Archive for the 'Intermodal' Category

Destined to Drive: Vernon

Destined to Drive: Vernon

Oct 01 2017

Walking into the J.B. Hunt intermodal yard in Haslet, Texas early on a Thursday morning, we are greeted by the smiling face of a driver named Vernon. Within minutes of our arrival and catching up with the driver and his managers, it is apparent that Vernon’s smile is infectious to everyone around him. Vernon has been with J.B. Hunt intermodal for four years and as he’d attest, it’s been a dream come true!Vernon truck

We first met Vernon and his family over the summer when he was selected to represent J.B. Hunt at the Arkansas Truck Driving Championship. It was evident that this was a driver who loves his work and approaches every day with unyielding enthusiasm. Growing up around construction, Vernon’s interest in trucks started at the age of five when his father brought home a Power Wheels dump truck for him. “I thought it was the coolest thing, driving that around,” he said, “And then I guess when I got older, growing up in construction, it was great learning all that, but I just really wanted to drive a truck. There was something about driving an 18-wheeler down the road that seemed like it’d be a lot of fun.” His desire to drive for J.B. Hunt also started early in life. “I started seeing a lot of J.B. Hunt logos everywhere. I just fell in love with the logo really. I mean, I thought, I really kind of want to drive there, you know.”

Vernon got his first trucking job in hauling rock and then moved into an over the road job at another company. With his wife and young daughter at home, driving over the road was a challenge and soon prompted him to search for a driving job with more home time. He quickly came upon a job advertisement for J.B. Hunt. “It was really just like throwing up flags” he said. “Like wow! That’s me right there. That’s a company I wanted to drive for as long as I could remember.” Vernon’s wife Tabby is the daughter of a truck driver, so the over the road life wasn’t new to her, but she’s grateful that Vernon is driving a local route with J.B. Hunt. “There’s a lot of stress Vernon familyrelease, him coming home every night,” she said. They now have two daughters and Vernon is home every night to spend time with them, playing video games and catching up on their favorite shows with their oldest and reading Dr. Seuss with their youngest. “I love the fact that every day I get off at 5:30. Every day I start at 7:00 and every day I’m home at the end of the day. I get to spend the evening with my family, have a nice family dinner, and it makes a big difference.”

Throughout Vernon’s four years with J.B. Hunt, he’s made a big impact on his managers and fellow drivers. He was selected by management to represent J.B. Hunt at the Arkansas Truck Driving Championship this past July. “It means so much to me that they would pick me. I mean, there’s like 17,000 drivers at J.B. Hunt and there’s 29 of us that got picked to do that. I mean, I can’t put it into words what that feels like to get chosen for something like that by J.B. Hunt,” he said. “After I had, growing up as a kid, dreamed about working for J.B. Hunt so long, I never would’ve thought about them picking me to do something like that…it’s just icing on the cake really.”

After only a few months into his tenure at the company, Vernon was selected to be a Safety Trainer who helps his fellow drivers improve and become better, safer drivers every day. “I really like to help people, and I like to talk about trucking a lot. I think my family probably gets tired of hearing about it, so I have a captive audience,” he said with a smile.

Vernon’s management team values his commitment to safety and his contributions as a trainer. “The most important thing to me is that all my drivers go home safely to their families at the end of each day, as well as the people that they share the road with, and because of people like Vernon, we’re able to make that possible,” his operations manager Brent said.

It’s not only his enthusiasm for safety that makes Vernon so popular in Haslet, it’s his overall positive attitude. “When I first started out in intermodal, Vernon was actually one of the first people I met,” Brent said. “After meeting him, I was like yeah, this is going to be the easiest job I ever had if they’re all this nice.”Vernon family TDC

Although truck driving can be tough at times, Brent noticed that Vernon didn’t let any frustrating days get him down. “Truthfully, for us folks here in the office, we typically deal with all the things that go wrong. We don’t normally hear about all the things that go right…and then someone like Vernon comes into the office where, you know, he’s always an optimist. You know, just kind of puts a bright light in your day having someone that positive come in the office,” Brent explained.

You can see Vernon’s love for the company as soon as you visit his property – he uses a J.B. Hunt shipping container for storage, for example. He always thought it would be great to own a piece of J.B. Hunt and when he found out that the company was selling some old containers, he jumped on the opportunity to purchase one. “Every day, I look out the door and I can see my container out there, and it’s a great place for my lawnmower,” he said with a laugh.

Vernon plans to spend the next twenty years at J.B. Hunt and retire as a driver. When recently waiting for a load, Vernon logged into Facebook and watched a J.B. Hunt video about Mr. and Mrs. Hunt and the company’s successful history. “Just watching that story and listening to his wife talk, it really brought tears to my eyes. And it’s funny because they were just running down both sides, and this guy came up to ask me if I was hooked up to an empty…and I had these big tears in my eyes. He had no idea why, but it was funny he was like ‘Okay, just take as long as you need.’ He had no idea, but they were just tears of joy at such a wonderful story and great history involved in this company, and it’s a pleasure to work here,” he said.

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Interested in driving and retiring with J.B. Hunt? Visit DriveJBHunt.com or call 1-877-791-9458 to learn about over the roadregional or local truck driving jobs or feel free to fill out our short form online.

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