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 newest installment, we interview KANE driver Kevin Belfon.
How long have you been with KANE?
Approximately 8 months. I left a top-10 national carrier to come to Kane Is Able. KANE’s pay is better and they give me the flexibility to be home on weekends with my family.
How did you get into trucking?
I’ve always been interested in trucks. I started by towing cars. I then moved to transporting cars to auction sites. I worked my way into driving tractor trailers. After a while, I bought a truck from the company I was working for and drove for them as an owner-operator. I did that for years but then sold the truck after that company began changing pay rates and making the overall working experience a challenge. It was after this that I went to work for that national trucking company.
Describe your typical day.
I get up at 3 a.m. and I’m at KANE’s Scranton terminal by 4 a.m. My typical day has me delivering in the New York City metro region in the morning hours. Most days, I’m in and out. It depends. There are stores and shippers that are better at accommodating drivers. I love those stops. That preparation and professionalism go a long way. It keeps me moving and on time for my return run to Scranton.
What’s the best part of your job?
I really like seeing different areas. The travel into the New York metro region keeps my driving skills sharp. The way I look at it, if you can drive safely in NYC, you can drive anywhere. Even if I leave Scranton early, I hit traffic. It’s just the way it is. You just need to go into each day being prepared and able to manage your day. I just like driving and I appreciate driving for a company that values my contribution.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
To be honest, it’s sometimes tough to get up at 3 a.m. Other than that, some delivery spots in the city are a challenge. You need to be on top of your game to maneuver within tight spaces and back into docks.
What technologies do you use to make your job easier?
Maps on my phone are incredibly handy at times. I use the street view to find the loading docks. I can then determine the best way to get my trailer in safely. Once I’ve delivered, I’m good from then on.
How are you challenged by ELDs and the Hours of Service regulations?
I understand the importance of the regulation, but it actually doesn’t affect me. I know there is no cheating. That’s another thing I like about KANE. The entire operation is set up to make drivers successful. Our in-cab devices make reporting organized. Everything is tracked for me. That allows me to concentrate on being safe and making my deliveries.
Describe the worst consignee location.
There is a club store location off the Garden State Parkway (NJ). The location of the store is in a strip mall on a one-way street with a gym next door to it. There are parked cars everywhere. It’s extremely hard to maneuver in that location. When I see that delivery point on my schedule, I make sure am well rested the night before!
What’s your favorite food while on the road?
Wings and fries. I know, I know…
Any comments on the driver shortage in the logistics industry?
It’s crazy. I think young people are scared away by negative portrayals of trucks in the media. Sure, the job can be dangerous at times. It takes a special person to do this job every day. However, it’s also incredibly rewarding, and I like the people I work with. If you have a safety-first mindset and a professional attitude, there are tons of opportunities.
What advice would you give to those considering a driving career?
You’ve got to love driving. When I’m on the road, I don’t look at it as a job. I truly enjoy it. There is a different task and a new challenge every day. It keeps it fresh.
If you could change one thing about the job, what would it be?
If we could deliver at off-hour times, that would be great. There is less traffic on the roads and it would makes it a breeze to get out and back to my family every day.