Professional Driver and father of 3 wants everyone to drive safely
James Smith is a NY Yankee fan, husband, father of three children and one of the first to come through Skyline’s CDL training program two years ago. Before making the career change to professional driving, James worked in fast food management for 15 years. We caught up with James one Friday to learn more about his story.
What interested you in driving professionally?
“Driving was something I always wanted to do. My dad did it and when the time came for a career change, I called Skyline and started their training program. Everyone here has been awesome.”
What did you like best about the CDL training program?
“I loved the advice I was given throughout the program – that’s what stands out for me. That kind of knowledge and experience being passed down, I’ll take all I can get. Everything has come quickly and naturally to me, but I still ask questions because I know I’m always going to learn something.”
What is the biggest challenge of driving out on the road?
“Learning to be patient and realize that people do not pay attention while they drive. Being away from home is the only part of the job I don’t like, but I talk to them as much as I possibly can. We’re always communicating and it makes going home that much better. And Skyline is awesome about getting us home every weekend.”
Would you recommend Skyline?
“Most definitely. Skyline is very helpful, knowledgeable and caring – they care a lot about their employees. Anything I need is a phone call away. If there’s ever an issue, no matter what it is, I just make one phone call and it’s taken care of right away. Everyone has been absolutely wonderful since the day I started. I have nothing bad to say about this company.”
What do you want people to know about driving? The industry?
“I wish people would drive more safely while out on the road. At the end of the day, we (professional drivers) have families and kids that we’re going home to, just like they do. We all want to be safe and make it home to our families.”
What motivates you to do your best in life?
“I have a strong work ethic and I strive to be a straight shooter. I find that people have to work even harder when they take shortcuts, so the best way to be successful is to do a good job, and do it right, the first time.”
How do you stay healthy on the road?
“I drink a lot of water and I try to eat right. I try to stretch when I can and I park as far away as possible from the truck stops. At home, we have a big yard and my wife offers to have someone come mow it with a riding mower. I tell her no, I’m going to push mow because I need the exercise!”