Learning Along the Way
Trucking can feel like all work, all the time. Driving, communicating, maintaining equipment and balancing a budget are all top priorities for a truck driver. But in the moments that you spend in your truck cruising to your next destination, what do you listen to? Music? Your favorite podcast?
Roadrunner Freight IC Dan Duesterman shares his insights about a career in trucking and the intriguing lessons that he has learned while being on the road.
Q: How long have you been driving with Roadrunner Freight?
A: 20 years, coming up on 21 this year in June.
Q: What made you interested in trucking?
A: After I came out of the Navy, I needed a job. This was in 1980. I worked construction for one year after the Navy, then I decided to buy my own truck. What I liked about trucking was that I was able to earn a decent living, and I could control my home time fairly easily.
I was really just in it to earn a living and have a family. I don’t view trucking as a lifestyle. It’s just a job, and it’s not that hard. Work within the confines of what’s in front of you, keep it legal, keep your equipment tidy, and bring money home.
Q: What’s something about you most people don’t know?
A: I come from a very educated family – my mother is an RN and my sisters also work in the medical field. My mother hammered me to go to college, but after I graduated high school in ’75 I decided to join the Navy instead. Despite not having gone to college, I believe passionately in being educated, just not formally. I spent lots of time and money taking various courses that interest me. You can learn anything online these days.
Q: Do you spend a lot of your time driving listening to online courses?
A: I spend quite a bit of time listening to “The Great Courses” while driving. Music can only do so much for someone, and when you are a driver you have a great amount of time on your hands. I like using this time to educate myself on various topics to refine myself.
Q: What are some of your favorite topics to learn about from “The Great Courses?”
A: Given that I was in the Navy prior, I like to learn about how ships are designed and built, understand how they work and what purpose they serve. I even like learning about the differences between the different seas.
Tying into that, that’s actually what I really like about trucking. The point of this job is logistics. What is involved to get your product from the manufacturer to your front door? How many hands touch it? That interests me very much.
Q: You talked about how you like that the job gives you the flexibility to adjust your home time. Can you tell me more about your family?
A: Yes. I am married to my wonderful wife who I met when I was 26. I have two step children, 8 grand kids and quite a few great-grand kids now. I love being married and I love spending time with family. Joy in life comes from taking care of those you love.