Clark Reed

Interview by
Published on
February 14, 2023

In this episode...

Who better to talk to about the latest issues in trucking than a professional truck driver? In this episode of Life By The Mile, we catch up with a professional driver and content creator - Clark Reed. Hear Clark's take on the latest developments in the trucking industry, speed regulation legislation, the importance of safe driving for good fuel economy, training new drivers, the relationship between a driver and the truck, the truck parking crisis, and more. Get a firsthand perspective from a professional driver, and get candid when you join us in the conversation by leaving a comment below.

Clark Reed

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


I can't show you right now but I'm sitting in the driver's Lounge of my truck I've got a table and chairs and it folds down into a bed I've got a microwaveer it's my house these things are our livelihood we depend on them to support our families so it's it's more than just getting the car and start kind of relationship this is uh I'm gonna take care of you you need to take care of me kind of relationship so they become in a weird way kind of family welcome to life of the mile delivered by freightworks one of America's fastest sporting podcasts actually produced by trumpets he died at the tell story compelling driver's story I need to do something insightful industry all here right now this life of the wild delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch wolfy now listen we've got an incredible guest you'll want to stay for the entire time it's a treasure and a treat to have Clark read on we're going to talk a little bit more about him in a minute but make sure you hit the Subscribe button share engage become part of the life of the mile team by the way we're going to be at mats make sure you see us there as well Clark Reed of Roscoe Illinois is an over-the-road company driver trainer for news bomb Transportation based out of Hudson Illinois he's been driving since 2005. he's driven Vans reefers tankers currently Halls dry Vans to all lower 48 states he's passionate about miles per gallon he also has an incredible platform team run smart with Freightliner and he's a pro with them so Clark you know what I feel like I don't need to introduce you you're my buddy you're my friend yeah YouTube which is good to see you again great now where are we finding you today family here yes we are where are we finding you today well today I am in the I'm in the uh Lounge of my Cascadia at the Midwest Truck and Trailer show in Peoria Illinois so we're showing off the truck and talking Trucking out here excellent all right now now tell tell people real quickly what the event is uh it's it's called the biggest little truck show in the country so it's the first truck show of the year in Peoria um manufacturers are here a lot of people showing off trailers it's just a little bitty truck show but there's a lot going on here so team run smart is here showing off our trucks Henry Albert you know him we're both here showing off the trucks talking about Trucking and all things regulation all kinds of stuff like that great now and the folks that come there are folks that care about Trucking Logistics what's happening in the marketplace and the like right uh that's correct in fact this morning already I've talked to people that are retired out of trucking people that are new into Trucking people that own their own companies people that are thinking about being owner operators and Company drivers and people that want to know what Freightliner can do for them and that type of thing so um it's a and a lot of kids there's been a lot of kids here which is I love the kids coming here and looking at the trucks so it's been busy it's it is so wonderful and of course I'm just going to say this I've been down to Peoria before and that's the heartland of America right no that's correct there's all kinds of farmers out here and good folks just wanting to check out trucks so yeah I love it out here now Clark you know one of the things that we always love to be able to ask you when you're on is just to put your finger on the pulse of what's happening in the market from a driver's perspective and of course you've been around the block enough to know that there are cycles and the trucking and Logistics industry and with supply chain and all that what do you see is happening right now and you know prognosticate a little bit you use your experience and your judgment insights to talk about what you see in 2023 okay well so I'm always bad at this it's just so you know anything but right now the Market's kind of light it seems like rates are down and the the Freight's light we go through Cycles though it'll come back I can't tell you when it'll come back patience is required right now a lot of the drivers are trying to jump companies because they're not getting the miles well I don't know if that's a wise course but I think I think come summertime this is just me guessing but I think come summertime Freight levels will come back up people get running again I don't know about the rates because I'm really bad at rates and to be honest with you I'm a company driver I don't worry about rates so much but I think the miles I think the miles will come back up uh one of the big things that's uh facing the trucking industry right now and I'm sure you've heard about it is the speed limiter mandate that's going to be proposed uh this year so I I would uh I would encourage drivers to keep up on that and when it does come open for comments go comment on that let them know what you think about it uh whether you're afford or against it make your voice known because as an industry we're good at complaining we're terrible at complaining to the right people We complain to each other but we never get our voice out so I would encourage people to do that too but that's what I see short term coming up for the industry long term I'm just terrible at that no no but you know what that's really important now what what what's your perspective on all that when it comes to speed regulation and you know creating parameters I I and and by the way nussbaum's a great company we're kind of cut out of the same cloth you're you're much bigger than freightworks but we have the same core values so but so I know you need to be careful but from your perspective as a driver what do you think about the whole speed regulation and moderation legislative efforts in my perspective and this is coming from a guy that drives a governed truck and I don't drive up against the governor all the time I'm usually a little bit below it so this that's my perspective but with that being said I'm totally against the Mandate I don't have a problem with one or two trucks going below posted speed limit or whatever being safe whatever but I have a problem with the government mandating that everybody run that same speed now you're causing problems now you're causing congestion you don't need to be causing um people think traffic is bad now imagine every truck running 60 or 65 mile an hour everywhere all the time and truck drivers are paid by most or paid by them all but regulated by the minute so they're going to try and get every extra foot they can get every day so they're going to be maxed out they're all going to be running the same speed that that's going to be a terrible thing on the interstates you think it's dangerous now just imagine so if we have any four wheelers that are watching car drivers watching this imagine being in that third lane and try and get over that exit Lane when all the trucks are mandated to stay in the right two lanes and run the same speed you're not going to get over so I think the Mandate is just a bad bad bad idea by people that think they're doing something that's going to make things safer I don't believe that's going to help anything at all absolutely and when you think about the fact that you know you're going to have some trucks that are going to take miles to pass somebody right oh that's correct you get one truck doing 65 and one doing 65.2 they're they're just fighting for real estate at that point right right and I I know your commitment to safety you know one of the other things uh Clark that I've always been impressed with is you have personal discipline as a driver that makes its way into the bottom line for the company because of miles per gallon can you remind drivers again basic things they can do I know it's a an ethic of T brunsmart basic things they can do to make sure that they're preserving you know diesel right and as coming drivers most drivers don't care about that because they're not footing the bill right so I like to take it to a safety perspective as well because we're all concerned about that the good habits that bring about good a fuel economy are also the habits that make you a safer driver so the biggest one to me is maintaining my space my following distance being able to avoid an incident where you don't have to jam on the brakes uh Henry Albert another team run smart Pro said once and it really stuck with me that every time you use your brakes you're burning fuel which doesn't seem right until you think about it well now you got to speed back up and it takes extra fuel to speed back up so anything I can do to maintain my speed without having to slow down and speed up is gonna one increasing increasing following distance this makes it safer altogether because you have less chance of rear ending someone or whatever someone cutting you off is diminished but um it also it decreases that slow down speed up I did a video when I was in um they'll run on less event where I'm in California I'm just tooling along and all these guys are running up and then slamming on their brakes and then I'm coming up like on again against them again and then they're just doing that and then back and forth the whole time and I'm just slow steady never had to stop so that saves fuel that makes it less stress for the driver that saves on your brakes that saves on heartbreaking it's just there are so many things that are beneficial by just backing off a little bit and maintaining your falling distance that's probably the biggest thing I think any driver can do get the aggressiveness out of your driving sound just lay back and enjoy yeah and you know what really it starts with the the human Dimension right before you even get behind a seat if you're somebody that's impatient if you're somebody that's you know living with a lot of stress all that's going to manifest itself when you're behind a wheel right right we've all had those rage moments while we're driving right we're just like oh I can't take the traffic so what I tell my students and I kind of preach this a little bit too is learn to control the things you can control and let go of the stuff you can't I can't control how everyone else is driving their truck or their car I can't control what happens at the shipper or the receiver I can't control any of that all I can control is how I drive my truck and how I respond to those situations and you can respond in anger and get yourself worked up or you can just kind of try and let it go and not let it affect your driving style because when you're angry you're going to be aggressive behind the wheel and that's as a recipe for disaster I think so that's a hard thing to do though it's easier it's easy to sit here and talk to you about it it's a hard thing to put into practice so I fail at it all you can do is best you can do with it and try to just let that stuff go you know by the way there's Clark Reed he he is uh he's an incredible friend of Life by the mile we we love it by the way when you wear our hats we're going to talk a little bit about merch in a minute but uh he's I'm sorry I don't have one on either no we're we're we're gonna we're gonna send you another one but uh hey I wanna I wanna ask I want to ask you this question I'm going to ask you this question Clark you're a trainer so you help new people get into the business right yes yeah what is it you look for in new drivers when as a Trader what are the things that you're looking for in somebody that's new we talked about it a minute ago patience and the willingness to learn and also this is a weird thing to say but I want them to have the ability to call me out um if I'm telling them something that doesn't make sense I want them to ask me because I can then explain it to them instead of them just going well it's what he's saying let's do it I want them to question me so I can explain to them and sometimes I may come to a wrong decision or I may tell them something that oh they might have a better idea just because they're not uh trained and they haven't been in a truck for a long time doesn't mean they don't have a better idea or another idea so I want them to be able to call me out and be honest with me um without fear you know any kind of Retribution for me obviously but you're going to have someone in your truck for our program is a long program but you're going to have them in your truck for weeks you need to have some trust there so they need to know they can come at me that sounds bad coming me come to me with a problem or a question and trust that I'll give him a true answer and I'll listen to them if they don't quite understand or they have a better idea that's what openness openness I guess in everybody but especially in a student you know I've always wanted to ask somebody that's an experienced trained and uh celebrated uh trainer like like like you do you get a sense pretty quickly if somebody's gonna make it or not uh yeah yeah but sometimes they'll surprise you um but yeah you can get it you can get a sense some people are um well I hate to criticize anybody some people have a problem with paying attention and that's something you cannot let go of when you're driving you have to be able to focus on not just driving the truck but everything going on around the truck and inside the truck so when you have these people that can't really focus they have a hard time focusing you can either try and train them to focus or just uh let them go and say this might not be the job for you because they could end up killing somebody or hurting somebody including themselves so yeah that's that's a tough thing to do that's almost a non-starter isn't it if somebody can't have enough of an attention to detail to follow what what needs to happen you know that's an issue folks we want to make sure just real quickly as a short little life of the mile and freightworks Commercial if you're going to be at the Mid-America truck show we're going to be there March 30th to April 1st at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville make sure you check that out it's a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know the life of the mile podcast team but also freightworks and if you have ideas for guests we're going to have some interesting incentives for you to tell us about that folks this is Clark Reed Roscoe Illinois he's an over over the road driver but beyond that he he trains he mentors he's with a phenomenal company news bomb we have a lot of respect for you and uh what what brought you there what brought you to newswom well it's a very long story I won't take all your time telling you that but um the company I was at previously I kind of topped out I I couldn't do any more financially there but I was comfortable and sometimes getting out of your comfort zone you don't want to do it so I put it off and put it off and I finally hired on with new spawn because I had seen their trucks and I had seen an advertisement or something and then I backed out because my company that was with promised to fix everything and they didn't so everything went back to the The Daily Grind routine that they had there and I had some Financial struggles come up all at one time and new spam had a hiring bonus and I had called him and said look if I hire on would I get that bonus because they they had really hired me they had my bus ticket and everything the first time and they said yeah we'll run you know your deck or whatever make sure you're still good but yes and uh the Lord provided that that sign on bonus paid out exactly when we needed it to pay out to take care of her it was right around Christmas and we had all this stuff happen uh rack and pinion went out on on the van and the washer dryer blew up it's just everything all at once and um so that sign-on bonus was a blessing but so was the company I I was making way more money at noospond than we thought I would and you know how they're how they're based and their belief system here and it's just that all of that came together at the right time and this is where I'll stay it's values we share uh it's values that we share yeah here here here at freightworks and you know there's no right way to do the wrong thing and when you do things bluntly when you do things God's way uh it it it's profitable you know it's the right thing to do it's the honoring thing to do but it also you know affects the the bottom line which is so good now you've had men and women that you train do they come back and talk to you some do some don't some you get along with on a personal level and some you get along with on a professional level so some do uh some don't and that's okay not everybody's going to be the best of buddies but at least I know if they have a question they know they can come to me and they'll get an honest answer so they do talk to me in fact I've got some people I train that are now trainers and they're doing very very good at it so um yeah I'd say most of them talk to me some some not so much but they don't hate me I mean that's a bonus they don't hate me so we're good there that's that's good now I want you to talk just a little bit about Freightliner and and uh Team run smart what it is and how people can be involved okay well let me let me address the team run smart part of it team run smart is an online community of truck drivers and we just talk about truck driving and regulations and life on the road and how to maintain your truck and how to be successful and uh we've got everything from myself a company driver we've got Henry Albert who you've talked to before uh and Jimmy too but um Henry Albertson owner operator Jimmy Nevarez started as a company driver he now owns a fleet of seven trucks maybe nine trucks um so we run the gamut it so we come at it from all different perspectives so you same topic you might get three different views of it but it's an honest view from life on the road um so it's it's free team you can go sign up for a free email newsletter they'll send you one once a week they won't burn you up but it'll have links to all the new content you can always go check out the old content and we do truck shows like this where we come out and actually talk to people and show off our Freightliner trucks um that's what team run smart is all about community outreach and kind of trying to make this community a truck drivers a little bit closer so that's what that's what we're out here doing today yeah it's it's it's a wonderful Community we want to encourage people to be a part of it now I want to ask you just a couple of more quick questions here can you talk about the relationship that a driver has with their truck sure um talk talk about what a yeah I I talk about that because for a lot of people that are uninformed they don't realize it's not just a vehicle it's more than that for the driver right right it's so for over the road drivers like me it's my home I'm I'm I can't show you right now but I'm sitting in the driver's Lounge of my truck I've got a table and chairs and it folds down into a bed I've got a microwaveer it's my house um I live in this thing six days well more than that I'm out a month at a time so I live in this thing a month at a time so just like your house when you when you come home it's home there's there's some comfort there that you take because you're home now the guys that run day cab it's a little bit different I think but again still there's that security of being wrapped in that truck they may not even be in the same day cab every day there's still a sense of security we get when we get because we're wrapped in this big piece of metal um that is going to take us home eventually to bet back to our families and our friends so um it's more than just getting in a car and going somewhere these things are our livelihood we depend on them to support our families so it's it's it's more than just getting the car and start kind of relationship this is uh I'm gonna take care of you you need to take care of me kind of relationship so they become in a weird way kind of family exactly now do you do you have hopes that the parking situation is going to improve in the years ahead there's always hope there's always hope um I think with the with the ons onset of paid parking a lot of drivers don't necessarily like that especially companies that aren't reimbursing their drivers for that it's an expense out of the driver's pocket that would allow them to even be more productive but you know you're paying 20 bucks for a shower you got paid 25 bucks to park or whatever that's that's a big expense and if you have to do it every night so I don't think that unless companies get on board and start reimbursing it I don't think that's the only answer to it although I think there are some private companies that are looking to make truck parking only um areas so you don't have to it's not attached to a truck stop you can just go park there and I think that might be part of the solution but the other part is companies need to realize this is a part of doing business out here now if you want your driver to feel safe and to be more productive and to not be parking on an on-ramp you need to step up and start reimbursing those drivers and you know whatever parameters you put on it but I think that's something that companies need to step up and do too so is that going to resolve it not until there's a whole lot more capacity added but it would help folks this is Clark Reed Roscoe Illinois he's an over the road driver with Goosebump Transportation he also is a Trader he also is part of freightliner's Team run smart he's he's insightful he's boots underground he's one of our favorite guests the first three-time guest on life of the mile you are and you know what we're going to do is we're actually going to send you I'm not going to ask you what kind of hats and all that other merchandise stuff we're going to send you a little box that includes an array of things you know why I've just decided and made a corporate decision you're going to be a merchandise Ambassador for us and we're going to make sure you've got all the right hats and other other other stuff Clark uh because you know we we know that the trucking industry has people that love caps and and all of that but you know the thing I really appreciate so much is I appreciate that you're you're always straightforward in our conversations and beyond that you're you're a real truckers trucker and it it just blesses us every time you're here well but I I appreciate those kind words and you know I'll wear the swag absolutely y'all show it off and talk about in fact I love talking about this podcast with people but I appreciate it and I appreciate the opportunity you give me to bloviate maybe a little bit and to give my opinion on stuff and maybe be a little bit insightful for people so I appreciate uh being on here three times and you know I'll be on here anytime that you think I might be able to help you out I love being on here we're we're we're really looking forward to seeing you at mats and and other places you're the first person that I've interviewed that's use the word blowby that's that's my word for the day I want to make I I want to make it's a great it's a great Scrabble word this life of the mile delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch Maltby make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel push it out on your social media platforms keep helping us have these kinds of insightful inspiring uh and inspirational conversation it's been a blessing to have you on again thanks much it's been great being here look forward to seeing you in uh Matt's in March into March thanks for watching this episode you know like 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 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