Henry Albert

Interview by
Published on
February 1, 2022

In this episode...

Henry Albert, based in Laredo, TX, has decades of driving experience and is an owner-operator with Albert Transport, Inc. Traveling across the country as a Freightliner “Team Run Smart PR0," Albert shares the rare wisdom born from his faithful years looking through the windshield at busy highways, blessed byways, and everything in between. In this episode, Henry speaks of the attitudes that contribute to making successful drivers, talks about the power of camaraderie, and offers a few practical tips to increase fuel efficiency, safety, and overall job satisfaction. The Freightliner TRS PROs have wise words. Listen now!

Henry Albert

Henry Albert Owner & Driver Albert Transportation, Inc. Laredo, TX. Team Run Smart Pro


if you go back to my baby book my baby favorite toys that said in there anything with wheels

okay then when I was really young what I wanted to do I wanted to be the train engineer because well that has a lot of wheels, yeah and that's what and you're in charge great and the railroads were on the decline at that point so that didn't happen

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 it's another episode of life of the mile delivered by freightworks we love having remote interviews and you're gonna just appreciate so much henry albert he's the owner of albert transport he lives in laredo he's coming to us from charlotte today he's part of the team run smart freightliner platform he's one of their pros uh henry it's great to have you we tried once before and like is so often the case with a number of professional truck drivers sometimes the truck breaks down well our truck broke down we had to get some things fixed but here we are great to be here this morning butch okay now i'm going to start out by asking you some questions about how you got into trucking logistics but the first thing i want to ask is you look so dapper i'm going to say that and you got the tie you got the blue shirt tell us real quickly we were talking before the interview tell us how you came to address the way you do so you have a lot of people in this industry talk about that they're quote old school and i was at a trucking museum and it had this timeline of different things that happened in the industry on the wall and i was there with a friend of mine and i want to say it was somewhere in the late 40s early 50s they had that the average over the road drivers wages were within two thousand dollars of the average doctor or lawyer and i looked at the person i said well you don't have to worry about that anymore and mind you two thousand dollars now would be like a new small car well no it wouldn't be that either with inflation where way it's been but the gap has grown bigger than that this is a number of years ago and i was a flatbed carrier at the time but we went down the line and they had a mannequin in the uniform that they wore of that time period i mean just saying the word uniform to some people throws them off but to me you have the bar in the industry where should the bar be to me the uniform is just the beginning and i had nice uniforms to start with i get dickies work shirts but i get their dress version had them embroidered with my company name my name all that to me that's the bar that's where we should be to begin with but we got down to this mannequin and the mannequin had a tie on an eisenhower jacket the hard bill cap like a bus driver or a pilot might wear and he said well you said that the wages aren't there but he said yo don't look like that anymore either and i said okay i can take that right and he kept talking to me more he says we you ought to put a tile and i said well i'm a flatbed carrier they'll laugh me out of the house with a tie on right and he kept daring me on it daring me on it daring me on it and mind you i'm an independent owner operator on my own authority and i said all right i'll take you up on that and i started wearing a tie the first year i added over a third to my income without increasing my miles at all and i can direct i can directly attribute it back to the tie which has had the highest roi of anything i've ever done that is unbelievable and the reason the tie improved my income every time that i went to a shipper or a receiver and i didn't haul much with brokers i did mostly direct freight with the customer but whenever i delivered someplace new and i showed up there wearing a tie there was a couple of things you could count on one you could count on either the person own the place ran the place or was in charge of something would come out and start a conversation with you because they were like we've never had a driver come in here dressed like that that gave me a chance to represent myself and my company which usually led which oftentimes led farther into a conversation where they're like we need to get you set up with so and so hauling into here or sometimes they want me because to me when we deliver and this is my philosophy on it we represent what the customer or the shipper thought of their customer by how are they so good and how they present themselves that is no good so at the end of the day wearing the tie is just the door opener but you know what now you know what i love about this i i love that i can already tell you don't see yourself as just somebody that's delivering from point a to point b you are the tangible representation of your company philosophy and values and ethics and what a great and i what a what a great story i i love that it's a great way for us to launch here now let me ask you this related to that how did you get into trucking and logistics what was your path you know every time we asked that story we hear different answers sometimes there are points of commonality but what was your journey what's your story how did you get into this it was a little bit of an odd path and in fact other than for my own trucking company i've never driven for a trucking company but i've been driving since 83 on my own since 96 but if you go back to my baby book my baby favorite toys that said in there anything with wheels

okay then when i was real young what i wanted to do i wanted to be the train engineer because well that has a lot of wheels yeah and that's what and you're in charge great and the railroads were on the decline at that point so that didn't happen and i had gotten a job where i worked in a chicken plant in pennsylvania and they had their own trucks and i transferred from night shift to day shift to drive truck there delivering chicken and that's really how i got my start and then i drove for i moved to the carolinas because i used to race stock cars and after i'd won a championship up in pennsylvania i moved to the carolinas and i drove for another private carrier and then it was at that point that i had gone on and got my own authority and started on my own so it's a little bit of a weird journey that i took to having my own trucking company and boy was it an eye opener going from working for a private carrier to having my own trucking company talk about that real quickly what what were the biggest things that happened to you immediately what did you see right away well with a private care they have one mission for you deliver to their customers represent them well and much like they taught me when i worked at weaver's chicken they said us as the drivers are the most important sales people we have because we get to see the customers more than their sales people do so part of that was ingrained back from the very beginning and where i worked at in charlotte when i moved there at that private carrier and we got slow there i used to take along samples of our products and stuff to show different customers i literally made it into sales on the road which built my routes up and kept me busy right i didn't just rely on our sales people by consequence of all that what ended up happening when we got really busy the sales people were coming in off the road to help us load the trucks isn't that something so it wasn't this is my job that's my that's not my job you know i don't believe in that philosophy i believe if you see something needs done do it so you got a team orientation to you don't you yeah whatever it takes like we're talking about winning you know peop a lot of people want to say i'm a competitive person i always joke around that i'm not competitive as long as i'm winning right now let me ask you this henry all right so uh so transportation's kind of been in your blood you you embraced uh you loved when you were little the baby book says it things with wheels talk about how you ended up on team run smart and you're a pro now uh with freightliner talk about that journey and i want to talk a little bit about some of the things you have learned as a driver since 1983 that would help some of the newer drivers that are coming on board but tell us first about your journey to become a pro with team run smart so what happened with that i had won in overdrive magazine in 2006 they had made me their owner operator of the month right and then at the end of the year they made me their owner operator of the year then through that they took me to the mid-america truck show and yeah introduced you to a lot of vendors and i drove a freightliner and there was good reasons why i got a freightliner to begin with but we went to a boeing party and the person i met there was the vice president of marketing for freightliner

we were supposed to bowl but we ended up talking for three hours instead and we never did bolt and we he stayed in touch with me and we talked and he was going through what we want his drivers what we want his owner operators and we kept talking and he was getting ready to start this program when they came out with the cascadia because it was a such a departure from anything they'd built before that he wanted to have three owner operators in the trucks and do a blog report back to them to what we like what we don't like and and it's really cool like when i'm in this new truck there's so many things that we got to talk over with the design teams that it's there now and i remember us just having that as a conversation sometimes over a lunch table sometimes at a meeting sometimes at a show but to see that stuff become reality and of course with where their market share is i guess something worked there you know that's so that's so interesting now edward let me ask you this you started go ahead so going back on that that also was partly i always stayed involved with the industry and it wasn't nothing for me to pick up the phone and call the editors of a magazine if i agreed with an editorial or didn't agree and they had found out about me wearing the tie and what i was doing on the image side of the industry

and from all that is how I ended up becoming the driver of the year that's wonderful, that is so good now let me ask you this you started driving in 1983 yes what was the first truck you drove the first truck I drove it wouldn't even be class a or class bit was a little dodge d500

four skid reefer box with a gasoline engine in it and a gasoline-powered reefer

it probably didn't have a lot of creature comforts did it it had an am radio

now let me ask you this what is cha I know it's a lot I know the answer is a lot but from 1983 to the present what has changed

you've got trucks that have changed technology have driver attitudes change the industry I mean I need you not to feel like you're old henry but I need you to say to yourself okay what has changed since 1983. paint a picture for people of that so you have a lot of people want to say about these new-age drivers and these young drivers today right and I can't stand that because the last I saw nothing's changed the sun comes up in the east it goes down in the west people are born in the same way if we're upset with the young people now that I'm getting older we should be upset with ourselves because they're a product of what we made them so when I started to explain that don't go from that yet explain what you just said that part right there it's my generation that raised this young generation we're the one that gave them their values their thoughts and wherever they are right

so you have people say oh these new young people the biggest change I've seen is from the older generation the ones that call themselves I'm old school right and the reason I say that when I started and I'll tell you in the story back when I started driving the old-timers were they were world war ii veterans they came out of the depression out of the greatest generation and why were they the greatest generation they had to be people were at their best when things were at their worst they had the depression to deal with in world war ii that's right with pretty major things to deal with right right right so I'll never forget and this gentleman he had been at two Jima so you know

i'll never forget when this was at the chicken plant back then all of us started out young all of us when you're young you think you know everything you don't have to listen to the adults right but they were different they really didn't care if we wanted to hear so today if you're doing something wrong a lot of the old-timers will simply take out their iphone and record them so they can put something up on facebook of somebody screwing up back then they stopped you and an example i'll give you that was a story that stuck with me a long time and this is back in the good old days all the trucks were plugged in you had to have them plugged in or they didn't start it was winter time and i was out there unplugging the cab over freightliner i was driving 82 model and this old timer down the line i forget his name but what i do remember his arms were as big around as my legs what was it was it muscle or was it oh yeah yeah yeah no he was yeah he was he was short stocky guy but he was his arms were the diameter of my legs at the time which so i'm unplugging my truck up there and he's about five trucks down and he yells down there henry

yes he says come here well because his arms were the size of my legs it seemed like a good idea may be to listen to him so I walked down there and he grabbed me by the shoulder and he says you're following too close oh

well in my head I'm thinking what are you talking about you don't even run with me once again referring back to the fact that his arms were the size of my legs I didn't let that come out of my mouth

and he says I want you to look at the front of my truck I'm looking at it was an old international trans star had like eight hundred thousand miles on it and he says

I say okay he took me by the arm and pulled me back up to my truck he says look at all these stone chips on here you're the too close end of the story oh they were just straight to the point right their word was their bond they suit up they show up they work hard right I mean that was part of that generation right and today you know when you hear people at the truck stop counter or whatever and the old-timers are sitting there grumbling about the new age driver

they're we all started out as rookies we learned from the old timers right and and when you talk about those kind of things right they're like well they don't want to hear what i have to say anyway well to be honest with you that guy that i'm talking about that morning i really didn't want to have that conversation with him either right but he was going to have it with you and you were going to listen because you had a sense of respect this is somebody that knows what they're talking about let me ask you this do you have a cb radio yes do you use it yes okay now is that do do most drivers use their cb radio and if they do what are they using it for no they don't use them anymore okay you can go all day with the squelch turned all the way down and and i think it's a shame i understand why everybody turned them off because there used to be a lot of garbage on there and you couldn't hardly hear what anybody was saying right and now that the airwaves have cleared i think we should put them back in and turn them on and i think a lot of these large pile-ups we have have a little bit to do without there being a cb so what i do on mine i have it on and you don't have to have the squelch turned way up but if i start hearing it start tackling i got a good idea that something's going on ahead because now if people do have them they turn them on after they get to the event so i'd you know a lot of times you come around the corner and traffic stopped

back in the past that wouldn't have happened to you somebody was telling you 10 miles down the road sometimes 50 miles down the road where you could make a detour way back early and not get involved with it which used to happen to me i used to run back and forth twice a week from the carolinas to new jersey and i had three routes i took back and you were always listening to what was going on farther down the line and i can make different adjustments to the route way back and not get involved in it so using it for its original purpose i think it could be one of our greatest safety tools that we could possibly have um back in the past if you were backing in and you were getting close to somebody they were yelling at you on the radio instead of recording you so right i think it could be one of the greatest safety tools we have i mean we have collision mitigation systems on the truck and everything else but to me it could be one of the greatest enhancements if we went back to using it and used it for what it was originally used for not not go down the wrong road like it did from the old song convoy and all that stuff where everybody just used it as a way to evade the police and scales and everything else it could be one of the greatest safety tools that's good henry let me ask you this it occurs to me this you would be an excellent person to ask this question up assume for a minute that you've got 10 brand new drivers they've been driving for four or five months and you've got them in a room by the way you look very professorial you could be a college professor i was looking at your monogram too you got everything color coordinated here it's looking great on the screen but if you had if you had 10 in the room and and they're sitting down and you're answering the question okay gentlemen ladies here are five things that you have got to or maybe it's three you've got to remember as someone new in your career path as a driver as like the old fighter pilots would come in and tell the new pilots you got to be careful when they do this and you gotta when they're angling in this what would you tell them how would you encourage them practically as they start their journey well the number one i have to think about the other two but number one and it's whether i'm teaching a child how to ride a bicycle a dirt bike a snowmobile uh a car a race car a truck any of the above it's not how fast you can go it's how fast can you stop that is so good you know which follows up with other ones like if you're on a mountain you can get down a mountain 100 times too fast too slow but you can only do it once too fast oh that's good um

the other one is you know we're driving great big billboards always drive like somebody's watching oh that's good that would be my three and why we're on that subject of always drive like somebody's watching right because we want to say oh the government's against us the fmcsa is against this blah blah blah right if there's anyone place in the country where we ought to drive absolutely perfect right on the money right that should be everywhere right but if there's one place where it's really super important where would that be butch

oh, you're asking me the question yes what place in the country where would this be of the utmost importance Washington d.c thank you on the beltway yes yeah that the legislators that they don't get up in the tell me that a congressman or a senator gets up thinking what can I do to make a truck driver's life more difficult with another regulation

I have to tell you this really quickly I'm so grateful I got the answer right yeah but you see what I'm saying all the lobbyists all the congressmen all the senators all their aides all the people that work at fmcsa they're using that same beltway that we are you're talking about is it 395 495 495. for 495. right or 3.95 it was right up in there but yeah any of them are right but especially in that area coming up through Virginia up 85 everywhere is important right to me that is the key one right so when they come up with these different legislations of this that or the other we want to say oh we don't do that they watch us out their window that is so good so so one of my I had done a blog on this to be invisible to do our job perfectly right I mean you have people that want to put loud pipes on they want to put train horns on they want to put extra lights to get noticed right our ultimate goal should that be that nobody would notice we did our job because if we did our job perfectly nobody would notice us right it's seamless transportation of goods around the country it's the incidents that happen that get the attention right yeah I mean I'll give you an example I was

my ex-wife now but with my wife and my child I was going to the mid-America truck show and I was going to be there this year will you be there this year yeah great we'll see you there I was driving her little Toyota Camry to the show and my young son was in the back seat and we're going through a construction zone with the jersey barriers on both sides right

and right on my tail end, it's a construction zone I'm following the right distance from the truck head I got this truck right on my tail end looking through yo yeah looking through the rearview mirror all I can see is the grill

I'm noticing them right you don't want to be noticed and I'm like where are you going anyway I can't go faster than I'm going there's a truck ahead of me we're in between two jersey bears what is your purpose in being right on my tail end

yeah you're saying this in the cab well I'm saying it's inside my head but because I want to want to get my wife and son upset but I'm and on top of that this particular truck had the bug guard that had teeth in it

I'm like what are you doing you know you're representing us every moment you're out there you individually collectively each one of us represents this industry

that's a that's exactly so every driver is an ambassador of something every truck is delivering a message of something is what I'm hearing you say henry right and part of that I take back from driving for private care where the truck was a billboard also

so yeah I think that's extremely important that every moment we're out there our job should be not to get noticed and if we did get noticed for something positive that's really good now you know what the mark of great conversations is they go quickly and I'm looking at the clock and uh we're going to have you back on for sure let me ask you this give one or two practical tips for drivers to increase their fuel economy you're an expert in this so give a couple of tips wow that's an episode by itself yeah it is and we're going to have you back so but give a give us a couple of appetizers for that episode simple one like it was told to me by somebody younger older than me at the time drive like you got a raw egg between your foot and the throttle okay plan far ahead on your moves don't accelerate unnecessarily um

try to you know be as soft as you can on that pedal uh and and the real big one which will be that episode is a lot of people want to manage momentum right well that's a great thought really you want to be the manager of heat everything that creates heat on the truck other than the sun on the paint every other bit of heat that that truck creates originates out of the fuel tank okay so you're trying to manage heat you want to create as little heat as you can to get from point a to point b that is so good you know what and we are going to do an episode that drills down specifically on that now while i've got you let me ask you this question these are going to seem random but they're not what's it like down in laredo you're right there on the border with mexico not like they show it on the news okay do you you want to give us a quick snippet i mean the food's good there's a lot of people that just like if you're up on the detroit with the windsor bridge there's there's people that come over every day that work from mexico does the stuff happen that they say yes but it's nothing like the news shows it and if you want to go it was funny a guy i know that's real famous in truck alignments came down there to do a training course he said there's a lot of towns that want to call themselves a trucking town he says i have never seen a trucking town like laredo trucking transportation and warehousing that is laredo if you take that out there's nothing else that's you know what that is you you know what henry i i i believe that you may end up we may hear that uh you end up on the tourism development authority board down in laredo or something like that you got the tie going for you your articulate and uh you got a good message to uh to share my brother the food's great and the food is great give one quick uh example of a dish that you like down there oh just any of it all the mexican food i mean it's it's just it's the genuine article you know enchiladas it just it i don't know all the names of them because i can't speak spanish but

it's it's good food well you know what henry that's a good way for us to end this uh conversation you're the genuine article too you have been an absolute delight to have on i knew that in my spirit i knew you would be colorful insightful and have prescient thinking and you do now it's our turn to say thank you and uh i'm gonna uh seem like i'm on qvc now and i'm gonna ask you we've got a genuine yeti mug here light by the mile mug we've got you got your own company we've got our freightworks one cap might be collectible someday you never know and then we've got uh with this little leather patch we've got our life by the mile cap so because you agreed to come on with us today you're going to be able to pick one of those you give us your address and we'll send that along so which one do you want you can go ahead and say now and i'll uh get it to you well the coffee cup i mean you can always use another coffee cup absolutely and this is uh a genuine life by the mile it's got the freightworks one this is great works one studio that we're coming from it's been a real delight and you know what we'll work through uh riley we'll get you set up again i want to go deeper on some practical hacks and tips for fuel economy this is life of the mile delivered by freightworks we have had a tremendous guest today henry albert henry is the owner of albert transport uh lives in laredo he's coming to us from charlotte in this episode if you've not subscribed to our life of the mile uh channel go ahead and do that to youtube channel you can hear it on podcast platforms everywhere great works is a fast-growing trucking and logistics company in western north carolina in rutherfordton our goal with this program which is fast-growing is just to give the colorful insights of drivers women and men solos and teams across america henry you've been a great example of that today i doubt we're going to have another guest with the tie on but who knows this podcast episode may start a trend well you said about that with the tie and and i start i have a picture that i show people of how they dressed in the past and they're like well you don't have the hard bill cap or the jacket i says you know as soon as i have a lot of competition wearing the tie i got two steps to go i somehow somehow you seem like you're half a step or a step ahead of the sheriff henry it's been great to have you on today we look forward to having you back on soon this is life by the mile delivered by freightworks i'm your host butch maltby and remember be safe out there 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 this channel by clicking here we'll see you there


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