EP. #4

#4- The Gold Standard of Drivers

When it comes to tanking, Liquid understands that it is no easy task.  That’s why Liquid seeks out The Gold Standard of drivers to help get the job done.


Josh Schmidt General Manager
Nick Meyer Recruiting and HR Specialist
Beau Hanke Onboarding and Orientation Specialist
Nick Doty Director of Fleet Maintenance
Cole Brown Professional Driver


When it comes to tanking, Liquid understands that it is no easy task.  That’s why Liquid seeks out The Gold Standard of drivers to help get the job done.  In episode 4, we’ll talk with General manager Josh Schmidt, Recruiting and HR Specialist Nick Meyer and Onboarding and Orientation Specialist Beau Hanke about why they are looking for such top quality drivers. Director of Fleet Maintenance Nick Doty makes his first appearance on the pod, and driver Cole Brown joins us for a driver profile.


Liquid Trucking. What’s good. Welcome to Episode four of the Liquid Trucking Podcast with me, your host, Marcus Bridges. I want to thank everybody that’s listening. Uh for clicking, subscribe, like and share on all your podcast platforms. Uh We really need that. We depend on it to keep this thing moving forward and make sure that it gets in front of as many ears as it possibly can. So if you got a driver out there that’s looking for something to listen to. He’s, he’s towing around a tank and he’s just bored at the wheel all day. Well, we got an episode for him every single week or her. Yeah, I understand that. I understand who I’m talking to here. So thank you once again for sharing these and uh telling everybody that you can about it. It really does help the podcast in the long run. So, episode four, what are we talking about today? Well, it’s pretty simple when I was at the home office there in Plattsmouth. Uh One thing that I kept noticing is a theme was that liquids really out here looking for the gold standard of drivers and we’re gonna say a lot that this podcast is forgive me when I throw my shoulder out, patting myself on the back. But we’re doing the Gold standard podcast for the gold standard of drivers. And that’s you the Liquid Driver. You gotta have a, a little bit more under your belt as far as experience and aptitude is concerned to work at liquid. A lot of people don’t even make it through orientation. They don’t make it through training because they just don’t have the chops that you. The drivers that are out there for liquid tugging around tanks have, uh you gotta know some plumbing. You gotta have some mechanical aptitude and let’s not forget, you gotta be damn careful when you’re hauling around a whole bunch of liquid because it moves around when you’re towing it. So this episode is all about the gold standard of drivers. We’ve got some great interviews coming up. We’re gonna talk to Nick Meyer uh from HR and uh business development. We’re also gonna talk to Nick doty from the shop. Uh Josh Schmidt’s gonna join us to chat a little bit about why Liquid looks for the gold standard of drivers. And our good friend Bo Hanky is gonna come on and help us out to understand some of that as well. Plus we have a driver profile today on Driver Cole Brown. It’s all really good stuff and uh I just need to shut up so that we can get to it. Let’s get to our first interview. It’s episode four of the Liquid Trucking Podcast. Welcome to the Gold Standard of podcast for the Gold Standard of Drivers. This is the Liquid Trucking Podcast with your host Marcus Bridges. Next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast, we’ve got Director of Fleet Maintenance, Nick doty on the line. Nick. Thanks for being here today, man. Your first appearance on the Big Liquid Trucking podcast. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Of course. Now, I’ve always felt like I’m gonna use a football reference here uh, to get things kicked off. You see what I did there. I’m getting punny. Uh I feel like the, the fleet maintenance department is kind of the offensive lineman of, of the trucking fleet. You’re the unsung heroes. You don’t get to do all the end zone dances. They’re not necessarily talking to you at the postgame show. Uh, but if you guys weren’t there, this whole thing does not get off the ground. And, uh, today we’re talking about the gold standard of drivers and I’m just wondering what do you expect of the drivers there at the shop to help you guys get this thing off the ground? Well, I think it all really starts kind of in our training department, you know, going through the ways that the equipment operates, whether that’s from how the trailer operates to truck functions and what they do. But I mean, once out the training, I think the biggest most important thing that Fredrick can do is just a, a daily pre trip of the truck and the trailer and a post trip. Um, and when those are completed, they need to report the defects. Generally, we don’t see a lot of issues on the truck side of things, uh, with the pre tripp just because the drivers are assigned to a permanent truck. Right. So, if they have to deliver that day in and day out, um, that’s something they’re definitely going to report as a problem. The trailers can be tricky sometimes. Um, and, and not every driver is this way. But, um, it seems like there’s a lot of things that maybe go unnoticed if you will or, or are not spoken to, to the maintenance department just because it’s kind of that, um, selfish act if you will, uh, of don’t want to, don’t want to pull the next time. A lot of times things will, will go unsaid on the trailer side of things. So it’d be a huge help. Um, if we can get the same type of communication on the trailer side of things for sure. And, I mean, that’s one of the things we hope to accomplish with this podcast is, is if you’re here saying it, they’re gonna be in their trucks listening to it and we hope that, uh, next time they come in, if there’s a slight defect in the trailer, it gets reported because, uh, there is a little bit of a teamwork aspect to it. Right. You don’t want to leave somebody else with a dumpy trailer or a defective trailer the same way that you don’t want to pick up a defective trailer, uh, for your route. Yeah, it goes full circle most of the time and it’s, again, it’s not everybody. Uh, there’s, there’s probably fewer people that don’t report them. There are that, that do report them. So it’s, it’s not everybody, but it, it ends up going full circle where eventually they drop a trailer that’s kind of dumpy if you will. Uh And then they pick up one, you know, maybe a month later that has similar conditions. Um So it kind of goes full circle. So yeah, just, just report the defects that are found and we wanna be able to get those in and taken care of. But if we don’t know they’re there, we can’t fix them. Absolutely. Uh What are some common things that you see uh with the trailers? You said they’re kind of tricky. Uh Is there anything that shows up more often than, than not honestly? But I think the biggest thing that’s not reported is, is usually cosmetic things. Um Typically, if there’s a, if there’s a, a feature of the trailer that is used to operate, you know, to make, to make revenue, those things are typically reported. Uh I guess the things I’m referencing to are like, you know, maybe there’s a light out that was, was caught on a pre trip or post trip or not reported or fender damage or, you know, something along those lines. Typically all the mechanical workings are, are usually in, in pretty good shape or reported by the driver. It’s some of the, the other things that, you know, the small details that make the difference that, that aren’t being reported. Absolutely. Yeah. And, you know, you don’t think about the importance of a, of a light or something like that, but you’d think about it when you get uh stopped and they inspect you on the roadside, all of a sudden that type of stuff becomes a pretty big deal, I assume. Is there anything that the drivers can do while they’re out on the road? Obviously, we covered pre tripp and post trip inspection, but anything that the drivers can do to help mitigate any possible problems while they’re actually out rolling. So, uh I mean, again, like you touched on again, the, the pre and post trip, that’s a daily occurrence. Um So whether they’re in the yard taking off or getting back from a run or they’re in, in Oregon, pulling over for the night, pre and post trip is important and make sure that they uh notate all those defects to their dispatcher, uh who should be their primary contact for anything, whether it’s breakdown or questions at a customer’s yard or whatever the scenario is, their dispatcher, either has the question or knows the direction to go from there to get to get the uh question answered. But we’re talking about, you know, a few other things that they could do on the road. So we, we have some product that we ha that, that have to be hauled at a certain temperature, right? So we have to heat that trailer while it’s in transit. So we have these in transit heat systems on there which basically just runs coolant from the uh from the engine side and circulates it at operating temperature through the through the trailer. One of the biggest things that we see happen, I guess is uh when it’s on the yard, it’s not as big of a deal because, you know, we’re here and can help. But if again, if they’re in Oregon, let’s say, and they’re pulling the transit heat load somewhere and they’re picking up a trailer at a customer’s yard. Um, and then going somewhere else to load the product. When they hook those in transit heat lines up from the tractor to the trailer, it’s really important to make sure you sit there and let the truck run for five or 10 minutes uh before you leave the parking lot and then double check your coolant level and make sure you have plenty of extra coolant with you more often than not. What, what will happen is the cooling system on the truck that will get depleted because it’s going to back, going back to fill the trailer and then the truck is shut down on the side of the road because it’s at a coolant and the drivers don’t have any coolant with them. And then it leads to a road call and all the downtime. So half cooling with you and make sure that when you’re hauling those in transit heat loads that, that you’re giving the system time to equalize if you will and make sure the cooling system is full on the truck side. Absolutely. That’s great advice. Now, I have to ask was the uh was the Oregon shout out, was that because you remembered where I’m sitting right now or was that just random chance? That’s just random chance, man. That’s crazy because I am out here in Oregon. I’m a long ways away from you. But uh uh I, I was wondering for sure if that was like, did I make that kind of impression? I’m not really used to doing that. So awesome, Nick. Well, uh well, we’re, we’re running out of time here today, but I really appreciate this. Uh This is great stuff and I think that moving forward with this podcast having you on is gonna be great for the drivers because little reminders like that that can save them time to save the company money, can save you guys at the shop. Headaches are all great things. Uh and we just really appreciate your time and your insight here today that they have me on. No problem, Nick. That’s Nick doty, Director of Fleet Maintenance for Liquid Trucking from odd jobs around the shop all the way to running the show. General Manager of Liquid Trucking. Josh Schmidt. Next up here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast. We’ve got General Manager of Liquid Trucking, Josh Schmidt joining us today, Josh, we really appreciate the time. Thanks for being here. Thanks for having me on Mars. Of course. Uh You know, we’re talking about the uh the gold standard of drivers, which we really feel like is what liquid looks to employ today on this episode. And I just wanted to ask you when you’re out there looking for the, the top echelon drivers because the job that they have is so difficult. Uh What types of, of uh hurdles do you come up against in finding the right guys to do this job? That’s a great question. First of all, there’s only about 5 to 10% of all trucks that are on the road that are, that are tankers. So right there, that limits our pool down to where a lot of our applicants do not have tanker experience. Of course, we look for guys with tanker experience, but uh that’s not all of the applicants. So that’s the first part of the challenge. Second part of the challenge is that you got to have a little bit of a mechanical ability. You really do need to be a, a top tier driver to, to drive a tank or uh there’s a different center of gravity, all kinds of different products, all kinds of different things to know. So it, it definitely is a challenge. And how do you, uh, from, from your standpoint, how do you keep your hands on these drivers in general? Uh The transportation industry sees a lot of turnover. A lot of drivers jump from company to company looking for uh the best situation. But it seems like you guys are able to, to keep the drivers in the liquid seats. What’s, what’s the strategy behind that? How do you guys incentivize these drivers to stick with you knowing that with the experience that they have, they could probably drive just about anywhere. Yes, of course, they could. I’ll tell you it’s difficult. It takes the whole organization uh moving in the same direction, creating that culture. We are able to pay quite a bit better than I’d say 80 90% of companies out there. And the reason for that is our business model, we’re hauling lots of different types of products for lots of different customers all across North America. And that, that leads us to have a profitable business. So some products, some places that they go cold on us, so we can quickly pivot and uh stay busy because we’re hauling such a variety of products. We can sort of pick and choose when times are good and uh that also increases our profit. And we just go ahead and pass that along to our, our fleet of drivers on the other side of things working inside of the office. And we put a hell of a lot of effort into creating that culture, communicating well with our drivers, communicating well with them from the start. So we meet their expectations. We have a pretty rigorous training program. It’s two weeks long, sometimes three weeks. If the guy needs another week, only about 50% of our applicants that come in make it through our training program. So we take great pride in, in only taking the best drivers and, and uh put them out there in our truck. That’s a great answer. Super complete. And I’m, I’m really glad that you touched on something because it was going to be where I was gonna head next here and that is the culture there at Liquid. Um I know you’ve worked hard on it. I could tell, I, I used it as an example, I think in the last episode where I, I told a little short story about Jason just giving me the keys to the truck so I could drive around between uh the shop and the office there and uh made my day really easy and I felt like a part of the family. Um How do you keep that culture moving? And, and what are your goals for the culture at Liquid in a general sense, Josh, our goal for the culture at liquid Trucking is to continue moving everybody in the same direction and, and that’s to create a the best working environment for our drivers. And also also for our office staff, if you got, you know, happy office staff, happy mechanics, happy drivers, everybody seems to get along a lot better part of that is trying to make work as enjoyable as it can be. It’s not always enjoyable but, and uh treating people well. And if you’ve got happy people, they tend to have a more positive attitude and that positive attitude kind of radiates throughout the company. So we just continue to try to add talent, talented drivers, talented leaders, talented maintenance staff, positive thinking dispatchers, you know, it just goes all the way, all the way throughout the company that way. And Marcus, probably the most important thing that’s happened over the years. As far as our culture is concerned is going way back probably 30 years ago. My dad, Mike fines the few drivers. They had the few mechanics they had were incredibly dedicated and hard working. And as we brought more and more people on that kept getting passed along and passed down to the next drivers, the next mechanics. You know, my brother and I, all the people we have as drivers and in the office, we’ve got drivers that have worked here for 20 years. We’ve got drivers that worked here for 10 years. Five years, even one or two years that are currently helping the newest drivers. And that, that’s absolutely huge. We’ve, we’ve learned a lot over the years these drivers have learned, starting from the guys 30 years ago, what worked, what does not work. And that’s been huge for us. And, uh, we hope it continues having the load turned over is, is very key to that. That’s great. And I know you’re a busy guy. We’re up against the clock here. So I’m not gonna take up any more of your time today. But uh thank you so much for being here, Josh. I’m really looking forward to getting to talk to you more because I feel like you on this podcast is key to making sure that everybody understands exactly what’s behind the way that liquid becomes as successful as it is. So, thanks for being here. Hope you have a great rest of your week. Thanks a lot, Marcus. Happy to do this. Call me anytime. Awesome will do. That’s Josh Schmidt, General Manager of Liquid Trucking Knowledge and stories from coast to coast. This is your driver profile. It’s time for our episode four driver profile here on the Liquid Trucking Podcast and I am joined right now by Liquid Driver Cole Brown Cole. We appreciate the time. Thanks for being here, man. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Glad to be a part of it. Where are you at and where are you headed today? Oh, I just love Craig Missouri. I’m heading back to the terminal now. I’m a local driver so I go home every night. Oh, that’s great. Uh, has that always been the case, I guess let’s start out a little earlier before I ask that question. How long have you been driving? I’ve been driving for total about eight years. I’ve been driving for Liquid trucking for about five since, uh, 2018. Ok. And have you always been a local driver for Liquid or did you start out, uh, on longer routes or regional? Yeah. No, I started out on the road here in 2018. Uh, I was gone for a week or two at a time, all most weekends by choice. Uh, yeah, I drove over the road for about a year and a half and then they had a, a local trainer opportunity open up. So I, uh, I came on as a local trainer at home every night training, the new hires for about a year and a half. I’ve actually had a ton of opportunities at this company. Uh, I did that for about a year and a half, like I said, and then, uh, the opportunity for dispatch opened up. So I went up in a dispatch for a year or so. It wasn’t really my thing and not much of an office guy myself. Uh, but they gave me the opportunity to get back in the truck. So, uh, props to them and Uh, yeah, great company to work for. I’ve been on the road about four years. God, that you’re in dispatch. So, very cool. Well, I mean, I guess if nothing else, the, uh, the experience up in dispatch helps you understand how the other side lives a little bit while you’re out there on the road dealing with things. Absolutely. It gives, uh, gives a whole new respect for a whole other side of the company. And it’s kind of a known thing in the trucking industry. Dispatchers and drivers are always kind of bickering back and forth with each other. And I’ve never been that guy. I always have respect for everybody that I work with, but, uh, definitely getting in there and seeing, uh, their side of things, uh, opens up a whole new side of my mind and respect for sure. No, that’s, that’s really cool. And I mean, you’re, you’re also, uh, you’ve been a driver trainer. So you, you thought of as one of the guys that’s really got his stuff together and that’s kind of what we’re talking about on today’s episode is, uh, today’s episode is kind of themed around how liquid needs the gold standard of drivers, uh, to make everything work because it’s not just a, a, you know, a drive in, you’ve got plumbing involved, you’ve got all sorts of, uh, uh, of different aspects that happen at your pickups and your drop offs. How hard is that type of stuff to train into, uh, a new driver when you’re helping them out for maybe their first load with liquid. Oh, yeah. You know, it really just depends on the guy. There’s a lot of guys come in here with a can do attitude and they want to learn and they want to do good and they have mechanical aptitude. Those guys are the ones that are really easy to train, the ones that want to come here and learn the ins and outs and do well. And then, you know, if you get guys that come in here that have been pulling dry vans and re research their whole life, pumping dock doors and they kind of just think of this as another driving job. I’m just going to come in here and pull a tanker around, you know, not much to it. Well, the other, there’s a lot that goes that goes into it and uh the outcome is equally as satisfying as the process of learning. Um So yeah, there, there’s definitely a lot to be learned in taking. Yeah, no joke about that, man. I, I’m blown away just in listening to you guys talk like I haven’t learned any of it other than just hearing you guys talk about it and I’m, I’m lost man. To be honest with you, those guys are too. When they come in here, there’s a lot that goes into it. Yeah, for sure. So how did you get your start. Now, you said you, you obviously worked for a different company besides liquid or maybe more. What gave you your start in your career in truck driving. It really came unplanned. I never had intentions of becoming a truck driver. I was working for a kitchen company in Omaha at the time. Just kind of drive little box trucks around delivering cabinets and countertops and new homes in the area. A little warehouse where they had one semi there and one full time driver who just kind of went between Omaha and Illinois on a local all day cap, stayed out a couple of nights a week in a hotel. He needed a backup driver for when he was on vacation or was sick or, you know, whatnot company was kind of hiring a couple of drivers here and there that come to the company think I’m gonna be a full time driver and then they kind of find out well, you know, you’re really in the warehouse most of the time or doing some local stuff. And I just noticed they’re having, uh, problems keeping guys around for that job. So I went to my boss said, hey, you guys pay for me to get my license. I’ll go do all the testing. I’ll get my CD L, I’ll be the backup driver. No big deal. And, uh, that’s what we did. I went to the DMV, got the commercial handbook, read through that a couple of times. Went and took my written test pass that and then went out in the truck with that driver for a few weeks. He taught me how to drive. I, I grew up pulling trailers around back and boats up into the leg with my dad whatnot. So I, I kind of already knew how to do all that but pulling a big trailer like that was something I never done. So he taught me what it was, what it was like to pull a big trailer around how to back one up, how to follow dot Rules on the road. And after a few weeks that the company sent me out to a third party tester, took my drive test, passed it and, uh really been driving ever since. And then that position ended up being uh my full time gig. He, he wanted to do more warehouse based stuff. So it worked out for me. I got about a year or two on the road with those guys and then came across liquid trucking, saw their truck all the the price tag. They were advertising for drivers and I couldn’t pass it up. You know, that that company was pretty small. They weren’t, they, they couldn’t match the pay that liquid trucking was offering for drivers. So they, they understood me wanting to leave. So that, that is where I ended up. I’ve been here ever since. And did you just kind of fall in love with driving from when it became your full time gig? Is it something where you’re like, man, I love this. I wanna do this or was it just like you, you came across the right place at the right time? Like, what’s, what are your thoughts on it? You, you seem to enjoy it? But I have to ask, you know. Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve always, I’ve always enjoyed road trips. Always been the one I always want to be in control. It’s kind of my thing in the vehicles. I never was really comfortable with other people driving. So I always just found myself behind the wheel and I think people kind of appreciate that too. I don’t know too many people that like driving as much as we do. But uh yeah, yeah, just fell in love with it. Um I don’t know what else to say. That’s just a kind of a passion for me. Now, that’s really cool. And because, you know, I know that there’s a lot of guys out there that are like that, that are, they love it. They love going to work every day regardless of, you know, the idiots that you have to deal with on the road and the regulations and everything. They just love driving. And then I also know there’s a small contingency of guys out there that, uh I had one guy tell me on a different podcast. I hate truck driving and I was like, it kind of made me laugh but I, you know, there’s gonna be people like that in every profession but, um, drivers seem to really, uh, take a liking to what they do and, and take a lot of pride in it as well, which, uh, I just always thought is, is really cool and all the things that you have to remember and all of the things that you have to pay attention to out there. I feel like if you didn’t love it, it would make it a really, really difficult job. Oh, definitely. It’s a huge responsibility out here. You do have to like what you do. If you don’t like truck driving, you’re, I should say if you don’t like being on the road, period, you’re gonna hate this job. But at the end of the day, you’re, you’re out here on your own. You don’t really have to deal with a whole lot. As long as you’re doing your job, you dispatch your sense of your load, you go and do your load that day or that week, just kind of make your own schedule and you’re, you’re out here with nobody else. You don’t have to put up with a whole lot of customer confrontation. It’s just, I don’t know, it’s just great out here being out here on your own doing what you want. So that’s great, man. Well, so, uh you’re home every night now, do you have like family at home? You got kids or anything? Like that. No, no, I have no kids. Uh, I got a girlfriend and I’m not married or anything. So, really, it’s ideal for me if I were to be over the road. But this opportunity popped up and I feel like it’s not something you can really let go once you have it. So I, I enjoy it. I not making quite as much as these guys on the road but I, I’ll take being home at night over the page. Yeah, sleeping in your own bed, man. There’s, there’s something to that, right. Yeah, it does make a difference. Absolutely. So I, I have to ask this question too because it’s something that I was thinking of and something that I’ve heard from a lot of people as we’re kind of getting this podcast rolling. Hauling liquid is much different than hauling a drive van. Uh Basically because of, of the way that liquid moves around when you drive it. Can you talk to me a little bit about the differences and how you have to kind of be aware of what might happen if you have to slam on the brakes when you’re hauling all that liquid. Yeah, it’s a whole new ball game. Uh That’s probably the thing that freaks people out most, um coming to drive, pull a tanker, uh, is the movement of that liquid back there. Really? It’s not something you can explain until you just get in the truck and feel it it’s slower, start, slower stops. It takes about twice as long to get up to speed, pulling a tank around that it does anything else. And same goes for stopping. You know, if your, if your movements aren’t slow and gradual and you’re not respecting the liquid back there, that’s when accidents are gonna happen. You know, your, your rollovers, uh, rear ending people in the winter time, you come up to a red light and you’re loaded on a snowy icy road and your, your stop is too sudden. Well, you’re gonna stop and then that Lakewood is gonna be moving around back there and when it hits the front of that trailer, it might push you another two or 3 ft into the intersection. It’s just, you really have to. Yeah, I really have to be on top of your game. Really. Just all it is is just slowing down and respecting the product in your trailer and respecting the road. And, uh, you know, you’ll be all right, but definitely a big learning curve for a lot of guys. And that, that’s the number one thing I would say, it scares a lot of guys off. They, they climb in the truck and they feel that product at the front or the back of the trailer. And no, they’re out of here. They don’t want nothing to do with it. It really, uh, it really isn’t really that scary. I guess that just gotta slow down. Learn how that product’s moving back there and it’ll be all right. Sure. Now, do different products move a different amount? Like I’ve heard you guys are hauling all sorts of different things. And I think of, like, uh, somebody told me when I was talking to Chris out at Bartow, he told me about, uh, hauling molasses. I feel like that would move a little bit slower. Uh, you know, because that we, you know, there’s the term slower than molasses. So like does it, does it have like a delay when it comes to the front as opposed to like fuel or something like that? Yeah. So Molasses, the heavier products like that sulfuric acid, they do have a way lower for, they do move slower in the trailer, but you tend to feel those products a little bit more, uh just because they’re so heavy and you can’t load as much product on the trailer. So you have a lot more empty space inside, which is allowing that product to move around a whole lot more. So while it might move slower, uh when it does hit, it’s gonna hit way harder than your lighter products like alcohol, alcohol fuel, that stuff is really light and you can load it all the way up to the dome of the trailer most times and you’re still under gross weight and uh then you don’t have that surge back there. So those are the loads people typically end up liking more the alcohol, the fuels, the lighter products. Because, uh, yeah, the heavy, heavy ones do move around and you feel them a lot more for sure. Do you have since you’ve got some experience in, in training and a ton of experience in driving? Let’s, let’s just pretend for a minute that there’s some, uh, there’s some perspective, liquid employees, some people that are thinking about wanting to apply at Liquid listening to this podcast, what advice would you give to them? Uh, based on your experience? Oh, my advice is do it? Uh, don’t, uh, if you’re having second thoughts, you’re holding back, just, just go out there and do it, try something new. You know, if you don’t like it, at least you can say you try it. It’s a great place to work if you’re up in the air about tanking. Yeah, like I said, just come out here, try it. Liquid Trucking is top of the line company. If, if you’re looking into tanking companies come here, don’t, don’t go anywhere else. You’re gonna love the pay, you’re gonna love the benefits. You’re gonna love the time off the home time. Set the trucking company aside. This is the best company I’ve ever worked for. You could take trucking out of it and it’s, it’s an amazing company to be. People are great. Yeah, I don’t know. What else do you want me to say? That’s fantastic here. Hey, II, I couldn’t ask you to say any more. I think you said it all there. And, uh, that’s exactly what I was, what I was hoping to get because that’s the feeling I get, uh, so far and not just from drivers, I get that feeling from the office staff as well. Uh, it seems like one big family. It seems like everybody works really well in concert with one another. And, uh, that’s all you can ask for, man. It really is. So, uh, we’re, we’re up against the clock here. I’m gonna let you get back to, uh, to your route in just a couple of minutes. But I also want to give you the chance to say anything to any of your fellow drivers or any of your fellow employees back at the front office. Uh, anything that you wanna say independent of what we’ve talked about the floor is yours cole I’m just beyond grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given at this company in the short amount of time that I’ve been here from over the road, regional driver to drive for trainer, to dispatch or to backend driver, trainer position. I just, I feel like the opportunities here are endless, especially for a young guy. It’s just a great place to be. I’ve always been treated with the utmost respect from all the employees, whether that’s office, staff drivers. Uh, everybody’s always been here to lend a hand if I needed it and, uh, give that right back to anybody at the company. So, uh thank you, uh everybody at Liquid Trucking for a wonderful experience as an employee. That’s great Cole Brown Liquid Trucking Driver. Thank you so much for your time today, man. We’ll definitely be getting you back on the podcast again in the future. All right. Hey, thanks, Mark. It’s good to talk to you. You too, be safe out there. Yeah, will do. Bye. Episode four of the Liquid Trucking Podcast is rolling right along and since this week we’re talking about the gold standard of drivers, which is what you all at Liquid Trucking are. Uh, I also thought it would be kind of fun to pour through some of the forums that I find online and, uh, talk about maybe some of the worst drivers. Now, I’m not talking about the worst drivers as far as trucking companies or anything like that. I’m talking about those that you share the road with the worst four wheelers and these might come off as a little bit of stereotypical if, if you will. But really what I’ve got here is a post on Reddit on the R slash truckers subreddit. Uh, that just said it’s time to list off the worst drivers. And there were a ton of comments. Well, over 200 talking about the worst people to share the road with as a professional driver. Uh, the guy that made the post, he listed a few bullet points here, the worst drivers. According to the man that came up with this idea are lifted, pickup trucks, people with tons of stickers, people with a quote baby on board, bumper sticker. He says they seem to think having a child on board makes them king or queen of the road. And finally people with tons of political stickers especially I can resonate with a few of those. I drive a pickup truck but it is not lifted. I’m a short American, I’m only 59. So I don’t need to put that thing any further up off the ground. It’s already hard enough for me to get into and I drive the pickup truck for the utility, not necessarily to have a giant engine and drive it around like it’s a Honda Civic, but I have spent enough time on the road in my life to know that sometimes these guys hauling around these big, uh, chrome, accented lifted pickup trucks with their giant six inch exhaust pipes are a little bit much. Ok. Uh, especially if you’ve got a set of truck nuts hanging from the hitch. That is just hands down. I could tell that you and I would not ever enjoy a beer together if you do have them and you’re a, you’re a liquid trucking driver. That’s the one thing that I’ll say, hey, you get to do that because you do know the road, you can do whatever you want out there because truth be told you’re probably one of the best drivers on the road at any given time. Uh, moving on to people with tons of stickers. I always feel like, uh, a bunch of bumper stickers is kind of code for the fact that we’re trying to cover up a lot of nicks and dents and chips and scrapes in this car. So we’re gonna throw on bumper stickers, uh, because we can’t drive. It is pretty much what I see when I see a ton of bumper stickers. Uh If I see you with a ton of political stickers, man, I just can’t think of anything that I would want to do less than throw a political bumper sticker on my vehicle and there’s a good reason for it. Uh Politicians are all a flash in the pan. They’re only there for what, like a max of eight years if they’re, especially if they’re a president. Uh of course congressmen and senators. Um Yeah, they stick around for too long, but we’re not here to talk about politics on this podcast. We’re just here to talk about the worst drivers that you share the road with as I pour down the comments a little bit. Uh one that I found funny people that discover they have a gas pedal right when you’re about to pass them. This includes truckers too according to this person. Now, I don’t see this hardly at all if ever with professional drivers, but if you’re driving behind someone they’re doing 10 miles an hour under the speed limit, you pull out into the passing lane to pass them. What do they do? Nine times out of 10, they realize that they were driving 10 miles under the speed limit and they decide that now it’s time to race. There’s nothing more frustrating than that. And I imagine with £80,000 worth of a load tied to your butt, uh, this is even more frustrating. I could grind my teeth right down the gums when this happens to me on a road trip. So I can only imagine what it’s like when it happens to you drivers out there. Another one that came up very frequently was Kia Souls and Rav Fours. Now, Rav Fours specifically with Missouri license plates. Uh There was one comment that said, yeah, Missouri license plates on Rav Fours. You can pretty much guarantee that this person’s gonna drive into the ditch to get around you. Uh They might use the show older, they might pass you backwards. Um It sounds like Rav fours from Missouri are just a different breed. Ok. Can’t speak to it myself out here in the Pacific Northwest. We don’t get too many Missouri Rav fours. Um But one that I was interested in seeing is uh Chevy Volts and other electric vehicles. That’s interesting to me. Uh Not because I drive one or I think that everybody that has an electric vehicle is some sort of uh race car driver, Savant, just that they’re really expensive and I would think that you would want to drive as safely as possible in one of those things to protect your investment. But if you think you’re cooler than everybody else out there on the road and the road belongs to you, hey, there’s no getting around it. You probably drive like a little bit of an ass. Uh I see a lot of Tesla drivers on here, uh, converted school buses and one that I really thought was funny, highway patrol officers. Uh Yeah, I can imagine when you see them out driving, you’re never probably excited about that fact, but they got a job to do out there just like you do and they’re trying to get from point A to point B safely and also keep it safe out there on the road. I won’t share it further opinions on highway patrol. You all see them so much more than I do. I’ll let you decide how you feel about highway patrol drivers out there. And as we go down further, another one that I saw really come up frequently was anyone in a BMW? Now, I don’t have anything against BMW S or BMW drivers, but I can absolutely resonate with that comment because it seems like if there’s somebody that is driving so close behind you that you can’t see their headlights, uh, when they finally do get past you, it seems like they always have that little BMW logo on the trunk. I don’t know, maybe that’s just my experience. I spent a lot of time on I five out here on the west coast and, uh, we get a lot of traffic coming up from California and coming down from Seattle, Washington and there’s a lot of BMW S that drive out of those areas and seem to come to my little area here and just generally get under my skin when I’m on the highway. I don’t know. You tell me, interact with us on any of our social media posts that you might see on Liquid Socials and tell me who you think the worst drivers to share the road with are once again, we’re not really looking for other trucking companies here. We don’t want to speak ill of any of the competition, but I know that there’s a lot more four wheelers out there that frustrate you guys maybe make you chew a hole in your lip when you’re just trying to get your load to the drop off safely and yourself for that matter. So let me know when you see the posts on Facebook or wherever you’re gonna see them, comment, like, subscribe, do all the things and uh let me know who’s the worst driver to share the road with. Let’s get to some more interviews. Please. Welcome from recruiting business development and Hr Nick Meyer of Liquid Trucking. Nick. We appreciate the time my friend Oh, it’s good to be here again. Thank you again so soon. It’s like, is this gonna happen every week? No, don’t worry, I’ll give you a break at some point in time. I just haven’t figured out when that’s gonna be yet today on the podcast. Nick, we’re talking about how, uh, liquids kind of, uh, chasing the gold standard of drivers. Now, when I was in house, I talked to a lot of people that said the drivers for Liquid have to be on their game all the time and they also have to be um a little bit more skilled in certain aspects than what your average everyday OTR driver is. Can you talk to me a little bit about why that is and uh how liquid chases down these uh these top echelon drivers, correct? Yeah, I mean, uh so truck driving is dangerous uh in general, but then when you’re pulling tanks, when you’re unloading and loading yourself and it’s dangerous product as well, you have to be on top of your game. So when we’re looking for drivers, we are looking for guys uh that have experience, you know, as far as OTR experience, you know, any mechanical experience, it is a plus during training that these drivers are learning like plumbing, they’re learning how to measure weight and distances of different products towards the bottom of the tank, to the top. There’s a lot of mass that goes into liquid trucking and, and and hauling liquids. And it is a lot of work for someone who doesn’t have any experience. So when we’re looking for the gold standard of drivers, someone with a clean MVR clean deck, a clean PSP report. Someone who has some mechanical aptitude grew up on a farm has been plumbing or turned a wrench. And then someone also that can pay attention to the details when you’re holding liquids, you’re not only driving a full load of liquid, you’re also weighing light, weighing heavy, getting specialty washouts, unloading and loading in different environments for mom and pop farms to large facilities like Pyon and Conagra and also making sure that it goes in the right tank. You also need to make sure that all your documents are signed. So these guys are having to do a lot of paperwork. A lot of mental math, a lot of crossing Ts and dotting I’s and it’s not just bumping docs. So it’s a lot, it’s a lot to ask and not, yeah. Yeah. Not everyone passes through our training and orientation. I’d be worried if they did uh because we really try to make it difficult so that the guys that can problem solve on the road. Um You had to pass through and the guys that can’t, I can go to any thousands of trucking jobs and get a job but ha hauling it liquid trucking is not for everybody. Oh man. And, and just you talking about like the math and the light plumbing just terrifies me because those are two skills that I have not developed in my 39 years. And, uh, it’s, it’s too late that that train has left the station for me. Um, but you know, when I was out at, uh Bartow Chris Beatus, who’s, who runs the Bartow terminal out there told us a story about, uh, a driver that, that showed up to do an offload and there were two nozzles and one of them that he needed to offload into was right next to another one that if he would have offloaded that product into that nozzle, it would have caused a hellacious explosion that probably would have melted down the whole factory. And that driver knew just because of experience. Hey, I not only do I need to make sure that I’m, I’m in the right hole here, but I also should tell these guys, hey, maybe you guys should change this up a little bit or at least mark them a little bit more. Um You know, hearing that type of things about, about liquid drivers, really kind of piques the interest because you hear we need drivers with experience and a lot of companies are just saying we need you to have been out on the road for X amount of months or X amount of years that barely scratches the surface where liquor it’s concerned. Correct. There is there’s chemistry involved in this as well as far as the previous product on a trailer, what, what we can top load on, what, what kind of wash needs to happen prior to putting another chemical in that trailer. There’s a lot of scary stuff that you have to be on your toes and our drivers are trained. Your two week training is huge. We spend two full weeks, hands on groups, five or smaller, going through the motions, getting the routines down, going over the type of products, the dos and the don’t and it’s very hands on. So it’s something that we pride ourselves on. We are able to take someone who doesn’t have any liquid painting experience and bring them in here and determine within a couple of days if they have the capability of learning what we need to teach them in the next couple of weeks. And we’ve refined that over the years, but it’s a very good program and it weeds out the drivers that just aren’t ready for it yet for sure. And you can tell that you guys take pride in it too and you can tell just in talking to the drivers that they are top notch as we say, the gold standard if you will. And I’m really looking forward to this episode. I have been for a while because I, I’ve seen it be so much different. I mean, 22 weeks, hands on training is rigorous compared to what a lot of other companies I’ve spoken with. Uh, do, I mean, some companies are out there, they got a guy training for three days and he’s off hitting the road. Um, that would not be ideal for liquid, I assume. And it’s just cool to hear all about this. Uh, I, I appreciate the time. I know you’re a busy guy and we’re up against the clock here. But, uh, uh, thank you for coming on and talking me through this a little bit. And, um, yeah, if you’re looking for a job that’s going to not only challenge you but pay you well and get you out there on the road hauling to, uh, some, not only mom and pop farms, but also some of the biggest distributors out there and, and manufacturers out there, liquids, uh, a great place to start. So, uh, where can they get in touch with you if they’re looking to maybe, uh, uh, shop around for a job at Liquid Trucking? Yeah. Correct. I think the quickest way to get a hold of me is to apply on our website and I will answer you within 24 hours or feel free to call in 4022987043 and ask for Nick. That’s awesome. Nick Meyer recruiting business development and hr at Liquid Trucking. As always, we appreciate the time, buddy. Thank you for being here today. All right. Thank you for having me next up here on the Liquid Trucking. Podcast is driver training and development leader, Bo Hanky Bo. Thank you for being here today. How we doing? I’m doing great, man. How about you? Ok, good, good. Well, listen, we’re talking about the gold standard of drivers here today and it was actually you, that kind of gave me that idea that, that, that’s what liquid is looking for. I was wondering if, if I put myself in the shoes of say a prospective driver that was looking to get on it. Liquid, what are the most important things I should know coming into the training process? I would say you, you, you gotta want it. I mean, show me that, that you want it and, you know, you’re willing to do the work because this isn’t, you know, this isn’t an easy job. It’s not like sitting behind a wheel and pulling up to a dock. You know, you got to have some mechanical aptitude, the ability to problem solve, handle things on your own. When you say like mechanical ability, obviously, the plumbing is something that really sticks out in that, you know, you guys are, are hauling liquids. So there’s, there’s plumbing that comes into this every single day at every single load and drop off. How much plumbing do I need to know? Like, what are we talking here? Do I, I’ve, I’ve tried to install a toilet at my house before I got it done, but it took me a week or so. So like how much aptitude would I need? I mean, not a whole lot. I mean, it’s pretty basic. It’s trace your lines. Where does the, where does the water flow from or product in this case? Where does the product come from? How does it get out of the trailer? Where is it going to, you know, every location we show up to is the same but different. We’re trying to put, we’re trying to take the product off this tank and put it in another tank in between is up to you. I like that. You’ve, you’ve uh mentioned that before. Same but different. How important are the notes that your drivers take at each stop? Because all of those uh those drop offs are the same but different. Well, I mean, it, it depends on how good your memory is, right? If you kinda, if you kind of know how the operation works, it, it, it gets a lot easier and, you know, I always tell the guys in orientation, uh speed comes with time and you’re not getting faster, you’re just getting better at it and you, you problem solving, you know, it comes back in nature. So it’s the little things that go a long way, you know, less steps. I, I don’t have to walk around the trailer 15 times, you know, because I remembered everything that I needed the first time or my setup is better, you know, I already looked at it when I was driving in instead of having to try to figure it out after I parked, you know, I’m faster for sure. And I’m better, you know, uh, I, I read a lot of like espionage novels and, and stuff like that. I don’t know why I love spy novels so much. But one of my favorite characters is a guy named Scott Harvath. He’s in a series of books by an author named Brad Thor. And his, one of his sayings is always slow, is smooth and smooth, is fast and it kind of speaks to what you’re saying. Absolutely. Now, uh, can you talk to me a little bit about how important it is for your vet drivers there at liquid to help out uh, some of the newer drivers and how they go about that. Yeah, it’s, it’s huge. I mean, a new driver showing up to a new location, there’s somebody there that’s been there or they can talk to them before they even leave with the load or, you know, just all around the guys that have done this before are a huge help to the new guys. I would say, get out of the truck and, and ask, you know, even if the guy’s been here six months longer than you, uh, he’s probably better that location or, you know, have some extra knowledge he can, he can throw on you. I mean, you know, we bring in some guys that are very experienced. So, you know, they might not have the experience here, but they can also help you, you know, in other areas as well, for sure. And something that I’ve noticed just working alongside a lot of drivers and doing these, these podcasts is that the vet drivers are more willing to help than what a lot of the newer drivers think they are. Right. Right. I mean, being a veteran driver there’s, you know, you’ve got your level of, you kind of wanna see what the new guys got, but at the same time you might not decide to get out of the truck until you see him struggling. That’s kind of trucking in a nutshell. I mean, my favorite thing I used to do was sit at the truck stop when I was done driving for the day and watch all the guys try to back into the spot and struggle. I mean, it’s been, I mean, it’s kind of funny to watch but, you know, when you’re working for the same company, you’re all kind of working towards the same goal. Get out and help the guy. Yeah. And that’s part of the culture that you, that you’ve built there at Liquid too is that, you know, you, you’re all on the same team, everybody’s working towards the same goal. And, uh, it, you know, it’s always nice. Everybody could use a leg up every now and then. Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, even, even better driver. I mean, I did this for five years and I was still learning till the day I left the truck. Yeah, I hear it all the time and, uh, you’ll learn something every single day because going back to what you already said the same but different. I love it. Be. Well, listen, man, I, I know you’re busy. Uh, I wanna let you get back to work, but thank you so much for coming on to the podcast today and uh we’re gonna talk to you again for sure in the near future. So have a good one out there and, and thank you. Sounds good, Marcus, thanks. That’s gonna wrap up episode four of the Liquid Trucking Podcast. I want to say a big thanks to everybody that joined me, Nick Meyer, Nick doty, Josh Schmidt, Bo Hanky. Uh I know I’m forgetting someone right now. Cole Brown, our driver that came on. He was awesome. And uh yeah, you guys all are gonna make this podcast happen. So thank you so much for sharing your time with me. And uh thank you for listening and interacting with the podcast. Share it on social media, comment on the post. If you want to be on the podcast. Once again, you’re gonna hear me say this stuff a lot, contact your dispatcher. Uh Get in touch with Jason, get in touch with Nick or be all these guys can put you in touch with me and that’s all it takes to get on the podcast. Uh, the driver profiles are super easy. We can do them when you’re rolling right down the road because it’s as easy as answering a phone call. So again, if you want to be a part of the Liquid Trucking Podcast, it’s a very simple thing to do, just contact any of those people. They’ll put you in touch with me. Uh That’s gonna do it for me today. I’m gonna go to sleep. We’ll see you again next week for episode five of the Liquid Trucking Podcast. Stay safe out there. Drivers. Thanks for tuning in and being the gold standard of drivers on the road. Be sure to like and subscribe to the channel and tune in next week for another episode of the Liquid Trucking Podcast.