Moses: Alright thank you everyone this is Moses here diver success, and I am really excited today to be having Jim Mr. Davis is on the line with us and his story he is going to tell it, he is my very first guest that I have on the line so Jim I thank you so, so much for doing this. Actually, I had a guess that I was supposed to interview before you but what happened is that he got an emergency and we had to reschedule that interview so you are going to be the very first, you are the very first guest we have.
Jim: Just not your first choice but it still an honor Moses.
Moses: You are, actually what I did is I sent out emails and depending on how schedules were working out, so what happens that his schedule workout he was going to be the first and then you the second but now you are the first. And I am sure this is not going to be the very last one I'm sure we will have you back again as we get to know each other.
But the way I got to know Jim is through YouTube I saw your videos on YouTube and I thought they were interesting I reached out to you and I just wanted to get to know you and have you share your story. And so we haven't really gotten to know each other so as I get to know you we as the community are going to get to know you.
So let's start from there just tell us about yourself without talking about Trucking we just want to know you on a personal level, just share with us whatever you want us to know whether you start with your parents your childhood it's all up to you.
Jim: Yes, well I grew up in upstate South Carolina not exactly from a small a small town because I lived out in the country but I went to school in a small town that it didn't even have a red light it was so small. But I always had the adventurous type spirit grew up doing you know some hunting and fishing with my father, a lot of camping out.
Grandparents had a farm they had retired about the time I was starting school so my so my summer are always spent with them, and I will tell you they put me to work out in the big garden that they had. But after graduating high school it didn't take very long that I found myself in sales. I think my first sales job I ever had I was going door to door business to business selling $5 calculators, $7.50 home remedy books and a little bundle of children's books that was about a dolphin family.
And I tell you I was hooked from there making cash every day and not staying in one spot and out meeting people I was hooked from day one. And after that I went into well I work my way up through that company eventually into the advertising division where we sell keypads door to door business to business which was basically a sheet of paper that we sold for $20.
And I had a lot of success with that Moses I ended up working my way into management having my own location and it went well for a couple years until I decided to go up to Philadelphia to open a new office, and well my country boy charmed didn't really work as well in Philly as it did. Into Carolina so the business went under within a few months of that so I came back to the Carolinas sold cars for a while and then after I met my wife I never thought as a kid I would ever be an insurance agent but Lord knows that's what I went into, I guess I thought it would be good security in that and health insurance benefits and retirement and all of those things.
And since I had a woman that was actually crazy enough to marry me and I spent 8 years as an insurance agent, three different companies all together each one was a step up to what I felt was a more prestigious company anyway. And well about 2 years ago I decided I didn't want to do that anymore I was tired of spending my Saturdays making phone calls setting up my appointments and just all the struggles and headaches that go with having a commission career and knocking on doors and setting appointments with people and my marriage was on I guess on its way to its current state and I decided to become a truck driver which is something I've always had an interest in.
Moses: When you left high school you went into sales right?
Jim: Not immediately after but within a couple of years I spend a little time in the Marine Corps.
Moses: How long were you there?
Jim: In the Marine Corps I was only in about 10 months Moses that whole story is a story for another day.
Moses: I got you so how long have you been in sales?
Jim: I guess 20 years which I said but my real first sales job I ever had was with my grandparents we would take her produce to the farmer's market 2 sometimes 3 days a week, and I would either go with my grandmother or my uncle to sell the produce and that was my favourite part, you know the ploughing and the picking and the watering, you know you got to do what you got to do but that really wasn't the part I enjoyed most, at the farmers market is what I enjoy the most I always joke say that was my first job.
Moses: During all those 20 years where they all commission based.
Moses: Everything that you did was commissioned based, what was the best you would say you made in a year as somebody who has only paid commission basis?
Jim: Well when I was 24 years old and the advertising division of the first sales company I work with I made $84,000 which sounds like a big number but that was the gross, but I had some expenses that were involved with it I had upwards of 30 independent contractors that worked out of my office that went out and sold say a certificate for $20 they made $11 off each one I made $6 and then $5 went to our home office to took care of the printing and everything with getting our clients that we had which would be golf courses, automotive centre Papa John's Pizza was a major campaign that we had.
But out of my $6 I had an office and I needed to pay rent I only had a secretary that answer the phone and computers that came out of that. I was probably a little more motivated than maybe some other managers and I like having motivated people around me so I was pretty prone to always having bonuses up for grabs for the guys and the girls that work out of the office that came out of my money as well.
As far as put in the pocket after the expenses I am not sure what it was. But in the insurance type thing I think my first year was 38 and I work my way up to a couple years over 50 which was more than some of my peers but I never really felt I reach the level of greatness and then it was an amount that was worth all the time the energy and part of my soul that I put in to get these numbers.
Moses: When did you meet your wife?
Jim: October 11th of 2007 right outside of Boone North Carolina.
Moses: You've been with her for what 8 years?
Jim: Ever since that day but I guess Moses I don't know if this is the most inspiring subject we could talk about on a podcast, but we are planning to get divorced before the year is over with and we had really separated prior to me going to truck driving school with the type of relationship and this kind of lady as she is I don't know if I was ever been able to make the decision or being allowed to make the decision to get my CDL and OPR like I did like I did when we were together, together that really kind of opened up the door for me to explore this new side of life for myself.
Moses: Do you have any children?
Jim: I've got a 22-year-old son that was from a previous relationship and she and I had [unclear 9:33] started out as two children and then a few months later a newborn that was, like distant cousin of her that was just kind of in a bad place you know we eventually adopted.
Moses: You know what I am surprised with is when I look at your videos you look young for me to hear that you have a 22-year-old child.
Jim: Yes, I guess I kind of started early on that I was 19 years old when he was born.
Moses: Are you in contact with him?
Moses: What does he do?
Jim: He is a musician he has big aspirations of getting in the right band I think he is finally with a group of guys now that they are going to be playing regularly but he is pretty musically talented, guitar is his main thing but he can play bass he can play keyboards he can play drums. He likes to sing just his style of music is well it's a little different than mine he is a heavy metal his musical preference.
Moses: Does he get that music Gene from the father or the mother?
Jim: I don't think he gets it from me.
Moses: Is your wife like a singer or is she interested in music?
Jim: Those are two different women his mother and my wife but no not so much. Now I've always had an ear for music and I was a pretty good singer but you know I was in a course for a while but I was pretty addicted to the karaoke there for a while the performance side was probably what I was the best at. Which he was he was a part of that with me we used to have a karaoke setup in my mom's garage years ago. And I bought him a guitar when he was 6 years old, and he just kind of played around with it. We got him lessons when he was I think 12 and he hadn't put it down since then.
Moses: Usually when I think of truck drivers I think of us as falling in one or two groups, they are those truck drivers who since they were a child they had a dream of becoming truck drivers one day, maybe because they know somebody who was a truck driver maybe parents somehow somewhere they have been interested in becoming truck drivers. And then there are other truck drivers who just kind of stumbled upon truck driving because circumstances, which group would you fall into?
Jim: I would probably fall more into the second one I didn't really have relatives that I could think of that were truck driver that were mentors or anything of mine growing up, my father drove trucks briefly but I was too young to remember it. What attracted me to truck driving well I will tell you what really started the ball turning Moses I was still an insurance agent I'd left my home in New Bern North Carolina and came back to the area that I grew up in.
And I had a friend of mine that was an Allstate agent that own an agency that you know we chatted occasionally on Facebook and things and he was always after me to come do the life insurance for his business because I had a lot of success selling life insurance which isn't an extremely common thing that occurs especially to somebody that likes it and enjoy it. So when I was coming back here I called him up and I started working out of his office.
And one of their clients that had their car insurance and home insurance with Allstate I've call of the list and he was a truck driver, he is a good friend of mine I talk to him probably three times a week still to this day. And I have to go through a lot of questions with a person doing something like a life insurance policy and income is one of those. And you know he was making upwards of sixty thousand dollars and he said like he just enjoyed it.
And you know he is an owner and operator and he just drives 470 miles the same route everything single day and if he wants to not work a day or two I mean he does. He has a lot of freedom with his time schedule and everything like that which was attractive to me so that really kind of started the ball of rolling.
I really wanted to have an income of at least fifty thousand dollars all of us would like to have that six figures income, but I wasn't really interested in anything where I couldn't make a $1,000 a week, and trucking seems to be one of those things where I can make $1,000 a week and I don't have a boss standing over me every day and being able to see the country different state that was always kind of appealing as well.
And then I always had this crazy little idea in the back of my mind that I could start making videos YouTube videos to start kind of developing a cinematic style of my own which I guess that's how you and I kind of came together with my trucking Journey videos, but a combination of all of those things led me where I am at now.
Moses: At what point did you decide I know you say you look at this client income and it looks like he was enjoying what he was doing, so for you what really got you to that point where you decided and say you know this is it I am going into trucking?
Jim: Well I realized that I didn't want to continue to sell insurance out of that Allstate office because I was pretty much going broke in the situation and my loved had left the building for selling life insurance you know a lot of years prior to that. And in my previous company that I was with New York Live, and then I was with a company called Western and Southern prior to that.
I don't know what it is but January's were very brutal to me which I would do really well during the year but it seems like as soon as Thanksgiving would roll around I couldn't get anybody that would want to sit down and talk to, you know they would be like wait until after Christmas. So much income took a nosedive after Thanksgiving which when you are married with kids and a wife that likes to buy everybody presents that's not the time itty bitty little paycheck they just don't seem to understand.
And for two years in a row not only would I have to go through with that but with insurance and commissioned and things Moses, the way it works say if you decide you want to take out a life insurance policy and it's going to be $100 a month for say like a $250,000 policy or something I am just kind of throwing numbers out there. Well, that's $1,200 of annualized premium you are only going to have to write a check for one month of premium but what the company is going to do they are going to go ahead and advanced me a year's worth of commission on so that.
So you write a check for 100 books and you calculated it out that's $1,200 of annualized premium if I am on a %50 commission for the first year I make $600 off of that, that will be on my next paycheck. But say something happens in your life a month two months later and you decide you were going to cancel that policy, or there's not enough money to cover the draft in the three and the policy ends of lapsing, well I am charged back that commission that I was paying.
And I had one January where I had $8,000 worth of charge back the year of with so I started 8 grand in the hole, and the next year it was 5000 so same kind of scenario so I started $5,000 in the hole and the only thing you can do is write yourself out of it. And after that happen two years back to back I am like there's got to be something better than this.
You know you work real hard to make your money and then things happen that is beyond your control you know crisis that occur in other people's Lives not just your own but causes one in yours.
Moses: Yes, now let me ask you about if somebody was the keep that policy for more than a year, do you still get paid for the rest of the time they set that policy?
Jim: Yes, you do I mean if you are still with the same company that you are in when you wrote that policy that's what's call renewals.
Moses: But when you leave the company they don't pay you?
Jim: No they don't pay you jack, no I still probably get $100 a month or so of income that deposit into my well my wife bank account not into mine, that's commission that was called as earned instead of getting an advance owner years’ commission certain companies that I would write with did it as earned so as a person pays you get a little bit of commission. And like my Medicare supplement and the long-term care policies and like guaranteed issue life insurance policies I am actually still getting paid on those to this day, I mean it's not a tremendous amount but it's probably $100 or so on an average month that I get.
Moses: Okay you make your transition trucking. Which school did you go to?
Jim: I went to Truck Driving Institute TDI which they've got a few locations I think the main one is in Murfreesboro Tennessee. But I went to the one that was in Richburg South Carolina which is just a little south of Charlotte right off 77.
Moses: Did you go through a company where they pay for your teaching or yourself sponsored yourself?
Jim: Great question Moses and for anybody that's listening to this if you are in a similar situation I don't know if the law was changed now, but there is a program called WIA I think it's called the Workforce Investment Act that doesn't actually match up to those acronyms.
Moses: Say that again what?
Jim: But they go by it's your income and dependents and things like that but I've been fostering 3 children my wife and myself so we were a family of 5. And they went by your last 6 months’ worth of income which my previous six months’ worth of income at the time was a lot lower than it.
Say if they did last year tax return type of thing and I qualify for the program so I got my truck driving school paid for and I didn't have to pay it back. But they like send people to get their forklift licenses or like an LPN school I mean there are several things to some this but truck drivers and getting your CDL was one of those.
Which I can't remember exactly how I heard about that but I went and inquire about it and I filled out the application and I had to take a couple of test for what's call like your work keys, and grades like you're reading and mathematical and a couple of different comprehension type skills. There was a little bit of work ahead to go through it but because of that I got my truck driving school completely paid for, and the one I chose was only 15 days long.
Moses: Do you know if that's in all States or specifically for where you live you say it's South Carolina or not?
Jim: Yes, South Carolina.
Moses: Do you know if it's everywhere?
Jim: I think it is men I think it is I think it's a federal program, now this was back in 2014 and since then what do they call it a job site Workforce, South Carolina works is what it's called here there is not as many we always call them the unemployment office before going up which it didn't technically correct I think it's Employment Security Commissions but it doesn't seem like there is as many of those as they used to be, but I am sure you can do all that online.
Moses: Yes, I will look through it and see and if it's available for those of you listening you check on the show notes of this episode and I will try to find that information for you, maybe that's something that could be of interest for some of the people listening right now. When you got out of school how did you decide which company to work for?
Jim: Well you know we had recruiters coming by and I can't really tell you exactly why I chose US Xpress over the others maybe the location wasn't too far and it's somewhere I can drive to instead of getting on a Greyhound bus are fine, but I started with US Xpress and I started my career with US Xpress did about a month with a trainer I still talk to him periodically I call him trainer Bill. And then I team drove from February of 2015 to about January 2016 I did all team driving.
Moses: With Bill?
Moses: Okay I know that there's a story I think I saw one of your videos where you tell friend a story about I think it was during training where you went and picked up a loaded trailer thinking it's empty.
Jim: Yes, right after I got out of training I was teaming up with a guy that's much younger than me named Malik. And I started the first shift and they send us up to the big Nissan Factory near Nashville I forgot the name of the exact town but it's a huge place. And they showed me where the trailer yard was and I was thinking all those trailers were and I hooked up to one and I check the tires were good all the lights were on the brakes were okay.
So I rode on and we drop that over FedEx and picked up a FedEx load and we were taking it up to Connecticut, and I got a call the next morning by my fleet manager and she asked me if I pre-trip that trailer, and I thought yes I certainly did pre-trip that trailer you know I listed the things I did as far as checking the tires and the lights and everything and she asked me well did you look inside, and I thought for a second and I'm like you know I don't remember doing that no I don't think I did, and she said I know you didn't because you stole a trailer full of tires but I think it was maybe colonial tire. Some type of tire, but I took a loaded trailer of tires from Nissan and drop them on FedEx yard.
Moses: It was so funny when I saw that video I could kind of relate.
Jim: Well you know guards are supposed to check and open up the doors you do it most of the places but you know it was cold it was late at night I mean it was only after midnight and they just waved me on by so I went on by, but I am sure it has a seal on it which Moses we don't have enough time for me to go over all the mistakes I've made at one time or another since I've become a truck driver.
And I don't know if everybody made these same stupid mistakes that I've made or not but from all of them I learn from them, like I'll never steal another trailer thinking it's empty ever again because first thing I look and see if there is a seal on it and then I open it up look inside but that is ingrained in me now from that first experience when I stole that loaded trailer of tires.
Moses: So you were with US Xpress for 6 months?
Jim: No I was there longer than that I thought I was going to become a trainer right after January of 2016 when I had been with them a year my partner at the time which let's see first was Malik and then I forgot this other guy's name we were only together for 4 days, and then Jason Masa for 50 days and then I had a guy named Steve for about 30 days because he was getting ready to become a trainer he just had like a 30-day waiting because his valves were not quite right he didn't do pre-trip and post-trip the amount of time so they made him wait so teamed for a month.
And then I team with another younger guy from August to January name Mark, and I thought I was going to be training right after that but since as we had split they’d inform me I was going to have to wait 6 months before I could because I got a warning I will tell you I've crazy things happen to me Moses. But I was in Pennsylvania maybe an hour into the shift and you know a police car pulled up beside me with the lights on, and he is pulling me over and I am like what in the world is this about I know I wasn't speeding I was on the interstate.
Well he informed me that I had wobbled in my lane and I crossed the line which you know how like when you hit the rumble strips on the right-hand side, which I don't know if I have ever had a shift in my entire life Moses where I hadn't done that at least once. But he was behind me when that happened and he pulled me over to make sure I wasn't sleeping and he was asking me questions and I was answering him I was extremely alert.
He did a level 3 inspection check my logs and things with the trailer and all my paperwork and everything and came back and said well I got good news and bad news, the good news is I am not going to write you a ticket and I was like yes that is good news, and he say well bad news I have to put something on here for the reason that I pulled you over and he put in proper lane change for a warning on there not writing a ticket for it and I didn't know then what I know now.
And I was like alright you put whatever you want to on there you know if it's a warning no big deal so I thought most people listen to this and yourself know that man warnings they are just as bad if not worse than a ticket because there isn't no changing them the warning and cures CSA point to you and the company that you drive for.
And improper lane changes that's a bad one. That's like running people off the road and like damaging property it should have been something else you wrote me that far besides improper lane changing. And I disputed through that accuse I got the drivers legal plan to try to do it but because it was a warning, Pennsylvania Police Department saying why are you tripping men this is a warning you don't even get no ticket for it, because I don't think they understand how they can hurt us with their little ticket book pad or warning pad or whatever you call it you know the inspections that they do us.
But I had to wait 6 months to become a training because of that and be clean during those 6 months so I started training in like May of 2016. And I will tell you another crazy thing Moses I got a letter from my company at the time informing me that I was on a 36 months’ probation because of that warning from improper lane change. Improper lane changes it's right up there with I don't know leaving the scene of an accident, like using your cell phone in your hand texting driving and stuff there was like 4 or 5 things on the sheets that I'd got and you know improper lane change it was like erotic for improper lane changes [unclear 29:48] with a check light but I got put on a probation with that company for 36 months because of it.
Moses: That's not US Xpress right?
Jim: Yes, that's what I am talking about.
Moses: For US Xpress I thought you said they gave 6 months for you became a trainer and then you became a trainer?
Jim: I did these are two separate things I had to wait 6 months to become a trainer because of that and then, later on, I receive a letter in the mail because of that same thing I was on a 36-month probation. It gets worse Moses training I really like it I did I like it a lot and my income was fantastic period, I'd have weeks where I bringing home 2 grand and I really got used to bringing home 1500, 1600 bucks as a trainer it was pretty awesome.
And it was making good content on my YouTube channel as well because I could get good road footage I wasn't driving constantly I could get some footage while I was in the passenger seat too. But one day one morning coming through Montana on high-94 in the middle of nowhere I think I am at like near Columbus Montana I see a police car over on the side with its lights on I didn't see orange barrels I didn't see flashing signs or speed limit changes I saw a cop car over on this side right before a little small bridge, so I am thinking he's got somebody pulled over so I slow down a little bit I check my mirrors so I get over in the left lane and I go on by.
And then on the bridge, there is like two guys with orange vest they really don't look like they are bridge workers they have like surveying equipment one of them had like thing on the tripod or whatever surveying the land. And one of them was really close to the center of the road he wasn't even looking in my direction so I get off a little further over and I go and by.
And a few minutes later I see I am getting pulled over this cop informed me I was in a work zone and it was a 35 mile an hour speed limit on the stretch of the interstate he said it was a work zone and I was doing 50 miles an hour I got a ticket Moses for doing 50 in a 35 mile an hour work zone that's 15 miles an hour over the speed limit in a work zone I got fired over it.
Moses: Because you are on probation?
Jim: Yes, I was on probation, well they've got a one and done policy now for 15 an hour over the speed limit here you know it's just like driving and using your cell phone or whatever it's a one and done terminating policy. But you know how many times I've seen the 35 miles an hour speed limit on the interstate since that day.
Moses: How many times?
Jim: I don't see it yet Moses, I have been looking like I see like in work zones now with orange barrel flashing signs lane closed all these kinds of stuff workers everywhere equipment it would be like 55 miles an hour, or maybe 50 miles an hour but in this rural section of the interstate of Montana is 35 miles an hour.
And I said something to him about that and he said there was a sign back there, and I am thinking to myself a sign for a 30-mile reduction in speed limit for this little stretch with no bubbles no cones nothing like that, which I ended up getting it reduced of 9 over in their kind of words own stuff which I don't want to be completely thrown out but that's what it was.
Moses: Where are you training at the moment?
Jim: I am sorry. Ask me that again?
Moses: Did you have somebody you were training with you?
Jim: I did Azul he was a guy from South Africa originally that lived in Philadelphia. He was with me when that happen and then shortly after that I got routed to a terminal may be a week or so later and I told the company I am fighting this and I explain the situation but I don't know it's was an over a little week later they routed me to a terminal [unclear 34:06] to safety and I had to turn my truck in and pack my stuff up and move on, and they set him up with another trainer.
Moses: Let me ask you something you did team driving with him and you also did training with him, out of the two what made more money the training or team driving?
Moses: Training made more money?
Jim: Now I can speak all companies out there I only can talk about the ones that I've been with that I've got a paycheck from. But the way US Xpress did it team drivers made a lower per-mile rate compare to solo like I started out at $0.22 a mile, now after I've been driving like a year with them I think I was at $0.24 a mile. But it was off the total miles off the truck and we not mile or anything but whatever your paid miles, so you are making money when the other guy is driving and you are in the bunk.
I know some other companies that I talk to like Covenant for instance you know they say we pay you more about a mile but they split the miles in half so I guess it didn't isn't really a whole lot of difference it adds up about to same anyway. But when you are training you start out where they're doing most of the driving and you started working on your 14 hour call they get tired you need to push to finish the load or whatever then the trainer gets behind the wheel but you are not supposed to be sleeping while that other guy is driving starting out.
But after a couple of weeks into it then you switch to team status and trucks pretty much moving around the clock and trainer me anyway I was getting paid a solo rate which was like $0.38 a mile then but was it was weather he is driving or I am driving. The best week I ever had was 7321 miles for the week and I got paid $0.38 on every one of them, and 5000 was just a average a week that was kind of what I shot for each week to exceed 5000.
Moses: So they would pay every mile to you as that trainer?
Jim: Yes, but not of what the diameter says but you know how these companies do their ZIP code kind of miles whatever those miles are you get paid off of it.
Moses: So from US Xpress who did you joined and how easy was it?
Jim: Well I went to Maverick but I'll tell you I talk to a whole bunch of other companies but besides Maverick because Maverick it was taking forever for my background check to come back because they were ordering it from the county that don't do background checks so like it was never going to come ever so they were waiting on something that would never come, because you do a sled report in the state of South Carolina for background checks but until that was figured out and they say hey you guys need to do a sled report and quit waiting on this thing that isn't going to come. I talked to several other company’s men I was getting turned down left and right, when you get terminated.
Moses: Because of the ticket right?
Jim: Yes, the ticket 15 a mile an hour or over in work zone you know that was a problem with some of them but getting terminated from a company because of a safety issue that was even more of a big deal with more of them. Maverick which I called them and got them to run my stuff before I even clean my truck out I was considering going to them anyway.
Jim: This crazy idea I wanted to do flatbed you know get paid more and they also get some exercise. Because it isn't uncommon for a fellow to get big in the belly and little in the arms being a truck driver especially if you are just eating truck stop pizza and burgers, fried chicken and that kind of stuff your main exercise you get is raising your landing gear you can get out of shape. And I mean I wasn't as bad as some but I had a weight gain and muscle loss during that especially team driving and keeping that truck rolling as much as you could.
And [unclear 38:18] to do something about that so flatbed was an interest of mine and I started out with Maverick which I can't say anything bad about them Moses there's a lot of good things about Maverick Transportation, I felt very respected and well treated from the word go and the moment I arrived there at their terminal doing the whole orientation, and you know with flatbed the securement training is like a whole other monster.
Moses: So how long was it from that time you left US Xpress to the time you get into Maverick?
Jim: About two and a half weeks but my story get crazier Moses I mean I chronical all of this on my YouTube channel. And this next part that happened with Maverick I was doing very well with Maverick you know as far as for gross it was over $1,000 every week with Maverick and I felt I was going to do nothing but get better as I get faster at securing and trapping and things because I don't know this stuff can kind of take you a while to do, but you get faster at it the more do.
But on my video Moses like I don't know it just kind of happened by accident on I think episode 66 my endings were very inconsistent prior to that I would be like don't text and drive or be safe out there you know have a good day you know I was doing all these different things [unclear 39:54]. But I had been safe out there and Keep On Trucking it came out of my mouth and soon as I did, I don't know it just stood out to me I was like be safe out there and Keep On Trucking.
Well since that episode that's how I end every video is be safe out there and Keep On Trucking. And I did video as Maverick which when I started with Maverick I started over, I had like a 122 episodes to the idea and I said okay I am starting cleaning with Maverick this is season 2 you know. And I did orientation video with Maverick and that was episode 1 of season 2 and I made it up to 9, and I did a video explaining what be safe out there and Keep On Trucking that was the name of the episode.
And the whole Keep On Trucking part a lot of that to me and why I say that it's about attitude and having what I call a Keep On Trucking type attitude and I talk about things are going to happen to us that get you down I mean it might not happen today, and you know tomorrow next week but at some point it is and how you react to that adversity is really what define you. There is this I don't know if I would call it a poem or a saying I'd kind of stumbled across back in my sales days but it's about attitude and it starts out the longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life but at the end of it, it says I am convinced life is %10 of what happens to me and the 90% how I react to it so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitude.
And I was talking about that right and I got that video all done and I uploaded it to YouTube and that day I'd woke up in Connecticut got unloaded and I'd go on up to Massachusetts it was pouring down rain all day to a lumber yard and they put 46000 pounds of lumber on my flatbed and I get out in the rain and strap all of that down and I did, and I was heading to Maryland and I trip kind of like I believe as long as I don't hit traffic or things to slow me down I can make this.
I do my 10-hour break there at the yard and when I get up the next morning and I can get unloaded and then I can get something else. When I made it to Maryland 2 miles from this ship I had 15 minutes left on my14 hour clock and I was making a right-hand turn that I shouldn't have been making. I needed to cross that intersection and then make the next right hand turn, but I am looking at it on my [unclear 42:38] telling me two different things and I made a right-hand turn prematurely and I didn't realize it at the time but the edge of the road the shoulder where the pavement ended there was about a 1 foot drop.
And I was making that turn and my trailer tire I guess was riding that edge and these flatbed men it's hard to see your trailer in your mirrors compare dry van you know just has the lights on the side of the trailer that you can spot really easy especially when it's raining and your mirrors got all the little water bubbles on it or whatever and your window it's a little foggy and I am making my right hand turn but to make a long story short my trailer flips over Moses.
That trailer tire dropped off the edge and momentum just took it over and the trailer went completely over land flat and it's quite amazing that my truck didn't flip over it almost did. I made a video about it I was very reserved I almost did it but I figured I owed it to my viewers. The drive tires they were like 4 foot off the ground on the driver side I mean it almost carried the truck on over but I took the turn really wide and I guess the angle was just right to prevent that from happening. Wreckers and everything had to come out and hook up to the trailer and turn it back over and I was actually able to drive away I still delivered on time no freight came undone or anything.
Moses: Really that's interesting.
Jim: Yes, and I thought maybe that would save my job but it did not I got fired over that one too. So, Moses, I got fired in September for speeding in the work zone and then fired in November for flipping a trailer over.
Moses: So you were at Maverick for just two months?
Jim: Yes, I started orientation October the 2nd and the trailer accident happened November 17th I only actually been out on my maybe two and a half weeks when that happen.
Moses: So from Maverick where did you go next?
Jim: Well I didn't go anywhere for like a month and I applied to at least 30 companies. But none of this was on my driving record yet the speeding ticket it wasn't on my driving record and I got charged with negligent for the trailer which at first I didn't get charged with anything the cops said I can't really think of anything to charge you with because I see how the highway the shoulder drops off there and the cop that responded first said, men, I have been out here 3 times before you for the same thing happening.
The Wrecker Company that came now said we have been here about 6 times this is like our honey hole and they charge my Maverick $12,000 to get my trailer back over because they had two big really, really big wreckers came out but it was a female officer I guess they responding one as far as writing the ticket and doing the report and everything and at first she just give me an incident report and she said I can't really see anything in my book you know I won't write you a ticket for it in this circumstances and I'm like men thank you so much and I'm like okay maybe I can keep my job. And she comes up about 30 minutes later saying her supervisor said I have to write you a ticket for something he said I have to.
And she looked through her book and the one she picked was negligent which that isn't a good one to have either it's about up there with improper lane change, so about 2 days later I was turning my truck in. They route you at these terminals when they're fire Moses they will use some other reason that hey you are fired so go ahead and drive your truck here and turn it in they don't tell you your fire until their equipment is on their property. But it was a tough time Moses I thought my trucking career it's probably over I got turned down by like 30 different companies left and right, and there will be a couple of them where I thought I was in the clear but I wasn't.
And somehow someway GMP trucking that's who I am with now which they had an ads in the newspaper my favourite aunt send it home with my mom to give to me and I researched them they had being around 80 years they're kind of a medium sized company they got about 400 trucks just in the southeast is where they pick up and deliver and everything, they said they would give me a shot they were one of self-insured type company you know the insurance company that's why that's why it was making it so hard you know the insurance company is for the trucking company because if something happens and they are like wait a minute this driver he got a speeding ticket in a work zone, he flipped a trailer over.
And then maybe it hit some nurses in Georgia or something like that you know they're just opened up for a tremendous lawsuit and the insurance companies are general the ones who pay these lawsuits from my understanding or trying to handle things outside the court but that's what it's all about it's the insurance companies and the lawsuit. And driver that things have happen you know that's just exposing them to unnecessary risk I don't know how many thousands of people getting CDLs each week across the countries insurance but I'm sure it's a lot.
Moses: So it took you about 1 month from the time you left Maverick until when you got into this [unclear 48:22]?
Jim: It was the longest month in my life too Moses I started with them like a when I first hit the road was like the week before Christmas I did orientation that week prior to that so yes it was maybe a month and a few days.
Moses: If you have to come here US Xpress Maverick and the current company which one you say you like best of all 3?
Jim: Well that's hard to say because there is differences pros and cons from each of them I liked a lot about but it was hard work, and I was working on 14-hour clock like every day and like when you have to tarp load and it's dark it's I never got really good at that even if it was a sunny day I never got all that great of trapping by myself you know if you have somebody to help with it, it's a lot easier.
But with US Xpress and Maverick they were big enough that you know they had everything together as far as the technology of it like you know trans flow you know you do your empty micro you can go ahead and scan your bills right there while you are at the doc or the ship or [unclear 49:33] and you are done.
This company I'm with now GMP they don't quite get the trans flow apps you know I had to get the truck stop and trans flow that in or go to a terminal and scan it in which just seems foreign as hell to me Moses because I started my career with trans flow app and all the Departments but I'd have to say I think I probably like the one that I have now better because there is more consistency to it like I'm guaranteed $1,000 a week just working 5 days and I get a couple of days off.
And I don't really go out that far you know in Southeast Regional, so you know getting haven't been a problem so far because I am not like stuck up in the Northeast and they say they don't freight to get me home or out in California they don't have freight to get me home I have to deal with all of that and I am driving a manual transmission truck now which I started my career I just put the thing in drive Moses and head on to the steering wheel.
Moses: Did Maverick have automatics too?
Jim: Yes, there a whole fleet of them, them and US Xpress yes.
Moses: I didn't know that I know US Xpress have because I draw for them but I didn't know Maverick had automatics too. Since you've started your career do you know what your best month has been money wise how much is the best you've had?
Jim: Well I haven't had even a month with them yet.
Moses: No I mean since you started the career like with US Xpress I am guessing it's US Xpress during your training right?
Jim: It is it was when I was training I'd have to go through stuff to tell you exactly. But also I was getting extra pay for referral bonuses that were coming from my YouTube videos and you know US Xpress hires like everywhere almost from the country they got a very large hiring area and people would put me down as their referral source for US Xpress.
Moses: And they still give you that?
Jim: No they don't Maverick don't either once you are terminated they are obligated to pay you anything I mean I have no idea of the lingering effect of the video you know I didn't take them down they're still there and I got links to a whole lot of application for those company you know how many have mentioned me as a referral source since then I am not going to get paid on them it doesn’t no matter how many it is.
But when I was with US Xpress I broke their record I've had 15 while I was there and if you are an experienced driver it's a thousand buck’s student driver is 250 but I made like an extra $65,000 for last year from referrals. And it got to the point I would be getting them and I didn't even know who the heck it was coming from unless a person sends me an email or I get like some dialog going with them I mean I don't know about them in the process they are just watching videos and putting me down without contacting me so I would get a $1,000 extra on my paycheck or 250 on my pay check all the time there for a while and not even know who the person was, it's kind of cool probably about $8,000 or so was my best month.
Moses: Let me ask you where do you see yourself when it comes to trucking do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life, do you think you are just doing it to get to somewhere else what do you think?
Jim: I'm still deciding that Moses at least for the rest of this year I am not really expecting make any kind of changes I am going to stay with the same company that I am now because also I am a little venerable you know because I got turned down from all these others which I've got my court case coming up that I've got an attorney helping me with later this month.
And you know if I can just get that negligence drop and get that preventable accident change to a non-preventable just because of the circumstances of that shoulder and you know if Gabriel would have been there or some kind of sign edge it wouldn't happen, So I think we got a good shot of getting that change and then I can go a lot of places.
And I kind of got it in the back of my mind of maybe one day buying a truck an owner operator and explore in those opportunities but you know I need to learn a little more the ins-and-outs of that before I make that type of commitment because I know a lot of people that didn't do well, most of those were like lease operators and things that you never happy to make their truck payment, that doesn't sound like a very good plan to me.
But you know it's something I am considering and then my videos that have made now they're not like feature film type quality and everything and I have aspirations of stepping up my equipment like I just make them on an iPhone Moses I film it with an iPhone and I edited it on an iPhone and I uploaded it on an iPhone all of that so I am planning to get a Mac computer to do my editing and things on and then I can use other sources as far as capturing the video I am going to get a better camera and I am going to get a drone too.
Moses: Now let me ask you other than the referrals payment you are getting from US Xpress and Maverick do you make any other income from YouTube?
Jim: I didn't at first and the reason is, is because I copyright, like when I started truck driving school and then the hotel room and I think most of us probably do this we are tearing up YouTube and we come across you know there is a lot of bloggers and a lot of videos that truck drivers make and you know the majority of them is hit record one long take of some guy sitting in a hotel room talking or sitting in his truck talking and that was it.
And when I started watching those I am like men I can make a better video than that and my first then or so they kind of suck too, but as I started doing it more I started adding music to it and a lot of road footage and I started really doing with the editing and going to truck stop and showing shippers and just showing interesting stuff but because I would use the music Moses that it would just be a song I download from iTunes and I put it at the beginning when I am doing my titles and all of that.
I would give up the monetization and it would go to the owner of the copyrighted materials. But as I did it and started experimenting with it I learned if I don't play the song for more than 30 seconds it falls under fair use and I could do that. So I started monetizing all my videos now and I've got like over $200 in an ad revenue you know it's a fraction of a penny per view but like I just won over 2000 subscribers earlier today.
Moses: Wow congratulation.
Jim: Thank you very much that was one of my goals for last year I want to have it done by January 1st but it didn't happen until January 15th but I guess that's still not too bad.
Moses: Yes, that's not too bad, any other passion other than Trucking?
Jim: Trucking video making money making is probably my top passions and also now going to be I don't know starting life over and you know going through this divorce which you know it's not going to be ugly we are not going to even get lawyers we are working on getting our agreement and everything and I am going to be financially obligated really taking care of her for the rest of this year as the house and the car and health insurance and other things with the kids and everything.
But she's finishing up her degree that she should be done with it by this time next year and the way she talks she probably make more money than me you know when she get started in a career after she has her degree, and then I guess I kind of figure out the next direction for my life as for as where I want to buy a house or buy a truck you know I've really just got this year planned out right now there is some uncertainty as far as beyond because I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with and we are going to have it together but it looks like that's not going to be the case.
Moses: Let me ask you I know I have seen some of your videos where it looks like you do a lot of reading which books have you read and have impacted you the most
Jim: Well lately the books I have been listening to them instead of reading them and they've actually have been Stephen King books but one little tip for you viewers, if you go down to your local library and joined if you hadn't already there, is an app that you can download from Android iPhone or whatever I think it's called over let me check it real quick to make sure I'm not telling any lie.
Overdrive is what it is called and it's like a virtual library and you can check out eBooks but they also have audio books and you can connect that through your radio and you can sit and listen to the music or scanning station or whatever. And there are all kinds there is management motivational self-help or suspense or horror or comedy whatever you are into. But I hadn't been reading like I use to Moses now back in sales days how was some bookworm men like Rick Pitino's book's Success is a Choice was one of favourite he's probably most known as a Kentucky basketball coach, he coached with the Celtics for a while but now he is at Louisville but this was a book that came out in the 90s I really liked it.
And there was a small little book that's usually found like in the Christians are inspirational section in bookstores call the greatest salesman in the world it was always favourite of mine it's a story about a boy that meets a girl used to quiet cleaning up camel poop and stuff like that and giving them hay that's what he does he is young poor kid. And he meets this girl and his ambition grows when he meets her because he wants to be able to provide for her, and he'd says he wants to be one of this is man for this guy in the land so he goes to him and pretty much bags for a position and it tells the story of that but is a pretty inspiring story.
But inside of the book called The Greatest Salesman in The World there is these 10 ancient Scrolls for success that are revealed and I did a video about one of them the scroll 3 I will persist until succeed and it's been pretty influential in my life and really help me through that tough time of that month to me getting 30 no’s from trucking companies until I've finally found yes that's where I am at. Now is persistent and the refusal to quit and get down and having that strong believe as long as I don't stop something good is going to happen which it eventually did.
Moses: Any must have tools for truckers that you would recommend?
Jim: Yes on my truck I've got a small little refrigerator I've got a microwave now I am a bit of a coffee snob Moses I've got a French press that I grind my own beans and I make coffee in the truck and I've got this electrical that I heat up my water but being as self-sufficient as you can on your truck having food that someone nutritious that you enjoy on your truck in ways to prepared I've got one of those lunch I call it a lunch box cooker I don't think that's a technical name but it looks like a lunch box. And you plug it in your 9 volt and it will heat up to like 350 degrees inside of it you know you can warm food up making like herring’s rice and cooking chicken and things like that it's pretty good for that you know it takes a little while younger than a microwave anyway.
Moses: Do you have an inverter?
Jim: Yes, I do I've always had an inverter on every truck I've ever had.
Moses: How Big?
Jim: These are like 1500 watts which sometimes you know you can't run your microwave like another kind of heater thing at the same time or click it off but at 1500 you know it do the job for the most part, you are not unlimited with your power usage but is good enough. And then US Xpress anyway you couldn't have anything larger than a 1500 in [unclear 1:02:44] so that's what I've always had since then. But was like GMP the company I'm with now the truck came with it, it came the inverter it came with the APU.
Like Maverick they're 2015 in hire come with a refrigerator with freezer in it which was pretty awesome, I've just got one I've got strapped down on my top bunk I have to climb up there when I want to get to it but versus if I didn't have all those things Moses every time I want to get something cold to drink I would have to stop at a truck stop, every time I want to have a meal I would have to purchase from a truck stop or you know stop at Walmart.
This way I'm not a slave to those truck stop and if I happen to have to shut down at a ship or my cart runs out or something that's alright men it isn't any big deal you know I got what I need I've got a TV in there with antenna, I couldn't pick up ESPN with it or anything with it but depending upon where I am at I could pick up channels and this is a pretty cool little tip too.
I used to have to have a media player but my new TV has a built-in media player and I just plug a hard drive into it that has a couple of hundred movies on it. So you know I've got entertainment there I can watch one of my 200 movies or watch something on TV. You know my food like last week I only purchased one meal I got a sandwich from Bo jangles one day which was like $7.50 this week I am even more stocked up on food.
And the same balance that is in my bank account right now I am expecting to be there Friday morning when I wake well actually Friday morning it would be some more money there because I have a deposit but my intention is not to spend one single dollar this week because I've got everything I need already on the truck.
Moses: If somebody wants to get in touch with you who wants to contact you what's the best way to get in touch with you?
Jim: Well a couple of ways you can do it through a comment on one of my videos if you just go to YouTube and search Truckin Journey, season one it was Jim and Boons Truckin Journey I used to have my dog with me I can't take my dog in my new company so I call myself Trucker Jim now Trucker Jim Truckin Journey subscribe and post a comment there or you can always hit me an email email@example.com.
Moses: Thank you so much Jim I will make sure for those of you that are listening and you want the information just head over to driver success.com in the show notes you will have all the information and all the contacts to Jim, Jim thank you so much I really appreciate you, you have been our very first guest so you've made history here on Drivers Success.
Jim: Thanks a lot, Moses and I wish you much success on your driver podcast.
Moses: Thank you so much brother and we will stay in touch.
Jim: sounds good have a great night.