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Meet J.B. Hunt’s Safe Million Mile Truck Drivers – Part I

Meet J.B. Hunt’s Safe Million Mile Truck Drivers – Part I

Apr 09 2018

This Spring, J.B. Hunt will be recognizing numerous safe company drivers at our Million Mile Celebration in Lowell, Ark. We are excited to have our 2 million, 3 million and 4 million mile drivers here and celebrate their hard work and dedication to their J.B. Hunt jobs and driving safely.

We had the opportunity to chat with a few of our million mile safe drivers who are excited to attend the Million Mile Celebration. Read further to meet our safe drivers!

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Terry W.

Terry is a 2 Million Mile Intermodal driver from California. He’s been driving with J.B. Hunt for 26 years.

Where were you when you found out you hit your Million Mile mark? Talk to me about what was going through your mind.
I was here at South Gate. As drivers, we know we’re getting close to that milestone and we all start getting nervous. I reached mine in January of 2017 on my 25th anniversary. I hugged and thanked every one of those dispatchers upstairs and told them I couldn’t have done it without them. If I didn’t have people from here to Arkansas supporting me, I wouldn’t be here today -again- it is a team effort. One thing J.B. Hunt does well is they recognize their employees. If you put in your dedication and your time, they recognize it. I could cover a wall with the plaques and certificates I’ve received over the years. I don’t know any other company that does that.

Who was the first person you told?
I called my kids. My daughter is my biggest fan when it comes to J.B. Hunt. My two sons are just as happy. Then I called my siblings and they all just congratulated me to death. Through the years, they have been so supportive of me. Family is everything.

What advice do you have for newcomers who are thinking ‘Wow, that’s a long way out, how can I ever get there?”
Ironically I have been given that opportunity here at South Gate. I get to have a class with the new drivers and go over the J.B. Hunt handbook with them. A lot of the guys are the same age as I was when I started and I tell them, ‘First of all, welcome to J.B. Hunt. This is the beginning of something that will provide you with everything you need to be successful throughout your career. I was you 26 years ago. I never looked too far ahead and I took it one day at a time.

What has driving taught you about yourself?
I come from a small town called Liberty, MO, just 20 miles north of Kansas City. It had a population of 13,000 people when I was a kid. Truck driving was never a plan for a young kid back then. Driving has taught me how to be responsible and that I can be successful in life doing something other find hard to do.

What has driving taught you about life in general?
It has taught me that no matter what you choose to do in life, just be successful. It’s a very hard profession but very rewarding at the same time. I’ve spent half of my life driving for J.B. Hunt. The places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and the people I’ve worked with and for…it just seems to come full-circle.

Lots of people from corporate and the field are going to read this. What do you want them to know about drivers?
To the people in Arkansas, I’d like to thank each and every person there. Throughout my career with J.B. Hunt, corporate has been right there when I needed them. Payroll, Claims, Road Service, HR – they were always there at the ready whenever I had an issue. We have a wonderful team at J.B. Hunt. I can’t wait to meet everyone in April!

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Bob P. 

Bob is a 4 Million Mile over the road automotive truck driver from West Virginia. He’s been with J.B. Hunt for 30 years.

Where were you when you found out you hit your Million Mile mark?
I was at the Louisville yard down there. I just pulled in after making deliveries down there.

How did it feel to reach your Million Mile mark?
It was kind of overwhelming in a way. In a way it was a big relief off my shoulders. I knew I was close because the week before, we were running to Dorado and back out of Louisville down there. I only had like 250 miles when I left to go to Dorado.

It was a bigger accomplishment… I never thought that I’d make it that far. Traffic keeps getting worse and worse and everything. It’s harder and harder every day.

Who was the first person you told?
The account manager John. I walked up to him after my manager told me that I made it. He was the first one I saw outside out there.
The week after, when I came back in the next week, they had a celebration. They had cake and balloons and food and all the stuff. They had a big spread there in the office. It made me feel real good. They had a big banner outside and there was my name on it and all that.

What advice do you have for newcomers who are thinking ‘Wow, that’s a long way out, how can I ever get there?”
You can do it. You just have to stay positive and work hard at it. Watch everything you do, be very safe. Just be careful, that’s all I can say. Watch everything you do, double check everything you do… Don’t take chances.

What has driving taught you about yourself? And about life in general?
It’s given me more control over doing things and being more aware of the general public and everything going on around.

What do you want readers (corporate and the general public) to know about truck drivers? 
It’s a rough job driving a truck. We give up a lot of home time and time away from our families and people don’t realize what we give up to do this job. The home time is the main thing, the time with your family, being away all the time.

Why do you drive with J.B. Hunt?
It’s a good company. It’s a decent living. I enjoy the people that I work for down there in Louisville on that account. They are extremely good people to work for and with. If you got anything that you need to be off for or time off at home, something pops up, they make sure that they get you home on time. You need to stop in the middle of something, they’ll take your load and get somebody… they’ll get you home. They are a great group of people.

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Dan W.

Dan is a 2 Million Mile over the road automotive truck driver from Indiana. He’s been with the company for 23 years!

Where were you when you found out you hit your Million Mile mark? 
I knew I hit it before I got the call from corporate because I keep track of my miles. I was at the house and double checking everything. I got my call from corporate on my way back from a load. I keep track of my miles and know what I needed to make it to two million.

I looked at my wife and said if my figures are correct, after I triple checked them, I’m a thousand miles over my two million.

How did it feel to reach your Million Mile mark?
I was very happy and my wife was very proud. She kept egging me on, saying you can do it, just keep going. And I did. It’s an accomplishment. You don’t think you’re gonna make it.

I worked hard at it, so I’m very proud of myself.

What advice do you have for newcomers who are thinking ‘Wow, that’s a long way out, how can I ever get there?”
Don’t give up. Just don’t give up, period. If you say that it’s never going to happen, then you won’t do it. It won’t happen. If you tell yourself, I can do this. And you have somebody else with you that says, you can do this. Like my wife can say, you can do this, just keep going. I did it! I’ve done what I set out to do. I made a goal. I got it. That’s all they gotta do, is set that goal and keep after it. It will all work out in the end. They just have to keep trying. That’s all there is to it.

Take your time. Don’t hurry. Don’t get upset. Pay attention. Do what you’re supposed to.

What has driving taught you about yourself? And about life in general?
I can do what I set out to do… I learned to do the job and do it the right way.

[Life] is never simple. There’s always some underlining problem that will pop up and try to throw you for a loop. And if you just, you know, relax, pay attention and follow through with what you’re supposed to do, it will all work out.

What do you want readers (corporate and the general public) to know about truck drivers?
There are a lot of us out there just trying to do our job, making it from day to day, get home to our families. We don’t want anybody hurt. Not trying to run people off the road. Give us the same chance that you want us to give you.

Why do you drive with J.B. Hunt?
The money is good. The pay is always right and I get to go places.

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Howard W.

Howard is a 2 Million Mile over the road automotive truck driver from Kentucky.  He’s been with J.B. Hunt for almost 30 years!

Where were you when you found out you hit your Million Mile mark?
I was on my way out west when my dispatcher let me know that.

How did it feel to reach your Million Mile mark?
It was awesome! I’m working on all of it because if it’s God’s will… I can’t take nothing away from him. If it wasn’t for him, where would I be at? I can’t do nothing without my Lord heavenly father. That’s what kept me going. He’s in control of my life completely. Without him, I don’t know what I would do because you know what, he brought me through the end of Vietnam and I got my limbs, I got my health, and I’m thankful and I’m blessed.

Who was the first person you told?
I told my wife and then my wife called my mom and then my mom said, ‘Has he stopped yet?’ and she said, ‘I think he has,’ so she sent me a message and I said, yes, I’ve already stopped. She said that your momma wants you to call her. And as soon as I said hello, she said, ‘Congratulations! I knew you could make it!’ I said, okay, you are more happy than I am!

What advice do you have for newcomers who are thinking ‘Wow, that’s a long way out, how can I ever get there?”
First thing I would tell them is get on your knees and pray like everything that is your first, is your last. The Lord will walk in front of you and help you to meet your goal. When you take your eyes off of him, what do we do? We fall. When we are not focusing on him, how can we give advise to somebody else if we are not focusing on him? He says follow me, keep your eyes on me.

As I travel down the highway, each car that passes me, that’s my family, so I’m going to do everything I can to protect them and to protect myself.

Your five keys, use them. They will protect you and they will help you to meet your goal. Without my keys, without the training with J.B. Hunt, I would just be like a regular driver out here… Get the big picture, aim high steering, keep your eyes moving, leave yourself an out, make sure that they see you.

What has driving taught you about yourself? And about life in general?
It taught me to be patient. It taught me that whatever I do, don’t look at the first thing that comes at you and think that you have got it. It taught me to be patient and use one of my five keys, to get the big picture of everything that is in front of you and focus on your goal. It will help you to meet any type of goal that you walk up on.

It taught me to have patience with people. Don’t judge everybody just because you see them maybe one time. It taught me to accept people’s situations. You may not be able to help everybody, but it taught me to be patient, don’t get upset. You think that you know it all, but guess what, life will throw you a curve ball in a hurry. It taught me how to be patient and treat everybody how you want to be treated.

What do you want readers (corporate and the general public) to know about truck drivers?
I want them to know that all of us, we have a passion about being out here as a truck driver. If you didn’t have a passion about being out here, being a truck driver, there’s no way we would be safe and trying to keep everyone of us safe. I would want the people at the corporate office to look at me, and you know what, we have an angel of a driver out there that looks forward going down the road, but he will protect not only our company but the people around him.
As my truck is going down the road, I want them to not only look at the number of my truck, I want them to look at, he’s in that truck, that truck has got his character, so you know that we got the best out there.

Why do you drive with J.B. Hunt?
I drive with J.B. Hunt because J.B. Hunt teaches the drivers, they prepare their drivers for the future. They just don’t put their drivers out there on the highway.

J.B. Hunt is the strongest company that I have seen out here. They reach out and try to help the drivers. That’s what I like about J.B. Hunt. J.B. Hunt is a family company that will stand strong with drivers.

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James G. 

James is a a 2 Million Mile Dedicated driver from Missouri. He’s been driving with J.B. Hunt for 2o years!

Where were you when you found out you hit your Million Mile mark?
I was in St. Louis when I found out. I commute out of there and that’s where I was.

How did it feel to reach your Million Mile mark?
It felt great! It was like a relief. I knew it was getting close as I had talked to our safety guy. I had it figured out and he said how many miles and I was doing the math every week. I should be getting close here. I was always waiting for something to happen. Like, something’s going to happen. You get kind of paranoid a bit but it all turned out good. It was like a relief.

Who was the first person you told?
My wife and kids live around here so as soon as I found out and came home, I told them all. They were all happy.

What advice do you have for newcomers who are thinking ‘Wow, that’s a long way out, how can I ever get there?”
Take one day at a time. Just one day at a time. I think about that and it’s a million, it’s two million, it’s 20 years. What happened? That’s all I can say is take one day at a time. Here, I’m 50 and my kids are turning old too now. You just don’t blink your eyes or else it’s going to be three million and I’m going to be 70, you know?

My safety advice is always practice safety. That’s the bottom line – practice safety and watch out for the unexpected. Be a defensive driver. Safety is the number one key to everything out there. There’s too many wrecks that you see out there on the highway and you think, how did that happen, you know? Some of them ain’t pretty, I’ve seen over these 30 some odd years. Quite a few.

What has driving taught you about yourself? And about life in general?
Before when I was young, I thought, you know they are getting ready to close the pass because of the snow. Oh, I better get out there or I’ll be sitting in this truck stop. Now, if I see a snowflake, I stop. It taught me safety. Don’t risk anything. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s just how I look at it.

Life can be gone in a flash. It doesn’t take much. Just like those accidents I’ve seen, nothing is for sure.

What do you want readers (corporate and the general public) to know about truck drivers?
Most of them try to do their best and most of them do practice safety… I’d say respect the truck drivers. Respect the size of the truck, as compared to a car. They can’t stop on a dime. Get by them or stay away from them… this is a big vehicle, an 80,000 pound vehicle. Little bity ol’ cars just can’t match up.         

Why do you drive with J.B. Hunt?
I’ve been here 20 years now. I don’t want another job. I can’t believe I’ve been here this long. Before that, I stayed with a company, like I said, two years at the max and I changed jobs like people change socks. And then they got me home every night. First company that ever gave me a paid vacation. The pay was decent, the working environment, the equipment was good. Couple of companies I worked with, the equipment wasn’t that good. The pay is weekly and on time. You get paid for learning safety even. They pay you for that, you know? And teaching you safety. The people I work around with, my office people, my superiors, my dispatcher, my fleet manager, my project manager – all good guys and people. They are respectful to all the drivers.

Other comments:
The company is a good company. I have a job that gets me home mostly every night, ya know? After the first 13 years of my trucking career, I was coast to coast and Canada. Then I went to just east coast and back and I wasn’t home much. Just being home, the pay was good, the company … it’s the first company, after 13 years for working for people, it’s the first company that I ever got a vacation, a paid vacation!

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Johnny W.

Johnny is a dedicated truck driver from Texas. He’s been driving with J.B. Hunt for 50 years!

Where were you when you found out you hit your Million Mile mark?
I was coming in the gate at Houston.

I was coming to the yard at the end of my day, and they were all standing out there, and there was a banner out there that had congratulations on your million miles.

How did it feel to reach your 4 Million Mile mark compared to your other ones?
It was a great accomplishment.  I didn’t have to reset. It took a lot of hard work and dedication.

Who was the first person you told?
My wife.

What advice do you have for newcomers who are thinking “Wow, that’s a long way out, probably not for me.”
It’s a lot of hard work and dedication. Follow all the safety stuff that you’re given all the time and the Smith System and aim high in steering and all that. Just focus on being safe every day.

What has driving taught you about yourself? And about life in general?
The safety about it. Accidents and everything will happen, so you have to make sure you follow the guidelines and everything.

What do you want readers (corporate and the general public) to know about truck drivers?
Great career, if you like [it]. You have to really love it to do it and be successful in it. It takes a lot of hard work.

Why do you drive with J.B. Hunt?
I just decided to give it a try and they turned out to be a great company to work for. The people are really nice.

Are you still excited for the Million Mile ceremony since you have been through it two other times?
It’ll be even more exciting to come back. No, the ceremony doesn’t get old. I still really enjoy it, so it makes it even better.  

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Interested in driving with J.B. Hunt and reaching millions of safe miles? Call 1-877-791-9458 to learn more about our regional, over the road and local truck driving jobs or fill out our short form and we’ll contact you.

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Straight from a Driver: Why Drive With J.B. Hunt

Straight from a Driver: Why Drive With J.B. Hunt

Oct 13 2017

Any time we interview a driver, we always ask them the question, “What would you say to a driver who was thinking of driving for J.B. Hunt?” When we interviewed Vernon this summer for our quarterly driver feature, we asked him that question. His response? Vernon showed us a list of reasons he had already made that he keeps on his phone.Vernon truck

Here, in his own words, are reasons why Vernon thinks you should join the J.B. Hunt team:

  1. The work environment. It’s nice to work with good quality, friendly people.
  2. Safety is always first, especially in the trucking world, and J.B. Hunt puts it first.
  3. The pay is great! I’m a steady worker…and I make great money!
  4. J.B. Hunt has great benefits, like health insurance and 401k, and a host of great driver appreciation events.
  5. The name. It’s stood tall as a leader in the industry for many years.
  6. There are more people with more than 20 years here than you could ever imagine. That right there should tell you this is a place to call home

So, when can you join the Hunt family, friend?

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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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