Eddie & Sue

Interview by
Published on
January 10, 2022

In this episode...

Sue Martucci and Eddie Venatta have been very close friends since their time together at an everyday Missouri high school, facing what every teenager does. Yet, through a series of improbable events both ended up in the ever-changing world of trucking and logistics and more vitally as a FreightWorks driving team traveling to every corner of our beautiful America. Stories like this are too rare not to be told and in this episode, you’ll hear what it takes to be an efficient driving team, the role trust plays in managing hard days and long nights, and the great places to stop for a bite to eat when a driver’s personal engine needs fuel. You’ll also hear tips from veteran drivers who know that every day is unpredictable but an unshakable commitment to stay professional, do right, and keep your promises will make certain you have the grace for just another day.

Eddie Venatta

Eddie Venatta is a professional team driver at FreighWorks.

Sue Martucci

Sue Martucci is a professional team driver at FreighWorks.


I like teaming with him he drives nights I drive days okay so that happens that that fits together well

life by the mile delivered by freight works is your 30-minute weekly podcast adventure you'll hear the hearts soul and passions of those who keep america moving join us we're ready to roll sue martucci eddie banetta friends since high school back in missouri they're not married but they're driving partners they love freight works their story is going to be so motivating here on life of the mile delivered by freightworks okay let me let me start out with this question how did you decide to become a driving team um really we just kind of was always talking on and off over the years she was a driver for a couple years and then the work i was doing in florida when the recession hit everything just bottomed just fell out i went and became a driver and then a couple years after that we got to talking and we decided to just start teaming okay and so where where do you live i live in dixon missouri okay and where do you live i live in north port florida okay so here you are you've been friends since high school in missouri you end up with different lives but you stay connected as friends you and now how did you get into driving sue i was working on a hog farm and the owner of the hog farm sold it out okay and i've always wanted to drive a truck and let me go back for a second how many hogs were there we had about 1500 head 1500 hogs yes really i would we would raise them from babies all the way up to

older the older pigs okay and but they were going to slaughter yes okay I've always wanted to ask a hog farmer this I've always wanted to ask it now I have the opportunity we always have something exciting like this do you named yet were any of them ever pets oh yes I had one that was called uh um baby girl actually and she likes she used to drink my mouth knocked my mountain dew out of my hand and drink it okay so baby girl your pet hog like mountain dew yes folks I'm convinced you're not going to hear that on any other broadcast on any other platform all right so any way you got your start into trucking hell um the farm went under because the guy sold it he was getting up in his age and uh so the state of Missouri had a program called they'll uh pay for schooling okay for

you know people that are out of work because of displacement workers okay so they want to help you find another vocation yes so they paid for my schooling and i went to school and okay how did you pick that how did you pick driving i've always wanted to drive and my grandma bless her heart she passed away last year um she goes oh you won't be able to do it you won't be able to do the pre-trip well i started doing it and she was my cheerleader all the way through until she passed away last april that is so good that is i we hear so many stories about drivers who have people in the family or others that they respect that encourage them how about you how did you get your start into driving um obviously when the economy took a big hit back in 0-8 i started going to school and i was looking through the different schools that the trying to figure out how to put it it's like unemployment yeah they pay for your schooling okay now i was kind of looking through all the stuff and i'm just talking different people and somebody made a comment to me that's just struck with me that everybody's got to eat so there's always going to be a truck driving job and that's where i picked that up from okay all right so at some point you had a conversation about the fact that you were both driving right i was i've been driving since 2006. and how about you I've been driving since 2009. okay all right so we're three years all right so you had a conversation and you said what just go get your dirt go just go get your cdl all right but when did you when did you discuss becoming a team um probably about two years give or take after i started driving we were talking she'd have enough issues with the company she was at so i was like well one would see if we could team and see how well it worked and we've been a team ever since you know one one of the things that struck me in our first conversation is a lot of people think you're married but you're not right right you're a driving team so you've got lives that are separate and different and have circled in other places but through it all you forged a friendship that has lasted through all these years and it's so unusual and so great to know that that friendship is really the foundation for you being a driving team right so right i love i like teaming with him he drives nights i drive days okay so that that fits together well now you know what i don't want to embarrass you but i'm just going to ask some direct questions to sue okay okay so what what are the things that you value in the friendship with eddie i mean what is it that made you say hey you know what truck driving is hard but i trust him and i respect him tell me a little bit about why you put your life your life in his hands and vice versa i'll get to you in a minute okay well i mean i trusted his judgment i mean i really do he is a he's honest and trustful i mean yeah we have our ups and downs like married couple but you know he runs when i start yelling he does yeah but i said this to you earlier you also have a really big heart you know yeah that that comes through what what is it that you value in the friendship with sue that's resulted in you saying hey you know what i trust when she gets behind the wheel she just always been there i've seen how she drives i'd i've never had a reason to distrust her stuff i mean if it starts getting too bad she'll ask my opinion if we should pull it over and if i don't feel it's safe pull it over great stay with me i tell him if he gets tired pull over they could always reschedule the load right so would you say that you communicate well yes yeah that's really really that's so essential isn't it yeah he i do all the trip planning okay i know where we're gonna uh swap drivers and when and where and when we're gonna stop to eat on the long way yeah because i'm usually asleep then okay i do all the trip planning i i mean from the weather to where we're gonna stop to eat to you know everything that's gotta be wonderful to have somebody you trust that's doing all that he does all the outside work i do the inside work okay okay what a what a wonderful combination and that's worked so well now you started with another company yes i did i started with warner okay in 2006. okay you know one thing that has struck me is that so much of the marketing for the trucking and logistics industry sounds the same everybody says you'll get good miles we'll get you home time we love you come be part of the family it just sounds like everybody says that well with warner they're when you first start they you know they're really nice to you but then once you get your own dispatcher and get going you're a number to them you have to give them your truck number or your employee id i call in freight works and they know who i am immediately and that's what i like about a company i'm not a number here right right it and and when freight works talks about being a family it really tries to reflect that people know each other's lives you know there's a we those of us that are people of faith you know there's a scripture that talks about rejoice with people that rejoice and weep with people that weep so when people are going through a hard time you know you jump in there with them you know when my grandma passed away we were in idaho falls idaho not passed away but it was her last yeah they weren't sure how long she was going to last they flew me home to make sure i was there yeah and yeah and when i've asked drivers before who've shared similar circumstances what's that worth to them the answer is everything because it does it says we really care we really care about you now let me let me ask you this um in your in your driving experiences uh together have you ever had i'm sure you have some really serious weather situations yeah talk about a couple of them yeah matter of fact we just had that coming across the country from this last storm that's one of the reasons i sat down early even though i was only going slow speed i'm probably 40 miles or less i had two times where the truck actually started to jack knife on me and i pulled it out okay then the third incidence i had we were in the middle and the wind was actually starting to push me onto the shoulder and it was until i actually got into the fresh snow on the side of the road i got control of the truck back after that it was like nope time to shut it down you know so talk a little bit because most people that haven't driven a truck which is most people don't understand what it's like to navigate the roads the traffic and the weather talk a little bit i mean you're you're a very small diminutive person talk a little bit about what it's like to be managing these tens of thousands of pounds when you're on the road it's really difficult and i've had situations where i'm a little nervous about a lot of wind and he i've told him about it while it happened when i was on the phone with them but when i worked for solid on they set me up after an empty trailer and there was a bad winter's the very first winter storm that was coming through virginia and i was going up and i was fine bobtail as soon as i got that empty trailer it lifted up on me three times like almost flipped on me and it's like nope no more right it's scary right and any the only advice i give you're the captain of that chip if you don't feel safe pull it over right i don't chain because to me chain in up these hills and stuff the mountains you only could do 25 miles an hour on the chains it could take you three hours to go 870 miles why when you could sit down at the bottom of the hill and let the crows the crews do their job and clear the road and you go over safely now it it we've heard a number of drivers at freight works and elsewhere but here at freight works say that one mark of a good driver is that you're always learning you can't ever say i know it and if you hear a driver say i've done that before they're in trouble is that is that true eddie yeah when you start getting overconfident that's when you're going to get yourself into serious trouble but i mean you've got to learn all the time there's new technologies coming out um you name it everything's new all the time i mean 20 years ago your automatic clutches these for your automatic trucks you still had to push in a clutch to get the truck to shift and everything else now you get into like the vocal eye shift it's no different than jumping in a car it does everything you don't even know it's shifting because it's doing it that fast and that smooth and when i was going through truck driving school the own my instructor he had 40 plus years out here and he said the minute that you think you know it all is the time that you need to hang up your keys and walk away because you're a danger to the holy public right you are always constantly learning something if you don't just walk away well you know what folks we want to make sure you know this life by the mile delivered by freight works is just an ongoing attempt to get real stories raw stories authentic stories from drivers we want to make sure if you haven't subscribed to the youtube channel would you hit that button and click it and push this out on your social media to other people that may be interested to know more about the colorful exciting and sometimes very unpredictable world of trucking and logistics let me go back to this question when you're driving um one of the real challenges for drivers is finding a place to park yes now you're the trip planner what are some of the things you do to make sure that's not a problem well that's nowadays it's so hard to plan where you're going to park at because there's so many places that are closing down like rest areas and now there's a petition out there trying to get more rest areas or truck parking for drivers but usually when we go get ready to swap drivers we just go through a fuel island do a 15-minute switch over and go because there is no parking unless you're shut down at two three o'clock in the afternoon that's still too early and on what she's talking about on parking in the fuel island cause we haul a lot of hazmat see a lot of drivers they'll take their brakes on ramps and stuff like that you shouldn't bet they do now if you're hauling has met that's illegal you can get a major ticket for that and for being a nighttime driver trying to find someplace to do that 30 minute break that can create major issues and a lot of times you know if you ever follow the trucking groups and stuff everybody complains about the 30-minute break that you have to take and like i say for us a lot of times there's no choice we've got to do a 30-minute in the fuel island okay so that becomes your fallback in every circumstance right you know a lot of people that are not aware it's most people of trucking and logistics uh when we talk about hazmat explain to people some of the things you carry um we carry paint cleaners we carry paint um we this company don't but some companies they carry explosives um we but we do we carry food additives now in their concentrated form there can some be considered hazmat because they're actually flammable okay and there's also we do medical waste okay which is biohazard so we have it's a hat you know hazmat load um we also do lead we do lead which is a hazmat it's a miscellaneous hazmat but it's a hazmat i mean you know it's really it's so interesting because a lot of folks don't know what those little signs on the truck mean explain to people that don't know what what those are well what they do they let first responders and people like that know that one we've got hazmat and what class it is and what the classes are you've got like radii radiation um biological flammable liquid flammable gas flammable solids all right so if you have a situation they come up on the scene they're aware of what's there and of course some things are made worse with water right right oh yes like sulfur if isn't it sulfur that if you get wet no you're thinking of magnesium magnesium if it gets wet it you can self-ignite yeah right and so i mean you're you're like the airline pilot's got to manage all those all of those different things right which is considerable now you go coast to coast right yes have you been to all 48 states or mostly i've been to 47 i'm missing maine that's the only state i've not driven in i've done 47 plus canada okay i have not been in maine you know i lived i lived in maine for a little bit it's a big state most people don't realize that and here's the other thing if you see a moose they're ornery creatures never blow your air horn out of moose is that is that true yes it's a mating call okay it sounds like a meeting call to them and so they'll attack your truck okay and if there's enough mint bulls they could actually tip your truck over okay i've actually seen it happen that's that's interesting okay uh and you've been up in canada yes okay up in quebec and bc are the canadian trucking regulations different oh yes it is yeah talk a little bit about that because in canada you in order to come go from the united states to canada you have to have your passport or a pass card which is just a little card that says you you're an american citizen but their speed limit is 65

miles an hour which is like 50 kilo me i don't know kilometers kilometers and i mean it it's totally different up there if you get caught doing past that you get a ticket okay the road system is a lot different i mean i i don't like being over in the eastern part of canada i'd rather be over by bc okay because they're rude over here in the east coast okay okay now let me let me ask you this i've asked other drivers this before is there a place in the country where you think the drivers are particularly bad uh pretty much any city okay i think i think uh atlanta's worse atlanta's got bad traffic doesn't it yes yeah yeah it's once you get into any major city it's really bad and what i wish the city planners would have done and so the hov lanes restricted that for trucks instead because 95 of all your semi traffic is going through instead of stopping in the city right and that would keep us out of the exit and merge lanes right and it would actually unclog things right well also in new jersey you have on the new jersey turnpike we're only allowed in the right two lanes the cars could be in the right two lanes and all the other lanes too but we have to stay right there in the two and i mean sometimes you're just yeah because you i've had many instances of two cars get side by side and they barely go to the speed limit in front of me and you can't go around because if you go around and get caught well you're going to be looking at a big ticket okay i've also been trying to figure out how i could go about i would like to go to the driving schools the car driving schools and teach them how to respect the truck drivers because i will drive around a big truck basically i mean it's my i've taught my daughter she's 33 years old not to be in the back end of a trailer or on the side too far you know by the wheels she's like why i said because if you if that trailer tire blows it's going to go through your windshield all right good and injure you mm-hmm so she tries to stay up as far to the cab as possible but let me let me ask you this do you find that there are drivers that uh you know you you pass you pull back into the right lane and they click their lights yes yeah yeah do you appreciate that yeah yes we do what does that say to you they're saying thank you yeah i do that by the way and and somebody taught me that a long time ago and uh and sometimes the truck will kind of blink its lights back right yeah yeah because a lot of times if you're passing a vehicle and they flash your lights they're letting you know that you got plenty of distance in front of them and you can move back over that's that's that's good now do you trip play in where you stop to eat yes okay do you have some favorite spots that you'd like to go to oh yes okay this is the part this is the part where we're really going to go deep in the conversation i want you to tell me about three places and describe exactly where they are and if you remember the exit number tell me where it is where are three places that you enjoy going i like going to i-20 the going westbound in the rest area towards where texas okay it's the texas uh right as you're getting into texas okay welcome center in texas just uh over from is that louisiana yeah yeah that you park out you get in there park in the lot and go right across the street and what's right across the street it is a little restaurant i mean it looks like a little shack but it has excellent food i don't even know what it's called anymore what kind of food seafood and primarily but when you first see it you think it's just a little shack that the rest stops set up just to have you know you could take pictures of where they've got all kinds of old license plates a couple of bicycles out front it's just you never really think it's a hole in the wall right yes but the food is great yeah yes okay where's another place uh another one would be next yeah but i don't know the exit number that's okay well where is it what state what interstate it's on i-40 there in arkansas between little rock and memphis okay they've got a nice big truck parking area but they serve catfish um barbecue shrimp you name it it's all kinds of good stuff in there do you get a lot of truck drivers that stop there oh yes okay always packed in there okay that's that's that's two what's a third place that might be uh a good one well that could be speedys um well either speedy's or uncle joe's yeah okay well tell me quickly about both of them okay speedy was on i-40 on the border of new mexico and arizona okay and they've got same thing just a little bit of everything but it's all homemade okay easy access yeah yes okay how about the other place uncle joe's is in aina illinois on 57. you know what somebody else mentioned them somebody else mentioned that they're really good well they're excellent barbecue it's one of our homes I mean they make their own barbecue sauce from scratch right there in the house isn't that something that's in where again aina Illinois and off of what interstate 57 57 exits 83. exit okay folks whenever you hear somebody say exit 83 on 57 you know you've done that more than once before oh that's my favorite place to stop when we go down that way yeah they got four different barbecue sausages they make their own rubs i mean if you like barbecue you're going to love that place well you know what the next time you go through there one of the things we're going to start doing is i think we're going to get a hold of doing this with jordan and josh and joyce and others is creating a little life by the mile podcast uh promotion something and some of these eating places we maybe we'll put that there where people can know this is where they can learn a little bit more there's nothing like uncle joseph great yeah that's that's good we'll have to figure out a way to send them a link to this podcast that you've done so that they know they got free advertising that happened here let me uh let me ask you this question uh there's a lot of turnover in the industry a lot of people are in a company leave a company in a company leave a company it just seems like it cycles from one thing to the next people looking over the fence saying hey the grass looks greener there right how did you you said something very powerful earlier you said that fray works is a company that you're going to retire at right right what i'd like you to do is i'd like you to explain to people why that's true then i'm going to ask you a question and that's uh why is freight works you'll do this after he finishes why is freightworks a good company for a woman to come and work at okay so you go first all right well like she was mentioning earlier a lot of companies you're just a number at when you come here they do their best to help get you in i mean you're always going to have situations where stuff that's not good as planned i don't care right what you do right stuff will go south well you have customers you got trucks you got weather you got situations all the time right well one former company i was at i'm not going to mention names but i mean i got on home time i wasn't even home two days and i was being called hey can you come back to work like really i just walked in the door um another company a few years ago i had an appendix out well they had me out for i think about three or four weeks because being on the road if anything came up trying to get into a hospital er or anything would have been a little bit testy well they called me up and asked if i could come back a week early after you had appendicitis epidemic appendectomy yeah you had an appetite to me and they asked you to come back early but then when we were thinking about coming over here josh would call him every day to see how he was yeah and that's what pushed him down here right and you can tell when people really care when people don't can't you i mean we weren't even working here yet and josh was constantly calling him asking how he was doing and another issue i had with a company is i'm a type 2 diabetic so when i need to go home to see a doctor it's you know it's stuff i need to do well i was told well we've got 12 trucks out so we can't let you go home it's like excuse me that's not the answer you're going to give me right right yeah and you know it's a principle folks we've said it often brainworx is not a perfect company but it's a company that's going to keep its promises and it's going to do its best to follow through each and every day a day on on the commitment to driver safety and driver care and comfort why would why would you encourage women drivers to consider right works freight works is a good company even being a female it's a man's job basically but they treat all their employees i don't know i don't care if you're male female whatever they still treat you with respect and not a number and they always care on what you're thinking and they plan as much as they can around doctor's appointments whatever i love it here i mean yeah i'm five four five three and he does he's taller than me so he has to do the outside work because i can't reach nothing but you do the trip planning and all the other and it's just such a a wonderful team you know it it's been uh i often say this the mark of a good conversation is when it ends quickly and you'll see that we're winding down here this has been so wonderful you know sue and eddie it's so clear that your friendship is the bedrock of a great driving team your driver manager loves you leanne loves the work that you do you got to be be able to communicate with your team partner right whether you're married or not you still have to be able to communicate and get along a lot of people don't can't get along in this in a little box as i call it well i think your friendship going back so many years uh makes it clear that you're able to communicate and do that well now you you're going to have the opportunity to reflect how you make decisions because one of the things that we do is we have little gifts that we give for guests that come on we have a hat and we have a yeti mug who's getting the hat he gets the okay she's the trip planner no i drink coffee he wears the hats this has the freightworks logo on one side light by the mile on the other that's our gift to you and it's a yeti it's a yeti so whether it's your coffee or your uh water whatever it might be those are our gifts to you uh sue and eddie it's been wonderful to have you i knew the first time we talked to the driver's lounge that you'd be authentic and compassionate and insightful you've been all those things and we just wish you and and more than that we pray for just good journeys in the days ahead for both of you thank you yeah it's been good to meet you too nice to meet you much this is life of the mile delivered by freight works sue and eddie have been our guests uh make sure you keep tuning in subscribe hit the subscribe button keep coming back and we'll keep sharing stories that you'll find very interesting and motivating here at life by the while


Get emails about design, user experience, user interface & productivity each week. We'll keep them short & to the point.

Thank you! Be on a lookout for an email from us!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.