Becoming A Trucking School Director – Rich’s Truck Driving Story
As someone that’s relatively new to C1 Truck Driver Training, I look back on my time here and think about how I arrived. I grew up as the only son of a truck driver (with 4 sisters) and was in, on, around, and under trucks my entire life. I had a deep interest and fascination with all aspects of trucking and knew that this was going to be my life long career.
Since my father was an owner-operator, I had the luxury of going on trips anytime I wanted… which was always. I literally studied every move my father made while he was driving. I would listen to the sound of the engine, watch the gauges, and watch his feet on the throttle and brake. While he was backing into a dock, I would watch in amazement at how he could maneuver a vehicle that size into such a tight space.
When the time came, I had been groomed for years to be a truck driver. Dad put me to work, and I was off and running. I remember the first load I ever delivered. I can tell you where I stopped for fuel, what I was hauling, and what I re-loaded coming back home. I was King of the Road!!
After 5 years of driving, I had traveled all over the U.S. and was itching to see the world, so I joined the Navy. I ended up serving 20 years in the Navy, and steamed all over the world. I spent 14 years at sea on 6 different warships. During that time I worked my way up the ranks, became a Commissioned Officer, and specialized in managing training programs. The highlight of my career was serving as Director of Readiness and Training at Commander Undersea Surveillance for the Navy’s passive acoustic analysis program.
All throughout my Navy career I never lost interest in trucking, and knew that I was going back to it someday. When retirement came around, I went to trucking school and went back over the road. As they say, it’s just like riding a bike. Even though I did need to smooth up some things, I jumped right back into it, and boy did it ever feel good! While I did enjoy traveling the country again, I started to realize just how much time I had spent away from my wife and decided to find a job at home.
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During my search, I came across the job announcement for Director at C1 Springfield and at first thought “This isn’t real.” What a perfect fit! You would be hard pressed to find someone more fascinated by trucking than I am. Combine that with a strong training background, and I felt I was the man for the job. Thankfully, C1 leadership felt the same so here I am.
One of the things that was of great interest to me in the Navy was helping people to fully realize and utilize all of the programs that were available to them. After several years of studying the various programs and resources out there, I applied for and was accepted into the Navy’s Command Career Counselor school. I saw this as an opportunity to help people reach their potential and make positive changes in their lives.
As Director at C1 Springfield, I feel the same way. There are so many people out there looking for a better life for them and their family, and a career in trucking can provide that. Most people just simply don’t know what’s available, and I see this school as an opportunity to help them make that positive change.
The most rewarding part of being a trucking school director is seeing the former students coming back in with that huge smile and that feeling of accomplishment. They are always extremely appreciative of what we did to help them. I always explain to them that we were just the tools they needed to build their success, and make them see that they did the building.
The opportunity to lead “Team Springfield” here at C1 has been incredible! Teamwork is the key to all we do, and we understand that we succeed as a team, and we fail as a team. I embrace my role as leader of this team, because I believe in conducting yourself with core values that set the positive example for all to follow.