Bryan Spoon, Asheboro, NC, is 44 years old and has been an OOIDA member since 2004. He is a third-generation trucker and is currently an owner-operator with his own authority. He hauls general flatbed freight.

Bryan joined OOIDA at the recommendation of a friend and fellow driver. He believes that he can contribute to the board because he is the definition of a small business. He runs safe and compliant and has a military background that taught him the importance of working with others as a team to achieve the goal of a better all-around industry. He would bring this knowledge and experience to board discussions.

Bryan thinks it is his generation’s turn to step up. He says those that came before, the truckers of the ’70s and ’80s, did a lot for trucking. They took the industry from a time when truckers got no respect to one today where truckers have a voice in Washington.

“It’s time that guys my age take the wisdom that we got from those individuals that came before us and move forward with it. Move it forward into the digital age, getting new drivers into the Association. To keep something alive, whether a civilization or an organization, you have to have leadership at the top and members coming in at the bottom to carry on that experience,” Bryan said.

The industry needs to better train and educate new drivers, according to Bryan. Drivers need a basic education on how to get the license, proper time in the seat to learn how to actually drive the truck, and then continuing education to keep them informed about the industry. The training and education process needs to continue through a driver’s entire career.

To be successful in this business, you must work hard and be dedicated. Bryan also feels it’s imperative to join OOIDA to protect your rights and provide a level playing field for small carriers. Bryan says you get out what you put in.

Bryan has two children, 16 and 9. He retired in 2012 from the U.S. Navy Reserves as a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) – U.S. Navy Seabees.