Trucker of the Month
Accountability and dependability build a reputation, Martin says. “I think you must provide dependable service, follow through on your word and deliver the product on time.”
These traits are surely not lost on Martin, says Rick Blizzard, a longtime friend and business partner: “Luther’s just your type of owner-operator that’s very dependable. My advice [in trucking] is to do what you say you’re going to do, and Luther really exemplifies that. It really sets him apart.”
Blizzard, Martin’s main broker, says the owner-operator’s drive to succeed stems from his determination. “When fuel was $5 a gallon, we were all sitting around here pissing and moaning, but Luther still ran all the loads we needed him to do,” he says. “He’s determined to make it.”
Martin says his wife helps him keep the business’s accounting. “I married a math person. She’s a genius. She’s the most organized person I know in my life.”
With her help, Martin’s company netted about $81,000 in 2009.
He says that providing for his family, however, is only part of the picture. To spend time with his brother and other family members in 2004 and 2005, Martin took on the task of training for and running in six marathons.
Before leaving for Scranton each morning, Martin woke up at midnight to run and train. He averaged between 40 and 50 miles a week, he says. He and his brother ran marathons in Austin, Texas; Richmond, Va.; New York City, San Diego and San Francisco. The standout highlight was the 26.2-mile trek through Paris, France.
As for the trucking industry, Martin says professionalism and customer service will help improve the image of commercial drivers. Being courteous on the roads, maintaining clean equipment and a clean, professional appearance show the public truckers take pride in their work.
“Often the industry has failed to fully educate drivers, so a few unprofessional drivers have cost us all in the long run with more regulations, higher fines and a poor public opinion,” he says.
To mend the trucking woes of the day, Martin says, truckers must do their part. Power in numbers might be the key, he says.
“Who do we blame? We can blame a lot on ourselves,” he says. “We might be able to get organized one day.” n
RUNNING THROUGH the streets of Paris during the Paris Marathon in 2005, Martin says he ran past every attraction and monument the city offers, including the Eiffel Tower. “It was an amazing run. You name it, we saw it,” Martin says.
TAGGING ALONG on the ship that carried his son’s military unit from Hawaii to the mainland upon the soldiers’ return from north Africa several years ago was one of the best things he’s done in his life, Martin says. He and his wife – and the parents of the other soldiers – accompanied the unit.