about precipitating a movement it's not just a task but a movement of people and it's so interesting it's like the uh the pay forward that has happened in so many settings like at mcdonald's or the like people get the idea they do it becomes a story it encourages other people so you know what let's let this be a little ground zero for uh for this initiative that you have and uh remind like again what the hashtag is um so there's two of them it's three pieces a day or just three p a d just hashtag that you can do it on tick tock on facebook on instagram whatever you're on linkedin um i've got a lot of reaction on linkedin from people that's a good idea let's do it and i don't know if they're doing it or not but i like to think they are so three pieces a day either way let me ask you this let's shift gears again yeah look i i don't know how old you are and i'm not going to ask but you're not 25 but you're you're so adept at social media talk a little bit about what you have found as a driver the value in in using social media for all the things you do and how you got into it well i got into just i think like everybody else is back on my space by the way i'm 58 so there's a lot of people say old people shouldn't be honest no that's going to sound like patronizing but it's not you look great you take care of yourself thank you i appreciate it i'll send you that check later but uh there's there's a lot of people think that social media is not for them because they're too old for it or whatever but i started just as a way to keep track of friends from you know out of state or keep track of family and then it morphed into you got other people following you that you work with and all that and then i grew into facebook and then you know these these things just keep growing and growing and growing so what i've found is that social media can be a trap you can really get sucked into the negative side of it but as with everything it's all what you make out of it you gotta ignore the negativity on there which is hard to do and focus on the positivity and what i've found is it opens up a whole group of people that you probably would not have met and talked with before and each social media has its own little thing that it seems to be good at linkedin is very professional i love the interactions on there because it's professional and everything flows pretty good there tick tock however that that to me that's it it really is it's kind of like the wild west out there you never know what's going to come up but that's more interactive to me because you're either commenting or you're making a video reply to somebody kind of like we're doing right now it's a face-to-face conversation just you're not you're not talking over each other which you know that's hard to do in a face-to-face conversation sometimes so i get i get more interaction on tick-tock more positive of course there's more negative too but that's where this whole three pieces a day thing started is somebody there commented and it just kind of went from there so i think you have to use it properly and you have to know when to turn it off because it can be a real big time suck uh you know three hours later you're still scrolling through going oh that's cool oh man i should have been asleep an hour ago um but it's a great way to reach out and and connect with people that have the same interests and the same goals as you do i love it that's that's really that's really good now when you're not uh we've had some people i've had some people ask about this when you're not doing this what do you do recreationally i do whatever my family wants to do um i'm out four weeks at a time when i'm home i just want to hang out with them and do what they want to do my son's a big bowler so it's usually a tournament or you know some kind of league going on on the weekends when i'm home and just hang out with the family and and enjoy time with them i don't really have any hobbies um i i guess social media is my hobby maybe because i'm on that an awful lot but um well you're good if you follow me i i hope so i hope so um but when i'm home i'm not on social media very much because i'm kind of hanging out with them and doing things they want to do so hobbies no i don't have any just writing about trucking and all that that's that's that's honest and it's great that you're family oriented and of course we know a lot of drivers their family is what it's all about i mean we often will tell people at freight works we never want to lose sight of those little children in some cases looking through the window for dad or mom to come home you know it's absolutely important to remember to remember that now tell people real quickly the kind of routes that you uh you run what kind of driver i i am and a true otr driver so i run irregular freight i'm all 48. wherever they send me whatever they put in the trailer that's what i hauled wherever they want it and uh i i ran dedicated for a while and i run local for a little bit and those just drove me crazy my just the well with the dedicated it's the same route every day same route seeing the same stuff now i loved the relationships i built up with the customers i loved that but the same route every day every day and the local i was doing i had to run through chicago four times a day that's that's not conducive to enjoying your job at all so um i found that not knowing necessarily where i'm going two days from now i like that challenge i like seeing different parts of the country so i truly do run all 48 i don't in fact i know where i'm going because i'm going home this weekend but monday i have no idea where i'm headed yet and i like that challenge that's great and remind people where home is home is just south of janesville wisconsin um and right on the wisconsin illinois border right in central north central illinois so a little town called roscoe yeah and it's it's one of what they call those fly-over places which is really what america is about it's not the coast or what you see on network television clark let me let me ask you a final question then we'll round the home stretch and you'll be on to uh the rest of your day by the way you you've arranged the shot so well you've got cascadia right there behind you

good it looks really good you you've got you've got an advertising part uh gene in you as as well i think but uh uh a question we often get uh we often get asked and and that's this when you're when you're running down the road and you're going mile after mile after mile how how do you spend your time now we know you're not watching movies you're a safe driver but what what do you do i listen to podcasts i listen to the radio i talk to family and friends on the phone hands-free by the way um

that's besides paying attention to the road right so i really work at maintaining my distance it's not i there's a term called steering wheel holder that i really despise that because we all hold it and i know what they're talking about they're talking about people that don't pay attention to the road when they're driving i just kind of zero in and i don't want to be that kind of driver so i'm always paying attention to what's going on around me that's part of being safe that's part of fuel economy as well but um so that's what i do mostly i could have a radio program on and it'll finish up and i didn't even know what they talked about because traffic's heavy or whatever so um besides listening to the radio and podcasts and paying attention to the road that's that's about all you can do when you're going down the road and when when you uh sleep you sleep well oh yeah yeah unless i spent you know six hours on tick tock then i sleep fast but uh yeah i sleep well every night in fact i sleep better in a truck than i do at home i think because this this is my home i'm in this thing 28 days a month or whatever so yeah yeah yeah i sleep real well back there you know as as we round uh the home home stretch here i actually read a story recently about a driver this was pretty interesting who couldn't sleep at home without pulling the truck up near the window and hearing the engine i could believe that yeah i don't have a pro you know i you sleep next to these reapers that are running or people that have the apu's it does kind of you get used to it it kind of drones you to sleep right now and i run with a fan in the truck um every night all year round i've got a fan that that runs in the truck so it helps kind of drown some of the other noises out but yeah you get used to that sound of diesel at night you really do well clark we come to that point uh where where i'm gonna offer you and by the way that's a beautiful cap you've got on tell us about the cat thank you it really is uh this is my gray life by the mile hat that i actually picked up in mats when i saw you guys there at mats this year now i did a little survey on tiktok because i've got the blue one too and i left it up to my followers blue or gray and this was overwhelming majority 67 to 33. okay so here it is it's official clark reed freightliner team run smart pro and he did his own analysis on this on on the cap so here's the deal because you've been with us again we're going to offer you either this i'm going to do my qvc imitation here either this cap or this genuine yeti i think i've got that yeti from you too so i'll take the hat always you know i'm a hat guy so you know what we're gonna we're gonna send if you can't see it you'll see it when you get it we're going to send you this beautiful freightworks one cap and uh you know what clark it always goes quickly with you and you always leave us with information and a desire for more and uh we just pray you have safe travels and we look forward to having you back again folks make sure that you take to heart uh subscribing to this youtube channel also take to heart the recommendations that clark has made today give again real quickly the two websites for uh team run smart and and then also for the uh initiative to pick up trash oh okay so team run smart is pretty simple team run smart all one word uh there is no website for the three pieces a day just do it people just do it and then the fmcsa is gov go there comment on the limiter let them know you feel i think we got two more weeks as of the recording of this so let them know those are three practical things for you to do this is butch malpe your host for life by the mile clark reed it's always great to have you have safe travels and we'll talk soon butch thank you for the time i appreciate it 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 a 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 the channel by clicking here we'll see you there


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