ICYMI: Putting a MATS badge to further use

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Mats2014_508I’m visiting old friends in New Jersey (near Philly) the first few days of this week. Back at it full bore no later than Thursday. Nonetheless, I’ve been meaning to share a blog post by my colleague over at CCJ, Jack Roberts, who also does a large majority of the equipment writing/test-drives that appear in Overdrive. 

The post is an elaboration on an anecdote he shared with me shortly after MATS this year about the fortuitous circumstances of his final exit from the Louisville Convention Center at this year’s event. Turns out the cabdriver who picked him up was a very recently minted CDL holder who was eager to hit the road running an a long-haul driver: “I want to be a long-haul truck driver! See the country! Make some real money!” he told Roberts.

How did he respond?:

We talked a little about equipment: He’d trained on a Volvo VNL and liked the truck a lot. He hadn’t driven an AMT yet, but was skeptical: he took pride in his new ability to run a manual gearbox.

I gave him a ChampTruck racing cap I’d just picked up at the Meritor reception before getting in the cab line. And then – in a move sure to be unpopular with MATS management — I handed him my now-unneeded show badge. “Go walk the floor tomorrow courtesy of me,” I told him. “Climb into some new trucks. Check out some fleets. Talk to some drivers. Get a feel for the industry and enjoy yourself.”

The whole story is worth a read. Check it out here.


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