I Was Hooked…
I began my expediting career several years ago in a Ford E-350, but I had been preparing to be an expediter ever since I got my first driver’s license. I have always loved to drive. Over the years I have had jobs which required very little travel, and some which required a lot of it, and it was those jobs that involved a lot of driving that I enjoyed the most. Just getting out on the road, going from A to B, and seeing whatever there was to see along the way.
As a jazz and classical musician I traveled quite a bit. As a chef and restaurant manager not so much. I happened upon a career in photography and portrait sales with Olan Mills, doing church directories and working at venues in small towns. Most of that was spent in an area of western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and southeast Arkansas, but would occasionally get to work in the upper Midwest, the Deep South, the East Coast and New England. The places I enjoyed most were the places I had never been, and it was the “getting there” part that I enjoyed.
After ten years with Olan Mills I moved on to a different portrait company which required far more extensive travel on a regular basis. Most of that travel was west of the Mississippi, a great deal of it west of the Rockies. Most of it required driving hundreds of miles between locations, spending one or two days in one location and then moving to another. While I really liked the photography and the portrait sales, working with the people on their portraits, after a few years of driving many miles in order to get to a place to do something to earn a living, I realized that I might as well get paid for the actual driving. It was then that I began to look at a career in expediting.
After speaking of the idea with family, it was my stepdad who pulled the trigger and bought a van. He was going to expedite himself. He had been an OTR driver for several years and knew what he was getting into. Except, he found out he couldn’t be an expediter for medical reasons (injectable insulin). With a cargo van just sitting there, I jumped at the chance.
My very first load was four drums of placarded HAZMAT paint from Decatur, Alabama to Wrigley Field. My second load was two pallets of roofing materials from Chicago to San Francisco. I was hooked.