Introducing Spike McCurdy & McGee Cumings
Patrick “Spike” McCurdy
Most of our professional drivers have done interesting things and had varied careers before driving. Patrick “Spike” McCurdy is definitely the first professional sound and lighting designer to have worked with music royalty.
“I’ve done sound and lighting production for all kinds of artists, pick anybody. I’ve worked for lots of rock and roll acts, country music, festivals all over the country. I done lighting for The Who, Yes, and prepped 3 or 4 different tours for Rush. I’ve met Steven Tyler, Gene Simmons, Annie Lennox and Sting. I’ve built shows in Gillette stadium and Fenway park. I love Boston, it’s a great town.”
Spike is from a small town where his first jobs were farm work, mowing yards and washing dishes. He worked in restaurant management for a long time and then transitioned into concert production. “I always thought about driving truck professionally, but I had four little kids. Now that my youngest is 22 years old, I decided it’s time to make this happen.”
Spike had driven a flat bed and had some experience with over the road trucking. “The dad of a friend of mine was a lifelong truck driver. I went over the road with him for about three months and learned a lot as a flatbed hauler. I had a CDL permit but not the actual license. I decided I wanted to get my CDL and wound up at Skyline and went through their training program.”
It was a learning experience for Spike who was worried about backing that big trailer. “Learning to back was hard. It took a little bit of work and wasn’t as easy as I was told it would be. I feel good about it now. I’ve been wanting this for a long time and I’m glad to be here.”
Spike finds a correlation between concert production and driving. “I like trying to master a challenge and learn different skills. With production, you’re always configuring things differently, in a different location for different people. That’s similar to driving – I’m doing different things and going to different places every day. I always loved travelling, which is what got me in to production work. Now I get to cruise across the country seeing different places while getting paid – you can’t beat that.”
This new career change has also given Spike a new perspective. “Truck drivers aren’t just a bunch of rednecks. They’ve got a lot more going on than one would think. There’s so much more to it than pointing this big machine between two yellow lines. It’s a different world.”
When he’s not driving, Spike enjoys cooking and playing music. “I’m a bass player and love to play, but I could never figure out how to get paid to play.”
Originally from Syracuse, NY, McGee Cumings moved to Knoxville in 2004. “I met my ex-wife, moved here and fell in love with the place.”
McGee worked in retail management as an Asset Protection Associate for Walmart, otherwise known as shoplifting prevention. “I became burnt out dealing with the same criminals day in and day out, and wanted to try something new. I always thought driving sounded cool.”
He went to the Tennessee Truck Driving School and began team driving for Covenant when he heard a radio ad for solo OTR drivers for Skyline.
“I learned more at Skyline than I did at truck driving school. I like working here – everyone is always smiling and knows you by name. All the drivers are friendly, it’s a good place to work. And I like the newer equipment.”
McGee was excited about going out solo and managing his own schedule. “I’m getting used to going to different places, the nuances of small places, backing into tight spots. That’s the best way to learn is to do it.”
McGee said he never realized everything that truckers have to deal with. “I can’t believe how oblivious people are (to us). It’s like they consider trucks as part of the landscape – they just cut in front of you, no big deal. I wish everyone out there would be more aware and more courteous.”
When he’s not driving, McGee likes to be outside camping, kayaking and spending time on Norris Lake.