Name: Gary Green
Number of years trucking: I have held my commercial driver’s license since 1969.
What type of load do you typically haul: Over the years I have hauled everything from dirt, to whiskey, and everything in-between.
Family information: My better-half, Susie, and I have been married for over 30 years and have one daughter, Christy.
Favorite trucking story or moment:
As most drivers out there I too have my favorite trucking story. I had decided to teach Susie to drive, there were four of us running together, leased to the same company. Rick Hanning, Jeff Rawlings, Susie’s brother, Jay Frazey, and myself with Susie riding shotgun. It was a beautiful day, no wind, dry roads, white lines, and blue sky, one of those days drivers live for. Traffic was very light, we were north bound I 35 in Kansas. I was running a 1987 Pete, 425 Cat, 13 speed with 360’s set up to run. We were running just over the speed limit, five over or so, I asked Susie if she would like to drive a little. It was her first time so she was a little reluctant at first but she agreed. I pulled the throttle out and we swapped seats. I gave her a minute to settle in and relax, then I release the throttle. We had lost a little ground with the rest of our group so we had some catching up to do. After a little bit the CB lit up and Rick said, “Kansas Kat, are you having trouble? Is something wrong, you’re falling behind.” I simply said, “Nah I’m just looking for something on the floor board, be there in a minute.”
Well, I’m in the jump seat and Susie is in control, throttle off and we are starting to gain on the group. As we catch and pass the back door, I was waving and smiling out the passenger window. Jeff’s mouth dropped open when he looked over and we zipped by. We then blew by Jay. By the time we caught Rick, Jeff was on the radio saying, “Man you ain’t going to believe this Rick, Susie Green is going to blow your doors off.” By the time we caught Rick we were seriously moving on.
After a few minutes I looked over at Susie, her lips were pressed, and she was looking straight down the road. Her grip on the wheel was so tight her knuckles were white and both feet were flat on the floor. I looked at the Speed O and got a little surprise, I couldn’t tell exactly how fast we were going, due to the Pete Speed O only going to 80 mph, but you know those big white letters in the middle which read MPH, she was sitting on P. I told Susie to look at the Speed O, she said, “gee I didn’t know this truck would go that fast.” I told her to let up on the throttle a little and we would slow down, we were moving so fast I thought our hair was going to catch on fire. Susie let up a little and the circulation started to come back to her hands, she began to relax and started looking around a little.
Susie became a very fine driver and I never saw her with her hair on fire again, at least in a big truck!
I have many fond memories of my time spent on the road, but this by far is my favorite story…
What do you like about the industry?: I grew up in this industry, my stepfather, Pete Bonzi was one of the finest drivers I have ever met, and you should see him back up a set of doubles. He is a very honest, hardworking man. Pete and my mother, Mary (who was a driver as well) taught me that there is room for everyone in our industry. Pete, however did not deal much with brokers, he may have a different opinion in regards to them.
What do you dislike about the industry?: We all have our gripes and complaints, the thing I dislike the most, or should I say the thing that disappoints me the most is, we have lost the ability to set our freight rates. And look at who owns and operates our so-called trucking companies today, bean counters and attorneys. Their number one objective seems to be how much money they can make off their owner operators, forget hauling freight. Where did the truckers go? You know when I was in high school guys actually wanted to be truck drivers. That is all they talked about. You don’t see that anymore, that desire, that want. You used to be considered a professional driver, you worked hard for it, you were proud of it. Being an owner operator meant you had succeeded. I would like to see this again, so many of the new drivers are driving because they have no were else to go, I would really like to see the pride, the professionalism come back.
Why are you a member of OOIDA?: When I first joined OOIDA it was because they were the only people who seemed to give a damn about the industry. Their focus was on how regulation effected the driver’s life on the road. As the years have gone by OOIDA has taught me that I can make a difference in the industry myself, with direction and education. I have also learned and come to appreciate the fact that we as owner operators are the largest fleet in the world and exactly how important that is. OOIDA has played an important role in my trucking career as well as the role they play in the industry. I can not come up with the right words to express the pride I feel being apart of this association. As the Supervisor of Business Services I am in the position to effect change every day. I feel as though I am on the front line each and every day. We have rough days in here but boy are those victories sweet. I am proud to be a life time member, and honored to serve on the Board of Directors.