Jesse Peele

Interview by
Published on
May 18, 2022

In this episode...

What do you love most about trucking? Is it service to America? A stable career to provide for your family? A career with no boss looking over your shoulder? Seeing all states in all seasons? In what could be one of the most fun and engaging episodes yet, Life By The Mile sits down with Jessie Peele, who talks about the beautiful things truck driving has helped her experience. Jessie’s had a colorful beginning to her driving career - from city bus driving to Medicaid disability transport, Jessie found her way to FreightWorks upon the recommendation of a friend, and it seems as if Jessie found a valuable partner to help her achieve her goals. Jessie also talks about how trucking has toughened her up - driving through the worst weather, learning tips and tricks along the way to overcome challenges, and proving her skills. For Jessie, even these challenges are beautiful. It’s not always the destination: it’s the journey. Listen to Jessie talk about her foray into trucking, her experience backing up her truck for the first time, the best food spots she’s been to, taking photos of truck driver pets, and her advice to motorists to share the road with truck drivers in a can’t-miss episode of Life By The Mile, delivered by FreightWorks.

Jesse Peele

FreightWorks Professional Truck Driver.


i got hired on to do uh city bus driving i did medicaid disability transport and so i would transport people in wheelchairs and needed to go to a doctor or from the hospital and from there i met a driver who worked for the bus and you know they did six weeks paid training and i really loved doing city bus it was it was an amazing job doing that for two or three years i got confident in a large vehicle i always told myself i could never do an 18 wheeler that's too scary being out there alone and you know not having anybody really watching over you but my mom actually passed away and so i was like well i need to do something big i need to be able to actually support myself my family and really get into a career that i could make a living at and enjoy

well here we are like by the mile delivered by freightworks it is season two and we are so excited i am to have jessie peel today she's gonna be with us she's a new driver came in december but i want to remind you life of the mile delivered by freight works depends on you liking and sharing and subscribing to the youtube channel we're here to tell the incredible stories of drivers in america so jesse welcome thanks thanks i'm excited to be here well you know what you got your freightworks hat on and uh that's wonderful now i want to start out by asking you a question we ask everyone which is how in the world did you get into driving i i got hired on to do uh city bus driving really yeah i did medicaid disability transport okay and so i would transport people in wheelchairs and needed to go to a doctor or from the hospital and from there i met a driver who worked for the bus and you know they did six weeks paid training and you know i really loved doing city bus it was it was an amazing job okay what now did were you the kind of young girl that liked trucks or had no not really never even thought about driving i kind of stumbled into it okay yeah and uh and tell us where you're from uh biloxi mississippi okay and so you're a native oh yeah okay born and raised tell us how you got into professional driving what was the point at which you said hey you know what i can do that right i can drive a truck i can back a truck i can get on the interstate i can pull a load yeah talk about that mostly it was doing the city bus you know doing that for two or three years i got confident in a large vehicle i always told myself i could never do an 18-wheeler that's too scary being out there alone and you know not having anybody really watching over you um but my mom actually passed away and so i was like well i need to do something big i need to be able to actually support myself my family and yeah you know really yeah really get into a career that i could make a living at and enjoy so did you know some people that were drivers um not really actually uh maybe one of my uncles but i didn't really talk to him about it so now when you were driving the bus let me ask you about that uh i mean that you got a lot of people on the bus you got a lot of people with needs so you must have learned early on how to take hold of a situation right yeah you got to captain your own ship you know you got to be out there and it's just you and you can't let anybody run you over you got to be safe first and foremost especially transporting people i mean just with freight the weight alone is crazy uh but with people so it kind of transitioned into i'm always going to be safe well and and also you had people that had special needs right yeah because on the city bus they also had people with you know wheelchairs or disabilities now i bet you've got some city bus stories yeah i mean do you have some that would be appropriate to share that you could share other than just like being able to take people who were wheelchair-bound or um i picked up a couple in the rain and it was a long stretch of nothing just woods really it was a back road that we took to a different casinos on the coast and it was pouring down rain i stopped and picked them up and they're like you know we don't have any money and i was like i'm not i didn't ask you if you needed any money i said do you need a ride right let's get you to the bus terminal out the rain right some of those little things like that you know that is that is so good because it shows a heart and of course a lot of people don't realize that the three and a half million professional truck drivers in america approximate number right uh are people they're real people that have families and lives and and and the like now do you remember the first time you backed a truck a truck up with the trailer oh yeah can you tell that story every driver i've ever asked this to they seem to remember that first time that you put it in reverse and you went tell us your story uh actually i was with the company and i didn't end up staying with them very long i tried to do flatbed but i'm too short and i can't lift that tarp up and uh so i went to amazon it was an amazon uh contracted company so we had amazon trucks first time i ever coupled the trailer was on amazon property first time i ever backed up a trailer was on amazon property just did it did it go okay yeah yeah luckily no one was around to see me that is something that is so good because some of the stories that people tell me jesse about uh it was an hour going a little bit here a little bit there yeah now one of the things that we hear from drivers that have been driving for a while is that you got to remember that you learn something new every day every day is that true oh yeah talk about that for a minute i'll sit there and watch people you know if i'm like oh that looks like a hard a hard turn or a hard backing and i wonder how somebody would do it i'll sit there and watch them a lot of me a lot of drivers can get their phone numbers and talk to them and they'll just give me tips and tricks i'm i haven't done a lot of winter driving and so you know about the snow and make sure you have this make sure you have that just things you didn't know that they don't tell you in school so it's just like make sure you have cat litter or bleach or you know alcohol for your airlines right stuff like that you just learn on the road right so you would you you'd characterize yourself probably as somebody that wants to pick up tips and tricks anything yeah and so as a good now you've been driving for freight work since when december december of last year okay how did you hear about us a bunny of mine actually he called me and said he was with this great company he was here for about three weeks and i happened to be looking uh i was delivering bananas and so that sounds like the start of a book i was delivering bananas yeah unfortunately the owner of that company passed away okay and so they had to sell it to another company and it just wasn't what i was looking for so i was looking for a different company and he told me he loved it so i came on over it's so interesting because often with with companies a driver referring to other drivers is one of the most powerful tools that you can ever have now let me let me ask you this uh when you're not driving what are some things that you enjoy doing honestly just being home with family that is so good yeah so you've got your your family right there yeah yeah and i get home every two weeks with this company i mean some a couple times more than that you know i live close to the account that we have down there so you know my 10 hours i'll go to the house so it's really i get to see them a lot more than you know every two weeks well you know uh you you actually drive uh loads for chemours yeah and and that's a wonderful strategic partnership for freight works and of course we were the gold carrier of the year last year which was great talk a little bit about what it's like uh doing what you do and describe what you do what are you pulling what what what's it like where do you go from where to where just bring bring the audience if you will into uh your your week right well we at a past christian we they have the uh camour's dvr or dsv i'm not sure i think it's dvs and uh you just go there usually they're pre-loaded you don't have to i mean if i have to wait it's really not that bad um we have layover pay so it's really not you know y'all make sure y'all take care of us um and then most of the time i bring it to a drop yard and it's it's very strategically set up you know they give us plenty of time to do it safely and you know just get it up there it's it's a really good account now you were telling me earlier you're the way god wired you is you you like predictability yes okay so tell me a little bit about some of the mile markers not literally but uh along the way i mean it's it's how long a drive i mean it's two days it's like 16 and a half hours and so i'll knock half of it out for sure maybe a little bit more you know and there's several places along the way i'm like oh i like what they have here or you know they have plenty of parking here i know i can get in by a certain time even if it's 1am i know i got to play some part this is so important because a lot of people don't realize all of the things that a driver a professional driver has to consider you know you got to consider your load you got to consider the weather you got to consider traffic where to park where to stay where to eat uh talk talk a little bit about that like what do you do in terms of your trip planning is probably a little more methodical because you're on a regular route but uh but you got to be looking out for what what kinds of things you it depends on which interstate you're taking if i'm taking um 81 it's not too bad traffic doesn't get too bad in chattanooga or knoxville but if i'm going through atlanta i'll stop for three hours and take a break okay until it clears up because i'm not going through their quitting it's really pretty bad yeah but you know as long as you plan accordingly it's not too bad i mean it's traffic it's part of trucking when you take a stop because you want to grab something to eat can you talk about we love hearing tips from people on this are there some roadside holes in the wall that are good or some places that just are known as being a good place to stop for truckers i like the there's a on exit 205 uh in virginia there's they got beef ribs really yeah the petro or is it a ta it's one of those two it's i think it's a petrol um there's an italian place in a petro at uh exit 29 in tennessee or no in virginia okay and so they got really good food they got pasta salad and breakfast anytime i can get breakfast somewhere it's good that's that's that's great well you know whenever we've asked drivers about places that they like to stop they'll they'll know the exit sign number oh yeah it'll come it'll come real come real quick do you see drivers that have pets oh all the time i talk about that if i go to a truck like getting gas i'll pull up and i'll look over and i'll see a dog waiting for it waiting for his his person waiting in the and it's dogs about every size every size small big i mean it doesn't matter and i'll snap a picture and send it to the family and be like look at this cutie so it's so good well you know we we actually have some freightworks drivers that have uh ferrets i've heard about them yeah six ferrets six can you imagine driving with six ferrets that are in there all wanting to be cuddly at the same time it's gotta be interesting for sure yeah but it's the thing we love about freightworks is that it's a family and not every person is the same we've got uh now you're you're a solo driver yeah okay we've got solos and teams and we've got uh regional and over the road we've got folks that are older and younger and men and women people of color and all different backgrounds and when you put everybody together you get a family and uh sitting here in the driver's lounge i just hear incredible things it's one of the reasons why i don't really have an office that's my office over there just hanging out yeah now let me let me ask you this when you're out on the road um you know i would imagine sometimes you see some tough accidents yes you do yeah i mean you just gotta that's when you really realize i need to be safe i need to make sure i'm aware of my surroundings this could happen to anybody sometimes it's out of your control sometimes it's not it really just depends on the situation you know you can't make other people drive safely so you just gotta take it and i'm going to be better make sure i i do everything i can to make sure i don't end up in that situation what are some of the things that automobile drivers just don't realize about trucks i mean you know what folks it's really by the way this is life of the mile delivered by freightworks if you enjoyed this like and share subscribe to the youtube channel please you know help people that are listening and watching help them understand some things that the driver just doesn't understand about your truck your size your speed give a little tutorial uh we can't stop on a dime it's 80 000 pounds and people love to cut out in front of an 18 wheeler and it's you can't just stop i mean it's you are so heavy that you can't and people just don't realize they think you're you're going slow you're trying to pass another driver there's limiters on trucks so this one's going 68 and this one can go 70 but you know going up a hill it's just it's it's rough and you're always having to look out aren't you oh yeah and they don't understand blind spots do that no do you ever get people that break check you i haven't thankfully but i mean i stay far away from people i'll stay way back i have been on the road sometimes and i've looked at a tiny little sub-compact car that is in front of an 18-wheeler and decides they want to brake check uh and they have no idea what they're doing or on-ramps or exit ramps those are also a little yeah difficult aren't they i mean was that phrase you play stupid games you win super prizes right so i mean that's your you know that's them taking their live into their hands and it's just it's not safe and i don't even know thankfully it hasn't happened to me but i try to be you know very mindful of people in front of me because they do do that some people are in a hurry they don't you know right not thinking about that they're not thinking now we've gotten to know and she's become a good friend ellen boya who's head of women in trucking talk a little bit about being a woman in in trucking i mean it's really not too much different from anybody in trucking i don't think i mean i've noticed that if i say something i get taken not as seriously oh that's not right no it's not i mean i've had problems on my truck and i'm like i think it's this and oh it's not that it's not that well it's that it comes to be that you know what i mean i had an electrical thing going on and i think it's my you know my electrical line my pigtail no it's your you know this is this is doing this well it was my big deal well you know what jessica the thing that i've already picked up is that you're strong enough that you're gonna get the job done and you're gonna do what's right and uh and that and that's what's important at the end of the day now let me let me ask you this uh talk a little bit about weather oh yeah and just the the influence of weather on driving well talk and talk about some have you gone through some bad weather before it's my first year going through snow really okay what was that like interesting i just you got to take it slow um i was in baltimore the first time it started snowing and i was just sitting so i got to like just kind of you know see things out for a little bit and it was only like an inch or two three so it wasn't anything bad i haven't been in a real bad and the only thing i would do is sit because i'm not gonna that's just i'm not gonna risk my my load myself other people i look at the pileups and i see you know well this is the problem this is y'all speeding going fast weather conditions you gotta go according to the weather so you gotta slow down you gotta back off you gotta anytime rain or snow or anything like that happens you just slow down take it easy which is hard for it seems like for some people to do you know there have been drivers that come here and i can tell that one of the reasons that they're a great driver and uh you're becoming that i can i can sense it is that they're patient oh yeah they know that they can't control everything oh yeah and uh and jesse i feel like that's probably one of the key indicators of a good driver is that they're well prepared and they're patient and they're diligent oh yeah you got to be so how about sleep does your sleep get affected you do get to sleep right well we have to take a 10-hour break yeah so um is it easy for you to fall asleep oh yeah i've always been quick to sleep so sometimes if i have a little nervousness or anxiety about picking up something or scared i'm going to oversleep or something like that i'll sometimes i'll toss and turn a little bit but it's not very often it's so interesting i've never used an alarm clock i haven't my whole life because if i know i need to get up at five o'clock i'll be up to 3 45. i i'm it's i don't know what happened it i don't know what happened when i was little but uh that's the case now as you look at the days uh ahead and and you look at trucking what are some of the things that you're you're hoping for i mean for your life what what do you i mean ultimate goal buy a house be financially secure um it's it's getting worse out here you know what i mean and just in trying to survive in general so trucking allows me to do that it allows me to make a livable wage that i can actually be comfortable and you know do things i actually want to accomplish buying a house you know owning land vehicles you know just being secure tell us the things about mississippi that most people don't know you know because you and i were talking before we started it it's a state like new jersey that gets a bad rap sometimes but tell us some things about new jersey i mean uh mississippi it's it's a treasure i've been there a number of times tell us some things people don't know the coast which is you know biloxi gulfport it's unlike the rest of the state it's it's a port city you know it's right on the waters between new orleans and mobile so it's it's got a whole different vibe you go an hour north it's a whole different whole different state so the coast is nice it should be its own state and that's what we always say right you know so otherwise it's a good state it's got affordable living you know um doesn't cost much to live there at all

it's um a lot of history it's got a lot of history a lot of history and it ain't bad yeah and a lot of variety yeah and there's a lot of variety there there a lot of variety there too oh yeah yeah so you oh no you go ahead you got natchez you know yeah they've been i think at one point i had more millionaires in new york you know what i mean at one point in time it's a lot of old southern money and families and and the like so you've been here since december all right and uh tell tell the audience some things that you like about freightworks oh man pretty much everything uh but from a driver's perspective and by the way i need to ask you this have i paid you to say any of this no okay well so just just talk just have an open-hearted conversation what what are things that you like because the reason that we quickly this was not a planned podcast right but when i heard you were going out of town right i said we've got to get her we got to get jesse because you were so effusive in what you're saying just tell tell us what you like y'all listen they listen uh if there's any any problem it's immediately fixed it's not like oh well go here go there i can go to a ta and go to a loves i can come here i can go there's places on the coast if there's a problem it gets fixed it doesn't get thrown to the wayside it doesn't get you know we'll do it later it's it's it's handled and so that's nice you know there's if you have a problem if you are upset or frustrated they'll do everything they can to fix that problem or explain to you why this is happening the way it is it's not like okay well i'm just gonna leave you out there in the dark so that's that's nice and it's important to have a good relationship with the driver manager too isn't it oh yeah and kevin's your driver manager yeah yeah he's he's he's a trip he's nice i love the death right and uh because you're really a team aren't you and for people that don't understand it what what does a driver manager mean to a driver i mean what it's who i call you know if i have a problem with anything if i need information it's my point person that's who i call make sure i know what i need to do where i need to be any problems i have anything i need he handles it now if you were talking to let's say a dozen high school students and they're trying to figure out whether to go to college or pursue a professional career like like trucking and you wanted to just inspire them to consider the possibility of becoming a professional truck driver what would you tell them like young people today what you know because you look at a lot of people that come out of college they got huge debt that it takes them a decade or more to pay off oh yeah uh and they can't find a job so what would you tell you got a dozen high school students that are from uh mississippi wherever yeah what would you tell them um if you like working independently and can be a self-starter like do you know what do what you need to do you know can govern yourself into to a degree because you have to make sure you get your load picked up on time delivered things like that you can handle situations when they arise if you feel like college is not for you if you don't want to have to go through a two-year degree if you want to be in one of the biggest industries in america you know what i mean everything has to get everywhere you know that's a great one that's a great line by the way yes everything has to get everywhere medical supplies food everything we call paint pigment so if you want to paint your house right you know what i mean like you have to write everything well and one of the statements that's made and it's true if all the three and a half million drivers professional drivers in america decided to have a bad week in three days there's nothing on the shelves right or less yeah it literally keeps the country running right i mean the wheels aren't turning then there's there's not going to be anything to buy you know yeah can you see doing this a long time oh yeah oh yeah we're definitely retired with this that is so great you know i love talking to old old drivers you know there's one driver that we had in here bud was his name he drove for yellow freight for over 40 years he had i think five and a half million miles not one reportable incident in five and a half million miles and uh do you find camaraderie out in the road do drivers care about each other yeah it's a hit and miss it just depends uh you got people especially like people who've been doing this for a long time they know what it was like before all the technology before having a cell phone before having an eld so they took care of each other and so i find that more i busted an airline one time and i was across the street it was a rental truck and so i wasn't really familiar with it and uh this guy stopped the old old timer and he he went got me an airline he'd pick me up you know he made sure i got out the road and was telling me things i didn't know but he was like you know back in the day we took care of each other like you have to ain't nobody else going to do it well it's so interesting because when i asked the older drivers about the first truck that they ever drove it's unbelievable they had to manhandle them some didn't have air conditioning you had the cab overs in some case i mean it was unbelievable oh yeah trucks have really changed happened they have i couldn't imagine doing it back then hats off to them well and you know we uh of course freightworks made this peterbilt purchase and the whole fleet upgrade is something that over the next couple of years is going to be happening and there's a real commitment to safety and driver comfort along the way because if a driver is not comfortable then you got issues that happen later oh yeah it's hard enough being out there and and having to deal with things but having a good company that's behind you and that wants to make sure you're safe and has everything you need really just like makes your life less stressful you know what i mean because it's already stressful out there no matter what now you're going to head out here again soon and typically your month looks like what in terms of driving what what does your month look like i go up and down just you know i'm picking up from cameras and then i pick up uh produce usually going back down just a variety of things sometimes chemicals and just back and forth you know running running around back and forth life by the mile life by the mile well you know what jesse it's been so wonderful the mark of a good conversation is when they go quickly it's been so wonderful to have you here now you probably weren't uh expecting this but we we actually give a gift to any of our podcast guests that uh come on so you get a choice today folks we want to make sure you know this is life of the mile delivered by freightworks we've got these great hats we've got hat number one hat number two or these are genuine yeti mugs okay so you get to choose i'll probably go with them okay folks you know these hats are gonna feel a little bit orphaned here and that's fine we'll use it uh use this for whatever you want your coffee your cold drink whatever it might be it's got life of the mile the logo here it's got the freightworks logo on the back uh that is that is yours to to have jesse and you know what uh before we go if you would just remind drivers that might be out there in a company and they're saying to themselves i don't feel appreciated i don't feel like there's trust i don't feel cared for i don't get my home time i'm not getting compensated very well for any driver we're not saying we're a perfect company but what we are saying is we're a company that wants to be as good as god will allow us to be what would you tell that driver that might be uh watching right now or listening about kicking the tires and considering great works they care they care a lot they want to make sure that everything is done safely it's a family you aren't just another number you know we have so many drivers people i've never met know my name they know who i am you're not a number no yeah people i've never met and they're like hey i'm like oh hey so it's it's it's really an amazing company i can't give it enough like just kudos honestly i was in orientation the last time i was here i've popped in to speak to the jessica and i turned to him and i was like this company is amazing no one paid me to say that i didn't come here of course like i really love it here so well you know what if you're a jesse peel that's out there or whatever your name might be uh life by the mile delivered by freightworks wants to encourage you to kick the tires consider works as a possibility we're not perfect but we're a company that's growing and we want you to come be part of the team now remember to like subscribe share and comment for this episode we've got many more episodes if you just go to life of the and jesse it's been a delight to have you today i want you to make sure that you take me up on my offer i gave you my business card to call from the road because one of the things that we're going to do is we're going to start interacting more with drivers on the road want to hear firsthand what's going on out there and uh you can be praying for me i'm actually considering the possibility of taking an over-the-road trip out to maybe california at some point doing some reporting along the way so i i just uh hope and pray that you've got a good set of trips in the days ahead make sure that you know that you're now part of the life of the mile alumni group and uh come back and see us again real soon okay this is life of the mile delivered by freight works on butch multi the host make sure you like subscribe share and comment on each of the episodes thanks so much

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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