A career in the trucking business was a second chance for me. 20 years ago, I was young and dumb, which made getting a job in my thirties difficult. As I went to CDL school, I had to sign a waiver saying the CDL school couldn't be held responsible for not being able to get me a job. I signed the waiver knowing I may be throwing 3k down the toilet. Luckily I was able to get a job with a company where I was able to get some experience driving over the road. I wont speak negatively about this company because they did give me an opportunity when nobody else would.
Once I had 12 months of experience - ticket and accident free - I called Tyson Foods. That was almost 7 years ago. Tyson was willing to look past mistakes I had made earlier in life, and give me an opportunity to drive for them.
The most obvious difference was my pay... Where I was making $650-700 on a good week with my previous company, I was now clearing 1k a week with Tyson. The trucks were nicer. Each truck had a fridge and APU. The way drivers communicated with dispatch was more like equals rather than a boss/employee relationship. Never mind matching 401k, and better health insurance.
Like with my first company, I learned that if you don't get into accidents, don't get tickets, and show up on time, you'll thrive more often than not. Within a couple of years of starting at Tyson, I let them know that I would be soon getting married, and didn't wanna spend weeks on the road anymore. Within a couple of weeks of that phone call, I was put on a regional fleet where I'd get home each Friday Morning, and leave out each Sunday night. You'd think my pay would have gone down only working 5 days a week, but it didn't. Once I got onto regional, I was netting $1300 per week.
Within a year of getting onto the regional fleet, I let Tyson know that I'd soon be adopting my step-daughter and that my wife was pregnant. All of a sudden, being gone five days a week seemed like a lot with two young kids at home. You see, because it was important to me to be home more, it became important to Tyson.
Because I had a great track record with on-time deliveries, and no tickets and accidents, Tyson put me on a shuttle fleet where I was home each day. All of a sudden, not only was I home with my wife and kids each day, and making my own schedule, but I was making more money as a company driver than I ever thought possible.
My daughter was recently sent home from school due to being exposed to covid-19, while at the same time I had a headache. Tyson told me not to worry about anything, that I needed to worry about getting my family tested, and to take 14 days off. Before I could ask about my pay, I was informed that they'd pay me 90% of my six weeks average. Luckily we tested negative, and 14 days later I returned to work like nothing happened - and I barely noticed a difference in my pay.
Lastly, with the economy the way it is, fuel prices could double, hurting out industry. Freight could drop. Certain sectors could struggle due to the winner of the election, hurting out industry. With Tyson, none of this matters. The last I heard, Tyson outsources about 30% of our freight. We, Tyson drivers haul 70%. If the economy ever takes a serious downturn, Tyson pulls freight from the 30% to keep us rolling. When other companies might be struggling for miles, you rarely see a disruption at Tyson.
I've been very fortunate these past 7 years, but I credit Tyson for giving me an opportunity and me for applying to Tyson, for my good fortune. To get back to the title of this post... I'm no fool, I owe it to my family to keep my eye out for an even better opportunity job wise, but after 7 years, it's getting to be more and more impossible to find a better job than at Tyson Foods.
Tyson Foods has made it impossible to leave
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