Paul Gibson

Interview by
Published on
October 20, 2022

In this episode...

When a company’s recruiting pitch to new truck drivers goes along the lines of “We’re going to treat you with respect”, former recruiting manager-turned-videographer Paul Gibson has a problem with that. “How terrible is that job, if being treated like a person is a job perk?” When companies say that, he wants to know WHY. He wants truck drivers to be the HERO of the pitches, and companies should provide their VALUE PROPOSITION. How can companies help provide the tools for truck drivers so they can do their job to the best of their ability? Trucking can be a rough, thankless job, and often spent in isolation. So if a truck driver is willing to commit to you, your messaging should spell out how you are prepared to help.

Paul Gibson

Paul Gibson is a recruiting and marketing manager turned videographer. I produce high performing video content specifically within the transportation industry.


if there were no drivers you know our civilization as we know it would be over if you work in transportation the best thing you could do for yourself is actually go ride in a truck uh for more than 24 hours 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 stories

all here right now this light by the mile delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch Maltby I love the fact that our program just traverses through all the different places in trucking and Logistics Across America we got Paul Gibson today he's a recruiting and marketing manager turn videographer he produces High performing video content specifically within the transportation industry you're going to hear a whole lot about him and uh I just want to make sure you you remember this folks our ability to bring this to you twice a week is driven by you subscribing to that YouTube channel we're on audio platforms everywhere for podcasts and you know what Paul I don't know when you started as a videographer but I've heard from people you have a gift so where where did that start by the way like when did you know you had a gift to Capture Moments um I appreciate that uh so um ultimately it it started less out of like being like Oh hey you know I like videography and and more is what I I viewed as a need um so I was a recruiting and marketing manager for about five years um and because I would like Google things related to trucking and so forth I would get targeted with a lot of ads all the time um and I would consistently see videos um and I'm just like I feel like this is wasting my time I can't imagine a driver who you know just got done with a 14-hour day sat down to have their 10 you know gets on Facebook whatever to try and see you know what their friends have eaten you know or he just thinks you're just like chilling out just trying to interconnect with people back home and um so I was like we need better videos ultimately uh And the Company the company I worked for we started to make some videos they're a little bit more edgy uh they're doing really good and the thing is we relied on humor um and we relied on self-awareness so my thing is you see a lot of videos um and I've even made some but you you see like a truck drive past the field of Wheat and you hear a deep voice that's like we're gonna treat you with respect which is great but how terrible is that job if being treated like a person is a job perk you know or we're going to treat you like family and while that's the case and a lot of companies do have great family style cultures uh you also run into a situation where there's a lot of them where it seems almost more like you know we're going to treat you like family which means we're going to owe you money and you're gonna spend the holidays with us and so it's the idea to to make it uh something that the driver doesn't feel like they wasted their time when they've watched it you know whether it be informational whether they at least get a laugh out of it some sort of transaction that just makes better content um and that's and that's ultimately with that then I saw how much we were paying the film Crews who were making our videos and I was like I could do that so I learned how to film Paul let me ask you this and of course here at freightworks you know we're a little bit different and we're probably perceived as being conservative in this way you know our company was founded on you know biblical values and so when we tell drivers we're going to tell you the truth we get a lot of drivers Paul that come in and say I've never worked for a company that told me the truth ever and we tell them you know what it's not just because we're saying that it's not a marketing premise it's it's it's because we we as leaders have have values in that Arena you know when when you look at what's happening in the marketplace these days and all these companies that are recruiting drivers what do you think most companies are doing wrong what are most companies doing wrong when it comes to their marketing their Communications and their driver recruitment I I want you to wax eloquin well and I I think uh I think in that case uh so real quick to get back to what you were saying about you know the way that you guys operate the cool thing is is you provide a reason why you do that right a lot of companies will just be like hey we're going to treat you this way but they don't provide a reason you know and so that I think that's super awesome um but as far as what companies are doing wrong I I think a big thing is that there's no value proposition uh and it doesn't appear because even if you mean it certain things get said so much that it seems insincere exactly you know because I think if anybody has the best I mean out of all the demographics of people that I've ever interacted with um drivers and Veterans hands down have the best detectors out of anybody out there that's very strong that's really strong I want you to expound on that for a minute that's extremely important well because I mean the thing is is is these people are hearing the same thing over and over and over but what they're being told and what happens in their day-to-day actual lives isn't the same um and so I guess to kind of circle back to that that initial question is the idea that I'm a huge advocate for the idea that the driver is the hero in the story you know exactly is the idea that like companies a lot of companies will go make themselves look like Hey we're awesome we're gonna make your life better we're gonna do this for you and this for you and and ultimately what it boils down to when you're out there on the road you know whether you're you know stuck looking for parking whether you're on that terrible stretch on on 80 going through Wyoming you know whatever it happens to be it's not a glorious job and there's there's a lot of stuff that comes with it even down to the isolationism on the road and I I feel like companies would be better off if what they did was in their marketing posed themselves as almost a a tool as an ally like you know your goal is to make a living for yourself what we're going to do as a company is give you all the resources you need to make your life that you're trying to create the best it possibly can be that's that's so interesting and you know along along the way along the way I'm sure is a videographer and somebody that captures the moments and the stories of what a friend of mine by the way that uh retired from yellow for eight he's in his 80s he told me he said Butch we're we were the last of the American Cowboys I mean along the way I'm sure you've seen stories and and heard and seen things do you have a couple of examples I mean what what inspires you about drivers women and men that are out there making America you know great in supplying things and you know they're they're the fuel of America well I think ultimately my biggest motivation is just to consistently think about it like it's it's easy to think when you know especially for the general public probably less for people involved in transportation but the idea that you see you know trucks in traffic or you get stuck behind a truck that's governed at 62 for 20 minutes because a truck that's governed at 63 is trying to pass it you know like some of that stuff seems frustrating but when you think about like how many loads are carried Across America how much stuff actually comes on a truck and then you really start to think about what stops stops that like if if those trucks all stopped civilization as we know it would be gone in a matter of days um you know and there'd be a lot of dead people not trying to be too graphic but uh and I mean on top of that the fact that I feel like the industry uh you know like you said the last the American Cowboys like it's not what it used to be you know you've got these people who are fighting seven to eleven o'clocks a day seven like that they have to keep track of all these different clocks you're telling them how to get there you're telling them a lot of companies trying to get ahead of what the ATA is trying to mandate with speed Governors you have people telling them how fast they can get there you know and the fact that these people are willing to put themselves in that position in a job that's slowly becoming more regulated and more undesirable just to make sure that we can all live our lives the way that we do I I think that is the most incredible thing you know I I've said it a lot I used to say it on the phone when I was a recruiter uh is the idea that you know without our veterans there be no American defense uh or there'd be there'd be no America because they defend it now on the other hand if there were no truck drivers there would be no America to defend you know it's the idea that is so strong that is so that is that that is so strong by the way folks it's life by the wild delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch malpe is Paul Gibson he is more than just a recruiting and marketing manager turned videographer he produces high impact videos later in the program right at the end we're going to give you opportunities to reach out to him if you're interested in the kinds of services that he provides hey I I have a question for you did did you play with trucks when you were young uh well Noah's okay uh so so I didn't uh but my dad was a truck driver he was um uh I'm not really sure because uh metaphorically I guess the best way to say it is when I was about three he went on a load and never came back

um okay and then and then it all kind of the rest of it falling falling into the industry was a lot more chance I think by the end of it so where did you grow up I grew up in Kansas City I I'm from Kansas City I've been here born and raised my whole life uh and I love it okay all right this is this is um we're not going to chase a rabbit here but we did talk before we came on about barbecue now listen in North Carolina pork barbecue is the only kind of barbecue now in Kansas City it may be different right yeah I mean we have pork but I mean also beef is beef is huge uh our big thing is burnt ends like burn ends what what what is that so when you take like the the brisket and you have like the the tip where it's all charred and stuff like that it's basically like that cut up um and so it's just like it's just like little chunks of like leftover meat that are just like they're they're crispy but they're super juicy in the middle it's kind of hard to explain but it's probably like the coolest thing I've ever eaten it's 100 episodes since we launched life of the mile delivered by freightworks and I promise you we've not had one guest that's ever described the crispy ends of beef that are charred and really delectable nobody's done that yeah you're the first one well I mean that's you should talk to more people in Kansas City about Bernice exactly and you know and you know what you you could easily be an advocate for Kansas City as a place um I've been there a number of times and it's it's it's a wonderful city now let me let me ask you this when you look at what's happening in the trucking and Logistics industry right now I'm always curious to hear from different people with different Vantage points what do you see going on right now

I don't know if I'm the right person to ask them no also I mean um sorry you you took a deep breath but you know what it doesn't need to I'm not asking you to be Freight waves and and give analysis of data I'm just saying you've got a heart that understands the industry what do you think is going on right now well so my whole thing is is I it's kind of like having a child I love the transportation industry and sometimes you just gotta point out what needs to change because you love it and you want it to be better and I think there's a lot of things like I mean right now you have people pushing legislation to try and regulate you know speed governing in trucks um and then on top of that you have people trying to make a big push to lower the age requirement for drivers my issue with that is a lot of people are like oh we're gonna try and get gen Z and trucks but my problem is is we've struggled to get Millennials into trucks and so it's like how do you expect to get gen Z into trucks without changing the format especially to compete with you know like Amazon you know delivery trucks you know they they work 40 hours they go home they can get overtime they have benefits they're not DOT regulated um so I mean a lot of what I see is just I feel like there's a lot of Band-Aids being put out but we're not addressing real issues what would you change like if you had the opportunity you were the transportation Czar of the country and by Fiat you could make some changes what would you do it's going to be important what would you do two or three or four things to change things to make it better well so this is not going to be popular probably with some of my clients uh but I think you know especially with the motor carrier Act of 1980 I feel like regulation went off carriers in the industry and fully went on to drivers uh you know and I I understand that that helped with the prices of things and lowered costs and brought in more comp like competitiveness into the market but I feel like everything that needs to be regulated just gets pushed off onto drivers so I would probably say things like uh I don't know like the idea that just like I don't know that it's necessarily as much just regulations as much as the way that we as an industry operate like nobody anymore I mean there are still guys out there that want to do it and ladies uh but the idea that like so many companies still rely on drivers who are willing to be out for weeks at a time okay like what talk about that so my question is is like I know that it obviously financially would be a pain and you have your carriers and you have this you know since since the the regulation was lifted you have this over abundance of carriers but it's the idea that like I feel like we need to start shaping the industry back around drivers like because obviously you know if you have a customer you need to go with that customer right you know like you're trying to get all the customers you can get because everybody's out there trying to get customers then you have people who start cutting under that and cutting under that and going lower and lower and Freight rates get lower and lower and then driver pay doesn't ever it increases but it doesn't it doesn't fit what it used to fit back in a day where you could support you know a whole family and still make it I don't know like it's just it's all kind of a mess and I think it just really as straight away from from drivers and it's not it's it's not as an appealing as a job as it used to be and I think well that has a lot to do with it let me ask you this what do you think is the reason a lot of drivers feel so beat up I mean I I I actually moved out of my office at freightworks I'm here at freightworks one studio right around the corner from our driver's Lounge at freightworks here in Western North Carolina and Rutherfordton I talk to drivers every single week and so many just seem so beat up when they come to us and I'm not we're not a perfect company Paul but we're a company that tries to keep our promises make good on commitments and the like so many drivers come in and they just feel so beat up why is that what what's going on well I mean and I think a lot of that has to do with it with the individual driver because everybody's experience is different but at the same time it kind of goes back to you know they're fighting several clocks they're being told where to go how to get there how fast they can get there when they're allowed to go through the process of getting there and if they don't they put their career on the line and then you have all these violations like maintenance violence relations like I understand that you know the driver is responsible for the pre-trip and whatnot but at the same time like especially if it's a company driver that's not their equipment so why did why do those violations fall heavier on the driver why is it and any sort of traffic situation where there's a crash with a truck it's pretty much uh pretty much guilty until proven innocent uh in the driver's case like most the time it's like oh if if we're not sure how this went oh the driver's at fault it's a big truck and I had a Toyota right right and so I mean it's just one of those things where it's like there's there's so much that's just pushed onto drivers where it's like I don't know it's it's it's rough it's a rough life it's it's I mean I don't know it's one of those things too I think until I actually started writing in trucks you know going over the road I didn't fully grasp it you know and that's my one number one takeaway if you take away anything from this I think if you work in transportation the best thing you could do for yourself is actually go ride in a truck absolutely for more than 24 hours we had an incredible conversation with a driving couple for Freight works here and uh they travel by the way with six ferrets oh ferrets yeah what what do you think about pets and trucks by the way um I think I mean once again that that goes back to the person uh I think that that definitely depends on the driver I think I think it definitely helps with you know some of the loneliness of being stuck out there even though we're all more interconnected via the Internet uh but sometimes I'm kind of like like some people have cats in their trucks like if you like cats that's great I have a cat but like the idea of a litter box in that small of a space is terrifying to me um in six ferrets I think you you I I just I I would just be curious like as far as like uh cleanliness and stuff like that goes I'm not saying that it can't be at all I would just be curious what their process is like to make sure that that's not a terrible experience for themselves okay now Paul I want to make sure you know this we're not going to edit this out and any of the animal lovers that are in trucks Across America when they make their comments I'm going to make sure that their comments are kind and affirming and and encouraging you know it's it's it's it's it's it's so interesting because the whole Trucking and Logistics world is very diverse isn't it I mean we we talked to people young and old here at freightworks uh you know driving couples over the road dedicated routes all of that what do you think it is I mean you're you're a filmmaker you're a videographer what do you think it is that draws people into Trucking well I mean I think I think some people is is the idea kind of like we talked about earlier you know if there were no drivers you know our civilization as we know it would be over um I think there are people who find that appealing they find Value in that because you you have had an uptick in like the last 30 or so years of people wanting to have jobs that they feel like are bringing value uh so I think there's that um then I mean you run into so many people who are like hey this isn't my family this is what my dad did this is what my mom did this is what my grandpa did um yeah I mean I I think there's there's a lot of different factors but I think a lot of it um I run into a lot of people who it was family and then a lot of people who find just great value in what they're doing um and some people do it for the pay Paul when you when you do videos when you're a videographer what is it you typically look for to capture and talk a little bit about your work your your work is acknowledged it's excellent so talk a little bit about what you do to try to capture the moments and use your craft to tell the story well so as far as visually goes I think the one thing that a lot of people um don't do even other people who film trucks uh you know like if they like hire someone out the guy down the street to make a video or whatever uh is you know typically like you get used to certain things like when you're watching TV shows or movies uh and you know so if you like let's say had uh your phone that you're holding on on a table um you would film that phone a particular way well the thing is trucks are big so what happens is is a lot of people will try to film it like it's a truck instead of filming it like it's any other item that's good so like you know the the movement that they might use to film that phone would be different than the the movement that they've used to film the truck but I try to film trucks like I would film any other object so then when your brain sees that visual it seems more normal uh for your brain to process it um and as far as drivers go uh I usually just I try to get honest answers and I usually do that by like asking somewhat abrasive questions which people kind of turn a weird eye to but it's like the first thing I usually ask people uh once I ask them like how long they've been driving um you know and how is their safety record I immediately follow up with I would say if you have at least two years experience and you have a clean record you're probably getting unsolicited texts and emails and calls all the time of companies asking you to switch over and come work for them that's true and it's truth right right but then my follow-up question and normally they're like yeah or they'll pull out their phone they'll show them to me and my response is well you could go anywhere with that record why are you here that's good that's good and and when you've asked that question why are you here at different companies are there a few answers to that question that have stood out to you um stood out uh not necessarily but there's a lot of reoccurring themes what would they be and well it and that kind of depends on the company and usually once you've talked to a couple drivers you start to realize that the answer to that question is almost always similar and then whatever that that consistent answer is is what I use to build the rest of the interview so I can show what separates that company from other carriers uh but ultimately the biggest thing is communication you know the idea that that driver dispatcher relationship if your dispatcher is terrible they're the gatekeeper to not only the company that dispatcher is the gatekeeper to your ability to make a living um and usually usually that comes up quite a bit is is whether like you know if a company has good communication how important that is to the driver that is so incredibly important and and and and you know we we find that here at freightworks that you know our dispatching team will often talk to each other about what can we do to communicate better with the driver and to help the driver understand they're not just a gatekeeper they're not certainly a point of authority sometimes the unexpected touch carries the greatest power it's the call that has nothing to do with anything other than I'm your driver manager how are you doing right it's it's the call out of the blue the unexpected call the encouragement and uh and drivers need that certainly don't they well yeah and I would say say I mean because ultimately a lot of times it is a thankless job you know and I mean when you're out there in the elements when you're out there in traffic when you're stuck waiting for that wreck to clear um you know just someone at the end of the day being like hey I appreciate like legitimately authentically appreciate what you're doing right now you know what Paul you you gotta you got a passion uh has that always been there were you always somebody that wanted to tell a story I mean what what what what did you feel like you were born to do

um I I don't necessarily know I mean it's one of those things where it's like I the way life has progressed it just kind of I just kind of fell into this and it was something that mattered um you know and that's where like the driver because I'm not really passionate like this about a lot of things okay um but but falling into the industry and seeing this and just like I I feel like there's there's only a handful of moments in my life where I fall into a situation and I'm like this matters you know one of them being my kids uh getting married was huge um and then I I think drivers are probably you know outside of like you know like not necessarily level of importance like because you know there's family and stuff like that but then I think as far as what matters as far as Society goes I think I think drivers and their experience and their ability to do their job is almost more important than just about anything that is that is so powerful it's it's like Eric little when he was asked uh there at the Olympics and he chariots a fire why do you run he said when I run I feel God's pleasure and whenever we're using our gifts you know it's it's an acknowledgment that uh hey you know what the Living God gave us those gifts you're obviously a gifted Communicator I've seen some of your work and uh you know this is the point that great conversations by the way move along quickly and we're about to have to take our exit we got three minutes left and uh now is my opportunity to tell you how much we appreciate you and and and just say again to people that are watching listen make sure you subscribe to life of the mile on YouTube and all the podcast platforms that we have I'm Butch Walton the host now I get to do I'm not being loose or foolish like a QVC imitation uh we got a gift we're going to send you okay awesome all right well but I'm gonna go through it and uh all right so so the first and you have to tell me which one and William uh are our assistant producer here is going to get your address this is a hat that we made for mats and it went over great have you gone to Matt's by the way oh yeah and there I've I've been there like every year since I've started filming okay well I I I went for the first time and I have to tell you it was it was incredible stimulation and your guys uh your booth was awesome by the way uh it was your your life setup great yeah that is so sweet for you to say I don't know if sweet in Kansas City means the same thing it does here but okay so we got this this cap then we know winter is coming Paul so we've got we've got this cap it's got the leather life of the mile you know that that could look good on you or or we've got the freightworks One logo here we're in freightworks one studio right around the corner by the way is the incredibly appointed drivers lounge if you're a driver by the way you want to kick the tires on a new company we're not perfect but you know what we're honest so uh check us out so which one of these three might we send you um I would actually probably go with the last one this one um great all right well there you have it Paul we're going to make sure that William sends that to you he'll he'll he'll get your address now if if you were to uh with 50 seconds to go if if a young person in high school is wondering should I go to college I don't really want to go I may consider going into Trucking what would you say to him I would say riding a truck first spend spend a day or two in a truck and see if that is is a lifestyle that works for you that is so that is so direct that is so good you know what folks is Paul Gibson he's a recruiting a marketing manager turned videographer produces High performing video content within the transportation industry now listen quickly if people want to touch base with you to use your services how can they get in touch with you um you can either get in touch with me uh I'm pretty active on LinkedIn um or our podcast has a website where you can communicate with us or um my email is Paul at bright lights great yeah yeah I I love guests that have so much to offer you you've been one of those uh I hope you come back let's make sure we stay in touch this is life by the mile delivered by freightworks Paul Gibson he is a Storyteller in the trucking and Logistics industry and uh it's been a joy to have you on today yeah it's been great thank you very much for having me thanks for watching this episode you know life by the mile delivered by freightworks is one of the newest largest and fastest growing podcasts actually produced by a trucking company now we want you to like and share this episode if you'd like to see more episodes click here and make sure that you subscribe to this channel by clicking here we'll see you there

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