Jim Bishop is the owner of WCAB FM 100.9 & AM 590 in Rutherfordton NC. Over many decades he’s seen firsthand the vital role trucking and logistics play in every aspect of American life. Recently he had a childhood wish fulfilled in his first-ever ride in an 18-wheeler. FreightWorks driver Bob Van Kamp took him for a several-hour trek in one of our new Peterbilt 579 Ultraloft cabs. He described the short journey as a “thrill that opened my eyes to just how much we depend on the millions of professional drivers sacrificing night and day to bring all the goods we need and buy.” It’s an authentic conversation painting the picture of truck life in the United States.
Jim Bishop is the owner and radio host at WCAB Radio in Rutherford County, NC.
sometimes i might catch myself doing it now if i in the right position the trucker goes by and i almost wanted to reach over and roll that for him the other day when i was on that peterborough i better not distract him welcome to life of the mile delivered by brakeworks one of america's fastest growing podcast actually produced by trucks indicted to tell stories propelling drivers i need to do something
all here right now today i have the opportunity to have an incredibly good friend among other things jim bishop the owner and key personality at wcab and rutherfordton north carolina or as they say they're often he's become a dear friend we have a little program that we do tuesday and thursday of every week called my great america with jimin butch that's 100.9 uh fm and 5 90 am you of course can tune into that uh any given week you'll hear inspiring stories they're in the tradition of paul harvey but today we're with jim and it's going to be my great opportunity and pleasure jim just for us to have an unplugged conversation together well thank you i mean enjoying my opportunity to visit with you it's a pleasure to be invited to be a part of this i've heard so much about the podcast so thank you for inviting me well absolutely and you know what jim i i said this to you recently uh you have many different titles and roles in our community about how many people by the way are in rutherford county around 57 000 okay last gal i had okay and we're in western north carolina and it's of course it's beautiful and they call it the isothermal region or the isothermal belts we have temperate temperatures and of course this is the county that is the home county for freight works which is um an asset based carrier that is growing right right here in the county but you know what you have many titles seems like everybody in the county knows you but she had something recently that happened that you've not had happen to you before and what was that all my years of experience traveling around the country and being involved in with activities i had a privilege of riding in this new peterbilt truck that freight works has right here on the lot i think i was the first rider with with the driver um did a great job showing me around and letting me know what it's like to be in the front seat of a new 18v as my first opportunity you know what and it was so wonderful and what's so interesting bob van camp of course is the driver and he's a million plus miler here one of the senior drivers at freight works and he actually listens bob does to migrate america and uh and he heard us talk one time about trailers and rigs tractor trailers 18 wheelers and that you had never ridden on one before and that was on his heart god put it on his heart to reach out and say butch i really would like it if i could take him on his first ride and so of course peterbilt is the strategic partner for our fleet upgrade and overhaul here at freight works and so 70 the daily courier the local paper had a front page story about 75 new trucks 13.3 billion dollars and so what you were in was the peterbilt 579 ultraloft and uh bob van kemp was so excited to take you now for people that have never been in a truck like that just describe what it's like inside and what you saw first of all let me say i'm really tickled that you put me in the truck with the perfect driver i had all those miles with not any records of accidents at all so thank you for that oh sure but it was a real opportunity when i arrived on the grounds they pulled the truck up let me see what it looked like trailer and hole bob took me around showed me how the wheels adjust how many wheels there are explain to me what the difference is when they have a load when they don't have a load he was doing like his walk around he was doing his inspection walking around and he was showing me all of those things that he has to look at when he before he gets on the truck then it was time to step up into that beautiful truck and of course being a little short guy like me i was glad they had plenty of handles there to grab and step up on and bob help me do that as well showed me how to how to climb me and climb out and sitting down in the front of that truck it was like sitting down in a a major hotel room almost because the comfort of it the seats were big the vision was big you can see everywhere he's driving and bob said let's take it to the western north carolina so he took me up the road uh we're gonna drive up saludo mountain so see what that was like and then it came about so tell people where saluda is up to up 26 south of hendersonville just north of actual polk county it is it came a rain weather rain and he said now you get to see how truck driver handles rainy weather in one of these trucks so he showed me all that and the safety features on the speeder built was amazing to me every car ought to be shaped like that and even when you pull over close to the white line on the side of the road it gives you a little beeping sound let you know get back over a little bit and so we went up to 40 and came back down 40 and he explained to me all the things that goes into being a safe driver of which he has many years of doing that and it's amazing to me to see how complicated for a novice like media to see what they have to do but a one-hand thing for the drivers to do because it's when they have done it so many times they know exactly what's expected from them and that's why folks like bob can drive so many miles and be a perfect driver with no accidents because his heart's in it he loves what he's doing and i've never met a truck driver 18 with a long-term truck that didn't love the job yeah i think that's important because those kind of factors those kind of feelings you go when you put your heart into it and you've earned the right to be there on the road then that makes you it makes you a great driver you know folks we're here with jim bishop he is the owner and chief personality at wcab in rutherfordton north carolina 100.9 fm am 590 and you know one of the things that he and i have often talked about is what makes america great and you look at the three and a half million truck drivers in america you look at the trucking and logistics industry and of course many people have said and it's true if the truckers decided to take two or three days off our shelves would be empty pretty pretty quickly and so jim they don't get the credit drivers don't get the credit that they really deserve for helping keep our economy going what are your thoughts on that you're absolutely right but they do not get to credit and when we think about what would happen if just for five days the trucks were not traveling across the country we'd be out of groceries we'd be out of clothes we'd be out of many things that we're accustomed getting off the shelves would not be there because the truck drivers are not there if the american people including those of us here in the foothills will recognize the value of what trucking industry is to our economy we'd appreciate them a lot more and i think we're beginning to see and become aware of as the shelves are empty now because of various things the truck drivers are still there and we should give them a round of applause every day because they are what makes the wheels of our economy move and continue to do that i i appreciate them more now than i ever did but having been in that peterbilt truck and ridden with an expert and telling me all the things they have to do to make it happen from this end to that end and hauling the merchandise from this end to that end and the safety factors that go in it makes me appreciate so very much what they're doing it makes me appreciate freight work so much more too because i know they put their heart into making sure everything's done right and professional and the truck drivers that work here really love it well you know what's interesting is that people don't realize too how diverse the trucking enterprise is here at freight works we have young and old we have solo drivers and team drivers we have people that are on dedicated routes like uh chemours or dole or you know sherwood williams and others you know we we have drivers we have about 22 percent i think that are former veterans as well it's a great opportunity for vets in part because veterans had to learn anywhere in the military yes yeah i have to learn how to live under authority and discipline and schedules and pressing things ahead and so it's really a wonderful opportunity for people that are in a position of wanting to maybe not go to college but consider the possibility of a vocation where they can make a good living and at the same time be so vitally important to the american economy so you know when you when you think about this whole area gym of young people coming out of high school not everybody's meant to go to college are they that's exactly right and some of them have chosen this career field and i have friends who are doing this now and have done it over the years and retired now and bob shared with me some of the things that that happens in terms of uh travel you know you probably remember years ago donna shore used to do a commercial see the usa in a chevrolet we could change that see the usa the freight work way oh that's good because they the vision they have on this travel and from coast to coast from mountain to the seashore they're seeing all of it and we talked about and i've recognized this as well on some travels that i've done that truck drivers are most courteous with the other drivers on the highway although drivers on the highway sometimes get aggravated because the truckers may not be moving as fast as they want to but they're moving that pace because they have to or need to but i've seen truck drivers back up not back up but hold back and let the driver in front of them yeah and the courtesy factor of a truck driver is phenomenal i don't think we recognize that enough right and and what a lot of pedestrian drivers or regular john q public drivers don't realize is you've got somebody that's responsible for 80 000 pounds of whatever it is that they're pulling you know from pork bellies to auto parts whatever it might be and you don't just stop that on a dime and so one of the things that we hear drivers speak about regularly is they wish that more people that are out there driving understood that their number one priority is safety not just for them but for the drivers around them so you know the off-ramps and the on-ramps and sometimes people that try to break check get in front of a a truck and try to break check they don't realize really what they're dealing with and that there's there's safety considerations that are paramount all the time driver of the truck has to think about several things his own safety the truck and the merchandise that he's holding plus the one who's passing him or stopping in front of you you have four factors that he needs to be keep in mind and we need to give him more credit uh you mentioned uh hauling merchandise i grew up in gaffney south carolina okay and got first familiar with uh truckers 18 wheelers for sunny slope peach shed big peach sunny slope pizza after south carolina they hauled peaches all over the country and i saw i would see the trucks coming and going and i thought you know those guys they leave and they come home at some point and that's my first seeing of actual the way the the economy was moving with that they moved the merchandise they got it there they had to get it there on time other pieces would be ruined when i was a little boy growing up there was a friend uh he was a neighbor i guess down the street drove a truck i don't know what he drove or what he was hauling but i would see him come in and he backed that truck right into a little space under his house how they did that i thought wow to be in that truck be something then in the mornings the next couple of days he'd pull it out he'd come back in a couple days back it right into a very narrow space again and i know united thanks real skill it's it's it's a tremendous skill and there's so many skills like that and of course as the industry has grown and technology has become more and more important they've gone to electronic logs it's required drivers to really adapt to the changing technologies that are out there i had an uncle lee and he was a local driver in eastern pennsylvania and i can remember thinking to myself how hard he worked he'd be taking stuff from farm to farm from farm to to market and he just work i remember he had a big bulbous nose and a sweat just dripping off his nose and i remember thinking to myself that's a real job he's doing a real job and of course i grew up in a family where work was a priority and nobody sat and observed if you're watching somebody work you're not you're not doing your part there you know jim when you uh when you think about growing up it's sort of a stereotype that you know boys of course there's some confusion in the marketplace about matters we're not going to get into political considerations here but uh you know little boys growing up liking to play with tonka trucks liking to play with trucks in the in the sandbox and the like you and i talked about the fact that we would sometimes look out the window and see a truck and go like this because we wanted them to blow the horn and i remember being delighted when that would happen did it many times that's a boy growing up sometimes i might catch myself doing it now if i in the right position the trucker goes by and i i almost wanted to reach over and blow that horn the other day when i was on that peterborough i better not distract him right right right and let me please talking about the importance of trucks and we talk about those who drive long distance and stay gone two or three days now there's a local market also for that because i know my neighbor across the road from the radio station farmers friend feed seed and supply he has these 18 wheelers coming in all the time bringing in mulch big long trucks they back in their unh unload the mulch george himself hauls hay on his 18-wheeler and so the local economy is stimulated also by local drivers not long mile drivers they're important too we boost products from here to under but right here downtown hometown rutherfordton those trucks are being utilized to keep the economy rolling well you know what's you know what's so interesting is uh josh farmer of course is the founder and the president of uh freight works it's only a company that's i guess in its 11th year it's grown fast and when we talked about the possibility along with jordan kidd and joyce sakira who's the vice president of operations about starting a podcast i volunteer i made what i call a penetrating look of the totally obvious which is i don't know anything about trucking logistics so it has been an incredible journey for me to parachute into this world gym and to realize that it has all these complexities and needs you look at freightworks it has a team of driver managers that are like the air traffic controllers for a portfolio a group of trucks that they're responsible for with those drivers you have load planners that have to determine what a customer needs what the driver can do you're dealing daily with the variables of weather of customer expectations of the inevitable breakdowns that occur it is really a lot it is a lot and one of the things that always knows what happened i'm sure they don't know too far down the road there may be an accident that's going to delay the moving of that truck they may miss their time that's supposed to be but they can overcome all that of course through experience and through years of driving which gives me the the opportunity to have a company like this one right here in rutherford county is amazing to me because we think of those kind of operations being somewhere else not in yellow rutherford county rutherford county is is the home of freight works the home of so many trucks so many truck drivers and their families then rutherford county is really on the move i'm going to ask you to do something because we're going to use this particular podcast along with the one that we're going to do right after this one with a an incredible friend of both of ours uh we'll talk about him when he comes on but i want you if you would please jim to put on a different half for a minute can you paint the picture for people that have never been to rutherford county what rutherford county is like i need you to put on kind of a chamber of commerce uh i've been here a long time picture and paint and just describe for people because we're to have some prospective drivers that look at this episode that won't know anything about western north carolina and won't know anything about rutherford county can you describe this place sure i think so uh probably will not be able to give it just because it has such a great thing to talk about in terms of rutherford county i lived in and out of rutherford county as growing up in the county my dad was a pastor he pastored her a couple of times and when we moved to rutherford the first time i thought it was so great to live in the county where lake lure and jimmy rock was located and we thought boy i'm close to lake lure we can go for any time and since those days i've been now as an adult and business owner and a father and a grandfather and now a great grandfather yeah i've been in rutherford county probably 45 50 years uh not at the station that long but i've been here and i've seen the growth and i think part of that is is our people and we've used this term many times small town friendly and people who live here love what they're doing now there's some expectations higher than others of course we need all those people we need those who who didn't go to college we need those who did go to college and those who want to trade they can get the trade through our local community company formal community college which is a good school it really is and you and matter of fact they just graduated truck drivers right about 13 i re lived just this week yeah so they do those kind of things and the industries that recognize rutherford county's got the potential because the workforce and the now the national businesses are coming in soon to get some national known names that i won't mention right at the present time but we're getting some of those folks are recognized you only think about it being maybe in charlotte or spartanburg greenville now rutherford county is getting them in the growth process and the the housing market here in rutherford county people are anxious to buy homes and move to rutherford county because we're away from charlotte far enough from charlotte we're far enough from asheville far enough from greenville but we're close enough that we aren't oscillated right and not far from even atlanta exactly exactly we get to atlanta and hardly any time at all and the slower pace of living in rutherford county i think is important for people uh i'm i'm being told that for folks who who come out here uh from somewhere else and i'm always uh a tickled uh butch when um somewhere in in a maybe a grocery store and people hear me say something and they say i recognize you i recognize that voice on the radio right and they'll say i love the way people talk around here right you recognize that yourself well yeah i i recognize that from the first time i came when the walmart checkout person said you're not from around here are you but you know what you've been a delightful friend to be able to help me understand of course we've got an airport a really nice little airport tremendous airport access to health care matter of fact speaking of the airport i had a privilege of meeting and having dinner just this week last week now with the airport manager one who managed the door other county airport and we talked about the struggles they've had over the years and the difficulties they've had but where it's come now where uh corporations are now flying into rutherford county and they have self-serve gas over there now they can fly and get their own gas paid for it and never bother anybody so it is amazing what rutherford county has come from even 25 years ago to where it is now that airport itself is lending itself to making folks who are in the decision-making business to look at places to go and build and expand their business and businesses are expanding here teleborg is one of those that just recently expanded a couple years ago but the corporate office here because they liked what they found in rutherford county meaning people and and the climate here and the way things are happening and that airport has been a great part of that no no no question of course we we have the equestrian center as well and facebook facebook located here yeah when we have a data center that it's pretty well kept secret because it's you know highly secretive but facebook decided to locate here and they've expanded two or three times since they came here and it is an opportunity for folks who are looking for a hometown friendly place to be where the pace of pace of living is much slower than where they might be to look at rutherford county and we've got a we've got a great chamber of commerce and great economic development office they can help answer those questions and make those decisions uh more palatable for them well and what's so great too is that it's a large county in terms of land mass so when drivers are considering coming to freight works this is of course our corporate headquarters we want you to know a little bit better about the area that you'd be in and of course great works has a vision to grow here with the county as the county grows we continue to grow and arm and arm that's a strategic relationship jim if you have the opportunity because i know you have a heart for young people if you had the opportunity to encourage a group of young people that knew they weren't going to go to college and wanted to consider a job where you could make six figures i mean if you're willing to work hard run hard if you had the chance to be a coach and a mentor which you are to so many people what would you say to them i think i would ask them to think about where they would like to be ten years from now in terms of finances in terms of security and think about what their talents are and if they choose not to go into college and everybody does not want to everybody does not need to go to college because their skills move them in another direction maybe they're gifted in in the building things they look at something like this industry the truck driving industry and let them see the benefits of what they could get into and first of all at a company such as this one trade works to see what kind of advantages they have in terms of making a great living and i know drug drivers and you'll be talking one in a little bit later that raised his family he was the only worker in the family and he was a drunk driver sent three kids to school and raised their family and that's the kind of security a good company supports their drivers with to look at in terms of hey this might be where i want to go i've encouraged young people along the way and to consider something like this but also if they're interested in not sure where they want to go what they want to do take think about the military you know make something in the military or go into a company that's solid and is growing and if there's anything growing in rutherford county in north carolina and the united states of america it's the trucking industry no no question and you know people have talked about things like autonomous trucks and the like there is not going to be a change that happens anytime quickly where we lose the need for professional drivers and here at brake works if you're a driver in a another company if you have a cdl if you're want to kick the tires on on a company that's here local if you're a local driver we encourage you to just call go to the website for freightworks transport.com and you're gonna find an opportunity to learn more about what's happening at freight works and its vision for the coming years and of course men women young or old you know if you've got some experience we've got people that are willing to have a conversation with you about how you might become part of this team and of course we have people jim that come from diverse backgrounds but we're a company that's built on biblical principles you know one of the real complaints of a lot of drivers is my company doesn't tell me the truth well we tell you the truth even if it's uncomfortable and the reason we do that is because we're firmly committed to biblical truth which tells us that we need to be truth tellers and bring light and life to people so we're not a perfect company but we're a company that has an interest in growing our team and it might be here in rutherford county there's some folks that drive for another company and they want to consider the possibility of a move and this would be a great place for them to come i certainly would look into it if i was in that position yeah and i would certainly look into what freight work has to offer and what rutherford county has to offer because combining those two together the talents of people that are out there in the in the trucking industry driving trucks maybe want to do something different look to freightworks look to rutherford county let's see if we can have a marriage of opportunity there yeah no question of course north carolina when you look at the whole of the united states north carolina is very busy a business friendly yes place and it's a growing state isn't it it really is growing stayed in uh and more and more so now because as the economy begins to grow we have we have a spurt of growth things are level off right now but i suspect and those folks were looking at rutherford county in terms of building here or moving their business here or opening up a business here they've done their research they know what those particulars are they know that rutherford county is strong and solid and will be in years to come and they're not running away from us they're coming to us so that tells me something that when these major companies come here they've already done the research they don't wake up in the morning say well i believe i'll go to rutherford county right they've done the research and they know what we have to offer and they're moving here and i think folks who might be looking for changes in occupations or changing places to live might look here check with the chamber of commerce or check with rate works and see if they can't be a mutual admiration society this is my dear friend dear dear friend jim bishop he is the owner and lead personality at wcab in rutherfordton north carolina 100.9 fm am 590. you know what jim you and i have a good flow because we're with each other at least twice a week and often every day we touch base uh the mark of a good conversation of course is they go quickly and this one is going quickly but we have one more thing that we need to do okay and that is we we honor and reward our guests for being here so i have something to give you and now i'm gonna be a little bit like somebody on qbc and show you three different products and you need to pick one okay okay so the first is uh this went over really well at the mid-america truck show down in louisville uh this is a genuine leather light by the mile medallion there on the front of the cap and a lot of truckers you know we'll hear this from our next guest a lot of truckers love caps this went over really well because it's got the red white and blue that's with it so that's offer number one offer number two is this genuine yeti mug and so we've got the light by the mile logo on the front we've got the freightworks one that bold number one great works one logo of course yeti and people that are into empties know this will keep things cold keep things hot for as long as you need or we've got choice number three which is that freightworks one logo your basic blue and white so we won't have to mail this because you're local you're local so which one of these may i offer you oh the choice is tough because all three of those are delightful gifts uh didn't listen to him the delightful gifts to get so let me let me take this first of y'all i like i like the patriotism of the of the stars well of course wcab is a very patriotic broadcast equity broadcast outreach in rutherford county so that's a that's a good choice you know what jim i'm not going to say how many years it is but after all these years you've got a full head of hair for you to tuck underneath that that cap of course folks this is life of the mile delivered by freightworks it's our twice a week podcast it's on youtube like share engage make comments and subscribe with the notification bell so you can get the new episodes every week we typically have two we've got a growing number of broadcasts that we're putting on there as well and we're on podcast platforms everywhere like spotify itunes iheart and the likes so tell the world about this we want to celebrate the powerful invigorating inspiring stories of america's truck drivers and as you become part of that community together we can affirm and appreciate the trucking and logistics enterprise in this country because without it our economy which is the largest in the world cannot be and do and grow the way that it's growing and of course on our program migrate america you can find that at 100.9 fm am 590 tuesday and thursday at 9 05 to 9 30 we tell inspiring stories of people across america and the biblical values that have made this country so great so jim it's been wonderful to have you i knew it would be i would enjoy it and uh and we and we were able to sample the incredibly good food from jesse james railroad express earlier so you had a cheeseburger i had a crispy chicken sandwich you had a dr pepper and i had a diet coke but uh that was great food and fair and fellowship before doing this episode of life by the mile delivered by freightworks we're here every week twice make sure that you check in make sure that you subscribe to our youtube channel and keep telling the world about the incredible stories that you'll hear on life by the mile delivered by freightworks 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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