Carl Smith Sr. is one of our alternate board members and has been in the trucking industry for more than 39 years. Carl drives a 2009 International ProStar and pulls a chemical tanker hauling hazardous loads and motor oil in the Midwest.
Carl’s favorite trucking moment was back in 1979, when he got his start as a driver in the Army.
“I’ve wanted to be a truck driver since I was 12 years old.”
In 1983 he bought his first truck through a lease-purchase with Riss International. Carl says “working for myself has worked out great for myself and my family.”
Carl says there are things he dislikes about the industry that he wants to change.
“I’m not satisfied with the hours-of-service regulations as they are currently written,” he says. “They do not truly reflect a driver’s capabilities.”
Something that has helped him be successful was attending a two-year vocational school, he says. Carl trained as a heavy truck mechanic at the age of 16.
“The training has saved me thousands of dollars each year by either me doing my own maintenance and repairs or diagnosing what the problem is” Carl says.
When asked why he is a member of OOIDA, Carl has a firm answer.
“This is one of the most heavily regulated industries in our country,” he says. “Well-reasoned and effective laws don’t just happen. There must be a strong voice from those who actually have to work in this business. Since 1973, OOIDA has been that voice, and I want to be part of it.”