“I was 53 when I started. I had tried other things out there, but I was getting older all the time, and I got to thinking, ‘I’d like to drive a truck. I think I would be good at it.’ I was tired of being broke. I didn’t have medical insurance. I was tired of going nowhere. I wanted to have a skill.”
Every day, more than 500 drivers — including nearly 200 owner-operators — haul loads coast to coast for Carroll Fulmer Logistics Corporation, Groveland, Florida. Monte Vanover, director of fleet maintenance, keeps the trucks — a challenge he says he enjoys even more since implementing Mack Trucks’ GuardDog® Connect.
When V McGee decided to upgrade its fleet, they knew they wanted equipment that could handle the rigors of the job while still being agreeable to the drivers. Operations manager and truck foreman Kevin Mays obtained five trucks from different manufacturers — and allowed drivers to demo them for a few weeks. “It didn’t take long for us to realize that what the drivers wanted was to operate Mack Granites.”
Outreach teams load their vans with granola bars and water and head into the dark, armed with nothing more than flashlights, clipboards, and hand sanitizer. They search the streets in the daytime, looking for signs of life such as bedrolls. At night, they return, hoping to find the owners. Sometimes they are asked to leave; other times, they are hailed as angels of mercy.
Jim De Armond founded JSD Express in April 1990 with one truck and barely made enough money the first year to make the truck payments. Now, however, he expects to close out 2015 with more than $4 million in revenue, and he anticipates growing 45-50 percent per year over the next decade thanks to online retailers like Amazon and big box stores like Wal-Mart.
Superior Transportation CEO Pat Barber has been a Mack enthusiast his entire life, so it was natural for him to choose Mack equipment to power his fleet. He’s proud of his company’s reputation for superior service transporting high profile, challenging cargo and credits his professional drivers and top-of-the-line Mack equipment for this success.
New condominiums are flanked by vacant lots festooned with faded “For Sale” signs. On some properties, a chimney or staircase tells the story of what was once there, while others hold no clues beyond the concrete slab Katrina left behind. And even these are beginning to disappear as the earth reclaims itself, burying the past beneath impenetrable layers of mud and tangled weeds.
“For those on the outside looking in, they’re seeing that the churches can’t even come together,” says Urban Hope member Dion Watts. “That’s something that has been a Goliath – a huge stumbling block. If we can come together on this, the message it will send to the rest of the world will be profound.”
The quest for storytelling remains strong in the South. “People grew up with it around them,” Mr. Prunty says. “It’s handed down; it’s a tradition you grow up in. It’s a complex part of the country with many things that have gone quite well and many that have caused thoughtful people to ask questions about themselves. When you start questioning your own backyard, you’re more apt to produce good literature.”