Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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Walks of Life

Driving for a living


A trucker, a bus driver, a car repairman and an elderly care transporter walk into a bar… Gas prices may be climbing, but that won’t stop those who spend their workday behind the wheel. Their services are essential and sacrifices many, but still, they wouldn’t trade their jobs for the world. Here are their stories. ♦

Regional trucker 

Anthony Keenan has driven for Liquid Trucking out of Omaha since February 2017.

He used to drive long-haul routes, but now he’s home nightly. Keenan says the craziest route he’s driven involved going from Omaha to Washington, back to Omaha and then to New Jersey and back without a break.

“The best part of the job is I get to see all over the country, and the pay is good. The worst part is being away from my family,” Keenan says.

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It’s also physically hard to sit for long periods of time. Truckers have a greater incidence of musculoskeletal problems from sitting, as well as a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis.

“I wish people knew how much truck drivers sacrifice for the job and that, when you see one on the road, it’s important to be courteous. But it’s the right job for me, and I do plan on driving until I retire.”

Source: Johnston Living April 2022; 
by Ashley Rullestad

School bus driver

Brenda Wilson is one of 14 female bus drivers in the Indianola Community School District. She was nervous about taking the exam for her Class B Commercial Driver’s License, but earned it in August 2020.

“The thought of maneuvering such a huge vehicle scared the living daylights out of me,” she says, laughing.

She says the interaction with the kids is the best part of her job.

As for dealing with inclement weather — particularly snow — Wilson was nervous at first, but it only took one time getting stuck on a country road to find out just how quickly “base” was responsive at getting her out. She has gained much confidence knowing that drivers have the back up and help when needed.

“The support of everyone in transportation is overwhelming, and I would recommend this position to anyone,” she says. “Testing is so worth it to be with these kiddos each day.”

Source: Indianola Living April 2022; 
by Becky Kolosik

Roadside assistance 

If you ask Josh Haynes about the best part of running a mobile car repair business, as well as towing and offering roadside assistance for AAA, he’ll answer simply: the variety. 

“Every day is different,” he says. “I might be in the shop swapping an engine one day and down at the marina fixing a boat the next.”

Haynes’ favorite memory from his experiences thus far was when he was called to tow a car for a couple of women who had broken down on the side of the road and needed to get the car from Winterset to Des Moines. 

“On the way to drop it off, they talked about how they had visited almost every state, and this was their first time to Iowa,” he recalls. “They marveled at how nice and helpful everyone in Winterset had been and how it had completely changed their view on how the world can be.”

Source: Winterset Living April 2022; 
by Lindsey Giardino

Elderly care transport

Nichole Phillips’ passion for older folks stems from a love of her grandparents — a love that takes her business on the road. Phillips is owner of Compassionate Care Transportation, where she provides transportation, primarily for seniors.

“My grandparents were a huge inspiration in my life, and I wanted to give back,” she says.

Her service doesn’t include wheelchair transportation; however, she offers door-to-door drop off. For example, she’ll walk her client to his or her appointment location, as many medical complexes are difficult to navigate.

Phillips enjoys the stories the seniors share with her.

“I drove a 99-year-old man to meet with his friends for lunch. He shared that he was going skydiving on his 100th birthday,” she says. “It made me smile.”

Building relationships is important, Phillips says.

“Hearing their stories and learning from them — they have so much wisdom,” she reflects. “I’ve met a lot of wonderful people.”

Source: Jordan Creek Living April 2022; 
by Jackie Wilson


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