Pat Taylor

Interview by
Published on
January 31, 2023

In this episode...

Do you know one thing that the Marines and Professional Drivers have in common? It’s a DEDICATION TO FINISH THE MISSION. Take it from former US Marine and current FreightWorks professional truck driver, Pat Taylor. In the latest episode of LIFE BY THE MILE, listen to how Pat uses the discipline he got in the Marines to deliver excellence as a trucker, as well as the toughness to overcome challenges on the road. Pat also talks about how truck drivers feel about electric trucks possibly taking away jobs from professional drivers, and makes a case about how even the most sophisticated machines cannot replace HEART.

Pat taylor

Pat Taylor is a freightWoks professional driver. He loves being a daddy to his 12-year-old daughter. He gives some tips on why he drives at night as well as a little bit about driver safety. 


I've gone to bed crying because I've

yeah I miss my girls you know right okay but that's that that's that that's the mark of a good father and most people don't realize the drivers men or women are put in positions where to do their job they're going away from their family welcome to life of the mile delivered by freightworks one of America's fastest growing podcasts actually produced by Trucking indicted to tell story compelling driver story I need to do something insightful industry Excellence all here right now slight by the mile delivered by freightworks I'm Butch Maltby your host you know what we love having you come each week with our full podcast and our shorts we want to make sure you know this it's very important that you subscribe and you share and when you do that it helps us grow our audience Pat Taylor is a driver for us he's been on before yes sir and you know what I love I love that you're a marine you got that marine shirt on and I love that we had you on before and you were just telling us that you like the studio oh I love the studio the investment that the company has made in it the Management's made is it's tremendous it is light night and day compared to where we were in the little room next to us that turned into be orientation it's beautiful right but what's so interesting it's kind of like as freightworks grows we continue to try to build and strengthen every department and every area and in Pat since you and I talked a lot has happened and one of the things that happened is you got a new Peterbilt Truck Yeah we've had a full uh switch over almost of the entire uh Fleet and it's amazing it's what does that meant to you as a driver uh the the miles are easier I mean not not just because it's new and it's shiny and it's a fun toy to play with it is actually more comfortable for the driver the amenities inside the truck are I mean the bed is nicer the the refrigerator is bigger so I can hold more food so I have uh excuse me so I can have more uh healthy uh choices as a driver which is important and we don't have that much at truck stops and the fact that the company laid out all this and just here's the keys go drive your mile safely and I just love it it has been amazing now I know we when we talked before it was a while back it was not long after we started the podcast so just nutshell for a minute how you came to freightworks uh I came here uh from a big company uh a bigger company and where I was a number I was truck uh I think it was 463. what does that mean to a driver when you're a number you know you call in you identify as a number because they don't have either the caller ID capability or they just don't care and they just want to look up okay what's this call about give me your truck number and I'll put in the screen and tell me I just I call in I either get high Pat or hi this is Pat hi Pat what do you need today you know there's no rushing it's not what do you need what are you calling for and it's always I'm handled not with kid gloves but it's nice to be treated as a human where most the time we're just you know uh glorified bigger yard jockeys that just traveled the country you know you know what's so interesting we had a guest on recently uh Gary who who uh works on the Kimora's route and he made the comment and it was so powerful that drivers are the revenue line in a company balance sheet you know it's all it's really all about the drivers yeah if we're not moving the produce then you know the Management's not making the the customers happy we're losing customers we're losing Revenue we're losing everything and the company shuts down and if your lungs are making her happy your driver's happy through your your great equipment you're just talking to us like humans and that's the second time I brought it up because it's very important because we don't get that a lot um and understanding the sacrifices that we do make oh you just sit and drive all day no that's not that's a minuscule part of what we're doing mentally taxing driving around other people and the sacrifices our family make you know I've had Frameworks contact my family while I'm on the road Pat's doing a great job Pat's doing this you know how are you guys you know when I broke my leg it was all flowers and hey what do you guys need fruit backs baskets food gifts and you know because the truck's not moving I'm not earning and I didn't have any Financial woes while that happened it was amazing Josh handled everything and that is really unusual isn't it I mean in in the industry it's unusual to not be treated as a and we'll never attack other companies you know the value of freight works we'll never do that having said that there's something that's unique about Freight works as a place where you can come grow build your net income and retire at some point and Pat I see it every time I talk to one of our drivers when they have their heart behind it and work hard there's a great great possibility here and most drivers all we ask for is just hey just an inkling of hey Pat or Hey Driver good job or uh let's I've even had my DM say let's discuss what your mind what your miles go for this year will be no one's ever done that what what do you mean for this year I mean I would like as many as possible but they're like hey Pat do you feel like you can push the same as you did last year you know how you feel physically no one cares about us we're replaceable dime a dozen according to everybody else and this place is 100 different I wouldn't put my name on it if I didn't believe it and and Pat that came through the first time we had an interview um talk a little bit about how your Marine involvement affects your driving um I'm dedicated to accomplishing the mission that's driven into us from boot camp to my last dying breath that's way it'll be and it drives my family crazy sometimes because if I tell you we're leaving at zero three hundred at zero two I'm announcing it and every 15 minutes I'm telling you this is when the the truck is pulling out and it's very important for that excuse me it's very important for that for just my loads I my on time percentage I take very personal exactly 100 if I'm I've never missed a load that wasn't due to a Fallout breakdown and I incorporate breakdown time into my travel time uh up to three hours which is what right you can pretty much safely do right and with that I learned all that from the uh the military we need to find more of your Marine friends and buddies no we do and what's so interesting Pat is that I've read about this and talked to a number of Industry experts there there's a strong priest supposition that ex-military people make good drivers do you believe that's true oh yes well we're dedicated we have loyalty loyalty to our country our families and we 100 like I said that it's drilled in US you are not late if you're 15 minutes early yeah I'm late and you better straighten it out and that's the way we do things and that's through all the branches of the military even though the Marines won't admit right well you know what when we get to Veterans Day at towards the end of the year let's make sure we get you on with some of your brothers that are here part of the team we'll we'll do a round table on that now let me let me ask you this uh so I remember from our first podcast your answer but I want to hear it again you got into Trucking why and where uh I lost my company uh I had a kettle corn company and I uh lost it due to a fire coming home from Smith Mountain I I remember this and tell for people that aren't aware tell them what kettle corn is uh kettle corn is a sweet and salty popcorn it was tailor-made kettle corn perfect for my last name and uh I had a really wonderful reputation and I love doing it and I loved volunteering and doing it and just giving it away and seeing the kids reaction I was a horrible businessman but I love doing that part of it and it was so much fun and then on one trip coming back from the mountains in Smith Mountain Lake I make a turn and I see my trailers completely engulfed in flames and by the time I got back there I lost everything and of course with insurance and uh depreciation not appreciation I didn't cover my loss and my family at the time was very young and I had to do something so this is it wasn't it's something I always thought I could do because my family had done it my grandfather had done this he was a driver he was a driver yeah back in Texas he ran livestock and okay we're in Texas uh Rising Star Texas where's that uh if it's between Houston it's the Southwest as uh Houston and I want to say oh I I can't even but it's it's super small yeah our our Depot is bigger than Rises right yeah right I'm a native Texan so whenever people I was born in Lubbock so whenever people talk about Texas where everybody still waves as they pass each other exactly and they still have glass Coca-Cola bottles there right right and and they've got that tourism theme Don't Mess with Texas and it's real yeah it it is it is real yeah now Pat Uh I want to ask you this when you look at what's changed how long have you been in trucking this is my fifth year okay what's been changing what what do you see that's changing in the marketplace that's affecting drivers in other words we have people on life of the mile that talk about industry standards and what's changing and all that I'm asking you as a driver boots on the ground what are you seeing that's changing and what do you see ahead uh drivers as a dry on the driver's side we see a lot of uncertainty um talk about that what the the electric trucks and the push for clean all this stuff and we understand it we don't want to destroy the Earth either but we also have to move product we want to feed our families this is a uh this job used to be higher upper middle uh income and it's it's kind of fallen off that and it and it's on the uncertainty of that and the time away from our families it's just it's been really hard the drivers I talked to are scared you know well I have a job in 10 years do if I go into this industry where is it going to be in 10 years well I have an industry or will I have to learn the computer part to fix the truck and there won't be a driver you know and it's in and you you just hear both sides of the issue to both sides of the coin green left or right and it's it hurts I mean just seeing their faces that they don't know what to do you know older drivers they we're not going to learn technology that it takes to fix a computer or a laptop or a programming for the most part not everybody but for the most part speaking for myself you know universal remote is you know that might as well be NASA to me you know and for some it might be easy but for the most part it's the uncertainty of our our industry it's it's terrifying so when you when you look at drivers your age what are what are they saying or they're they're uncertain they're concerned they're wondering am I yeah because you get these National Publications that say you know drivers at some point I I read something yesterday that 40 of them in 10 years will be gone or less yeah well I mean just the uh the uncertainty of our actual our actual uh profession um the health of the drivers even like some of the drivers that I know that are diabetic just because we eat and then we just drive or you lay down there's you know uh it's hard to move around if you go to a truck stop they're not really well lit they're not the best places to be so they're not gonna walk around especially a female driver is definitely not going to walk around by herself um it's just and the rules and regulations that are thrown at us and it's just it seems like we're the bad guy all the time and they they kind of feel that way folks we want to make sure just real quickly as a short little life of the mile and freightworks Commercial if you're going to be at the Mid-America truck show we're going to be there March 30th to April 1st at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville make sure you check that out it's a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know the life of the mile podcast team but also freightworks and if you have ideas for guests we're gonna have some interesting incentives for you to tell us about that Pat most people that are just average Americans don't realize all the different things that you navigate every single day you've got maintenance issues potentially you got weather issues you got bad pedestrian drivers you've got yeah you you well we'll talk about that in a second you you've got regulations that you have to conform to next next two are UPS alongside of airline pilots you're the most regulated driving entity in the world yeah can you help people that don't understand that what that means every day what it means for you I mean you're you're in a right-hand Lane and you've got somebody coming on an on-ramp like my 90 year old mother by the way who's still driving no God bless well we're trying to address that but for example you're in the right lane you can't move and they expect you to can you just describe for people what it's like to actually be on the road every day um there's been comments I've I've actually read them and I've also been told all you do is really drive all day it's simple I drive to and from work an hour a day it's no big deal you hold a steering wheel that's not the stressful part I mean controlling that 80 000 pound missile that I'm I'm driving is stressful enough but driving to see because I'm watching this car pass me and she's on the phone and she's actually holding a phone and I see baby seats in the back I know I keep hitting this so I do apologize and uh it's stressful because now I'm driving her car trying to predict her her movements the person merging expects me to move out of their way versus speed up in front of me which they have the ability to do or break and go behind me I just don't have that ability I'm 80 000 pounds I'm fully loaded there's no room No One's Gonna Let me over no one volunteers will let us over and it at the end of a driving shift I tried to drive nine hours nine hours seems to be my you typically start when you end when I use well tonight I'll start at about six o'clock towards the end of rush hour I'll start pre-tripping my truck and trailer and I try to get done in Gulfport by 4 am so I can drop my trailer post trip it and go grab my other track and then shut down and then I'm done because it it's just too much my mind well and it might just be me but I find that I'm mentally drained where it starts becoming a safety issue for me and for those around me because then I start getting short with people like come on yelling at my windscreen all the time and you know my windscreen doesn't want to hear all that my Insanity spewiness it's not in sanity it's actually the mark of a really good driver and but what most people don't realize Pat and you're going to help many understand this is what you deal with every day I mean you're not just driving for yourself is what you're saying you're driving for other people that don't know what they're doing in many cases right yes and that that's it is so stressful yeah right but in the midst of that in the midst of that you keep pressing forward on on the mission like you've talked about when you uh when you came into driving what was the core motivator I mean you you saw it as something that would financially help yes you did yeah the the bottom line that's the number one uh for me anyways that's why I came in was something I could I could go to school real fast I could pay for the school uh without financing and I could also uh help my family almost immediately even though it was training money it was still money coming in and at the time that was the the most important thing for my to because I was taking care of my daughter and uh she was she's in a very nice school that her mom thank God we get a a discount for because she's a teacher uh my my wife at the time and it was just amazing by the way since our last uh meeting I got married you did yeah tell us about that to Marsha you met her at the the barbecue by the way this company does a full-on employee uh I don't know what Extravaganza and the food that's produced here and made here that should be a whole uh a YouTube uh covered I don't know what a podcast yes it is amazing it actually and I remember when we met so so you you know we folks I want to make sure you know this life of the mile delivered by freightworks made a brand promise that we're going to tell the real stories of drivers and others in the industry please make sure you subscribe and by the way go to the YouTube channel all the audio podcast platforms I'm going to talk about mats the Mid-America truck show in a minute so you got married yeah to Marcia yeah yes I remember her so how's that going oh I love it I love it she's amazing she holds down the house and she's behind what you do oh 100 yeah and for drivers whether it's a man or a woman if they're married or in a relationship is it's extremely important they have that support right yes and if you're in a relationship check with your spouse before you come into this industry because without that support it is you're stopping your truck and then you try to call home and then she misses you or he misses you or whatever the situation is your kids are missing you and then you go to bed sad I've gone to bed crying because I've

yeah miss my girls you know right okay but that's that that's Pat that that's the mark look I I have four adult children now that that's the mark of a good father and most people don't realize the drivers men or women are put in positions where to do their job they're gone away from their family and you have to navigate that you know what I want to make sure you hear me say this I cry a lot and there are no shame there's no shame in in in in in in tears what what do you what does your daughter think about what you do oh well this last summer she got to come out on the truck with me for the first time she reached uh of insurance agent whatever I guess there's the uh pretty much the industry age limit and uh she got to come out and just loved it loved every minute of it got to do the sweeping out of the the trailers and blowing them out and stuff like that and it was just she wanted a full rundown on how it would be but but you know what the reason she loved it is she was with Dad yeah and she said she wants to come back out she goes I don't care if I do anything just I just want to come back out with you okay well this is an aside I don't know how this would work but when that happens again I'm going to encourage our Communications team to figure out a way to get a hold of a way where we can somehow Chronicle that oh I mean a dad and a daughter in the truck is a great great story maybe you should come into an interview and tell you the kids aspect of that and how old is she she's going to be 13 in March okay that's I remember my three teenage daughters she'll have things to say no doubt oh yeah yeah that is so good now remind us again where you live I live in Greensboro yeah yeah and we talked about this before my my brother is is there and uh and it's it's a it's a great it's a great City it's it's got a lot of trucking stuff going on there yeah it well it's right off the I-85 so it's easy access on and off there's a lot of industry down there or up there now because I we're down here now uh so I I brought to pretend it's the place down here but if you're wondering uh compared to Greensboro and I it a place I fell in love with just I came out there for a wedding uh from Arizona and I came out here and it was some the people and the the environment it was just amazing I love it out here wouldn't change it for the world now uh when you look going forward let's talk about comores that is a very important client a dedicated route for for us here at freightworks what is it you like about that work uh I like it it's mostly drop and hook as a driver we really appreciate that because it's not burning our time just sitting in a dock or waiting for a load or anything um it it also makes it easier for my company to uh as a driver I'm sure some of the the audience would realize or understand is once we're on a load we don't want to talk about that load I want to know what's my next two loads if possible you're always having to think ahead right right and that's where a good driver manager comes in we have a load planner I have my low planner is been with me from the beginning of this uh journey I have switched DMS once uh because of my DM got promoted he left me behind obviously but it was awesome for him uh James he he got promoted and um Kevin uh started off uh at the beginning rock star absolute rock star he and Arthur are just amazing for me I I know my loads ahead of time so if I have time to to drop my my present trailer I know to go pick up my load and which way to aim it's like the old uh Stagecoach you aim it towards the direction you want to start in the morning that's where I'm always at right right or uh in a different way the old Pony Express you know had a had somebody on a horse and they would get to a place and get off the horse and somebody would get on it in so many ways we're still we're still kind of doing that aren't we I love it I love it now Pat um when you do your pre-check I'm shifting gears here that's fine so to speak what makes a good pre-check for a driver like taking your time that talk about that because so many make it rudimentary well that's when you mess up the moment you just do oh I always check the same things and I always look at the same thing it's the moment you walk by it a scratch that goes not into the trailer but all the way through to the reefer part of the trailer the inner side and you didn't notice it now it's on you because if you drop that trailer and another driver then you're passing the buck and I that's something that freightworks we don't like doing here I know what happens but we it actually drivers in this company really do try to look out for the other drivers this is extremely important so go deep for 90 seconds on this okay drivers taking care of other drivers that's important and it's a value at freightworks and why uh it's important because you're not uh the next driver might be at the end of his shift or I might be trying to go home if you leave that driver a flat tire or a mud flap they can't move that trailer until it's addressed which means they might miss their home time which means they might miss a recital or a funeral or a wedding and I never want to put I don't want to be in that situation and I never want to put somebody in that situation and do things fall through the cracks everything falls through the cracks eventually but here I've noticed the drivers really do try to take the time to to address it and I love that fact about it and there's no there's no uh trying to get anybody in trouble just say who you know for future reference whoever dropped off 206 you missed this that's it and we tell each other and they're like oh it's because I did a lackadaisical uh automatic check of my pre-trip and I missed something that was obviously in my face but it's not a part of my normal check off routine right right and if you got on an airplane I heard Andy kid our safety director say this you got on an airplane and the pilot came on or the co-pilot and said you know what it's it's been a it's been a long day the plane's working pretty pretty well we're headed to Atlanta in a few minutes it's raining outside neither one of us feel real motivated to go out there and check the engines or check the gears it's 99.4 safe going down there we're sure none of you really care we're we're going to take take off right now I mean the same standards most common consumers don't realize there are so many standards in the airline industry for Pilots that are the same for drivers right yes uh for the same reason we were responsible for it something that's usually out of control at the best moments and you're trying to control 80 000 pounds on a road that's not it's made for a Prius let alone a truck this size and you're going up a hill or down a hill and you gotta like I said drive for the other cars around you that are surrounding you and predict your road routine what's in your road who's inside next next to you what they're gonna do uh the breakdown situation is you know is there a breakdown Lane if there's not what do you do if you have to break down right you have to you know and this is all why you're driving and the moment you just lose thought for one second is when it happens and it's horrible it's terrifying you know Pat you are always such an easy it's now twice uh such an easy interview I'm going to ask you to do something no I I'm not patronizing you I'm going to ask you to do something real quickly we have potential drivers that may come to freightworks if you were to just look in the camera and say three reasons somebody ought to consider coming here what would you say uh the three reasons the number one reason would be just to fit it's really like a family I know you hear that oh we're like a family here it really is I mean when I got hurt uh I blew blew my knee out um I still get checks on by everybody because I get it drained now because you know now I'm in been introduced to arthritis and stuff like that this place will check on you it wants to know how you're doing how your family's doing are they okay with the miles you're doing then you have the miles you're doing which is the financial part of what we do as drivers and what compensates our family for us being away from them because that is a compensation for them you know you don't have to worry about bills I'm going to cover the bills okay now I just got to be try to learn to be a dad on Facebook which is hard and but freightworks understands it and they want to help us they want to help us with our uh our time management away from it hey Pat you've been on the road for four weeks straight pushing super hard what about home time no company that I've ever asked for hey Pat do you want to do a home time it's not a thing they'll drive you till you're dead in the truck seat this place absolute opposite and I love it if you have any questions if I assume the format's going to be the same contact me in the YouTube I'm not a I don't get paid to hire drivers or whatever the recruiters or whatever I'll respond uh every night I try to check it and when I did it and I responded to a couple drivers and my honest opinion I love this place I really do and I wouldn't put my name next to something I didn't love and you you're also a Marine in every Marine I've known in my life even when I disagree with them there were people of principal yeah I I try to be I try to be well I really do I try to be a better person today than I was yesterday and that's important to me as a father and a driver and just a human well I'm gonna I'm gonna talk about your uh apparel for a minute we love MCT companies we love them but but it's time for you to have a different hat okay okay so you have the opportunity for one of two hats this is the iconic freightworks one cap here I like the cap here and then last year at the Mid-America truck show we'll be there again this year folks if you're there make sure you tell us we'd love to meet with you this went over well at Matt's last year it's got the Patriotic theme in the back it's got the leather patch light life of the mile we're in freightworks one studio right around the corner from the driver's lounges Pat Taylor he's our guest today which of these two do you want usually we send them out I like the darker one because I I'm this one it's kind of dirty dealing with trucks exactly so if you don't lose my phone if you don't mind have you removed that I'm bald by the way okay now listen there's no sin or sadness or shame in being bald it's actually powerful this is this is your cap and thank you so much for being here you know you know what you know what I love I love the combination of the professionalism and your heart and commitment to your family that that that comes through and look we're we're not a perfect company freightworks is not but we're trying to get better every day and if you want to be part of our team call us just just email or call us you can go to our freightworks website and uh you know Pat I always enjoy talking to drivers especially you know why why because of my heart at my Advanced stage I'd love to be one you look way better than I do thank you very much have a blessed day thanks so much I'll deliver by freightworks see us every week check out our shorts make sure make sure that you're pushing these episodes out it's a way for you to tell the incredible story of drivers 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 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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