Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ever since childhood, I have been a Gear head focused mostly on Cars & Trucks. I knew I wanted a career where my values were an asset and I could have an impact on the Work force. I tried law school, but that was not the right path for me. Eventually I discovered the wonderful world of Oil Fields & big Engines, and that’s where I have been throughout my entire career. I have worked in the El Reno nonprofit diesel space almost exclusively and am a long-time dedicated supporter of Truck Drivers rights organizations. I was connected to Minorities Truckers Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches through a close friend who is involved with the foundation and I feel lucky to be part of such an amazing organization.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
Was finishing up with the D.O.T officer after a inspection at the Hannibal, Missouri scale. They were training a new guy and he stopped a bull hauler and told him to pull to the side and bring in the usual stuff. This old cowboy pulls his brakes on the scale and walks in and asks the rookie what the problem is. The rookie says well you’re 1200 lbs over on your drive axles. This cowboy just looks at him and says, “Look you dumb S.O.B. I just haul the damn things. I don’t tell them where to stand.”
He goes back to his truck and just drives away. The other officer and I just lost it.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
- Wear Your Seatbelt
Studies show that roughly 1 in 6 truck drivers do not wear their safety belts. The use of seatbelts is not only required, but it’s also the most preventable way to reduce injury. More than 40% of crash-related deaths occur every year from not wearing a seatbelt.
- Avoid Using Your Cell Phone While Driving
Not only is it careless, but it is now illegal in most states to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. Talking, texting or looking at your phone screen is distracting and can lead to a serious accident.
- Be Aware of Speed Limits
Speed limits are there, especially ones specifically noted for trucks. Stay within the speed limit and you will stay safer on the road.
- Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
While it may sound obvious, drinking and driving is very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Drugs include anything that impairs your judgment or physical faculties, such as medications that may cause drowsiness. Besides having safety concerns, being under the influence can also cost you your job.
- Plan Your Trip
There are all sorts of unexpected events that could occur on the road, but having a plan can make you more prepared. The better you have your trip planned out (driving hours, routes, weather scouting, etc.), the safer your journey will be.
- Mind Your Truck’s Space Cushion
Always be mindful of your truck’s large height and weight. Make sure there is a safe space cushion around all sides of the vehicle to prevent accidents.
- Slow Down for Turns/Curves
Be careful when making turns on a curvy road or at an off-ramp. Slow down accordingly to adjust for lane changes and other vehicles.
- Maintain a Proper Stopping Distance
Make sure to maintain ample stopping distance between you and any vehicles ahead of you. Keeping your head forward and reducing distractions will help you avoid close interactions.
- Watch Out for the Weather
Certain parts of the country are known for having unpredictable weather, but try to keep track of changes and avoid dangerous driving conditions whenever possible.
- Eat Healthy and Get Your Rest
A healthier diet and ample rest will keep you more alert on the road. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and pull over if you are feeling tired. Grab a light snack, stretch your legs or take a catnap. Munching on junk foods, drinking sugary drinks and consuming heavy meals can make you drowsy, so look for healthy alternatives when you can.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
She always told me I was clever and when I showed an interest in things she supported me. Sure, she got angry when I was lazy and we had huge arguments but her heart was always in the right place. My Mother always believed in me.
My father never chided me, he never got angry at my grades, he simply taught me to think for myself and make my own decisions but to be aware that all decisions have consequences and that I would need to live by them. My father made me honest and ethical.
She has helped drive me from being a flighty, ill-prepared young man into a confident, mostly driven professional because she simply won’t accept anything less and I love her dearly for it. She has forced me to confront my issues and we have worked, together for gosh, almost thirteen years to build a future together. My wife gave me purpose.
Bonus round: My daughter
Never have I loved something so much as my daughter. At time of writing she is 16 months old. She has her mother’s strength of will and my compassion. She is confident, brave and inquisitive in equal measure. She loves me and she is the reward for all my years of living.
I love them all.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I bring goodness to this planet by encouraging people of all regions, religions, and races to recognize our shared humanity. I do this by educating others about essential oils and ways to use more color in their life to change their mood. I’ve inspired others at talks and presentations. If you have that first sale or find yourself unemployed — I encourage you to volunteer for a cause, donate and decide to connect to the collective human spirit. We are generous creatures so my success is your success and your success is my success. This is why sharing our stories, using our success for good, and making art matters because it’s adding to our shared humanity. Helping our evolution as a species. Ain’t nobody got time for scarcity or poverty.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
My Life Lesson Quote is (Treat people the way you want to be treated).
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow me on Instagram @romaing876.