In our “Dispatches From the Road” feature, the KANE Blog will periodically publish interviews with our drivers – the men and women who live and breathe the transportation topics we often write about. In our latest installment, we interview KANE driver, Andre Chollette.
How long have you been with KANE?
In August, I celebrated my seventh year with KANE.
How did you get into trucking?
My father had always encouraged it. I was scared to try it until a life event forced me to step outside my comfort zone. I was planning to work for another northeast PA company, but ultimately chose KANE because of its great reputation.
Describe your typical day.
When I started, I was a metro NYC driver, but now I run locally from the Scranton campus. Being a single dad and having the flexibility to start early in the morning and get back home later the same day provides me the ability to care for my four children (20, 18, 15, and 13).
What’s the best part of your job?
It never feels like it’s work here. The dispatch team is always friendly and positive, while treating you with respect. I like the solitude of being on the road. While it’s a stressful job at times, most of the time it’s relaxing since I have a good amount of freedom on the road. If you’re doing all the things you’re supposed to (being safe, making appointments, being successful), no one micro-manages you. I really appreciate that.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Sometimes consignees are challenging in terms of space. It can be stressful to analyze the proper drop-off location, especially when it’s the first time at a location.
What technologies do you use to make your job easier?
The smart phone is a life-saver. I love an app called ONE20 that is designed specifically for truck drivers, which makes route planning much easier.
How are you challenged by ELDs and the Hours of Service regulations?
It’s very challenging. I often have to pull over if HOS are exhausted. It takes a bit of planning and you need to be smart about your deliveries. A map may tell you it takes a certain amount of time, but drivers know best. Most times, KANE gives drivers the authority to make those decisions if safety is at stake.
Describe the worst consignee locations.
There’s a food company that I deal with that is located on a very busy street, which makes getting in and out very difficult.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while on the job?
Driving to Massachusetts during my second year of driving, a deer crossed a four-lane highway. This caused another 18-wheeler to cross right in front of me, crashing into the guard rail. Somehow, luckily, that other truck just missed me. It goes to show, that you can never take your eye off the road – even for a second. I found out later that the driver who crashed his rig was ok. Just minor bruises.
What’s your favorite food while on the road?
It used to be McDonald's. I was a dedicated #1 on the value-meal menu. However, with the emphasis our company places on health and the rewards it provides through the wellness program, I stopped eating fast food.
Any comments on the driver shortage in the logistics industry?
It’s certainly a challenge that doesn’t appear to be going away. I love my career as a driver and hope that more people enter the field. I feel like they’re missing out!
What advice would you give to those considering a driving career?
It’s one of the best careers you can have. I mean that. I believe that this industry isn’t going anywhere. The industry will always need dedicated, safe, and conscientious drivers to get goods out to customers.
If you could change one thing about the job, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change much. More money is always going to be nice of course and I wish that stressful days were less stressful like with any other job. But, it comes with the territory.