Celebrating Cultural Influences during Hispanic Heritage Month
PGT Trucking is proud to employ drivers and staff of diverse backgrounds, and during National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the cultural influences from the Hispanic community. In 2021, Hispanics accounted for 23.6% of the U.S. transportation workforce. At PGT, 20.0% of our corporate employees and 18.0% of our truck driver base are Hispanic. They have strong roots from Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Guatemala, Argentina and other Latin American countries. They are truck drivers, billing specialists, recruiters, safety personnel, risk analysts, fleet managers and more. They are all a part of PGT, and we are proud to share the following truck drivers’ stories.
Adrian Alvarado lives in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and he has been truck driving for 20 years, seven of which were in the United States—four with PGT. Adrian is a foreign national truck driver with a B-1 visa, allowing Adrian to pick up and deliver cargo for international business. Adrian spends a significant amount of time in the U.S., and he believes it’s important to join the right company in order to overcome any culture barriers he may face while on the road.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with PGT,” states Adrian. “PGT’s language support has helped me succeed as an international truck driver. It’s easier to get the job done when I can communicate directly with people at PGT.”
The majority of departments at PGT maintain at least one bilingual representative to better assist our Proud Professionals, including Adrian’s Fleet Manager, Javier Ramos. Javier also speaks Spanish, and the two maintain a close working relationship.
“Javier gets where I’m coming from,” notes Adrian. “He knows my culture, and I can speak comfortably with him since he understands the local slang.”
Adrian appreciates the freedom that trucking provides him. He comes from a long line of truckers, and like his family members before him, Adrian enjoys visiting new places; however, he’s always happy to get back home in Mexico. Family is one of the most important aspects of his Hispanic culture, and Adrian chose to drive internationally to provide more opportunities for his family, noting that there are better benefits and increased job security by going over-the-road.
“I always want to make it home to my family,” says Adrian. “They keep me focused on being safe while driving.”
Another part that Adrian loves about his Mexican heritage is their overall festive nature, and the food is always exceptional. His wife’s roast beef recipe is a particular favorite, and tacos are always appreciated, too, “but only if the tortilla is homemade with fresh corn!” Adrian explains.
Adrian is a proud Hispanic truck driver, and he works hard, doing the best that he possibly can to make PGT and his family proud of him as well.
Roberto Zapata lives in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, with his wife and three daughters. Roberto has been a truck driver since 2005, and he has been driving with PGT for 14 years. Roberto is also a B-1 driver, and he enjoys the time he gets to drive in the U.S. His favorite places to travel are Midwest states like Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, which give him a chance to experience different seasons, including winter weather like snow. For Roberto, though, the best part about driving in the U.S. is the overall consideration for safety.
“In the U.S., everyone follows the rules,” Roberto says. “It’s a lot different than driving in Mexico, and I appreciate how the U.S. views and enforces safety.”
He knows there are a lot of variables outside of his control, like the weather and other motorists, so he takes his time to focus on what he can control, like his driving habits and cargo securement. His strongest motivation to stay safe is getting home to his family, and Roberto is grateful for PGT’s safety efforts.
“It’s helpful when PGT communicates with me in Spanish, especially with their safety messages,” states Roberto. “I’m able to understand everything clearly and know exactly what to do.”
Roberto speaks English as well, but it’s easier to comprehend things in his primary language of Spanish. When Roberto travels in the U.S., he tries to stay true to his heritage by speaking a little Spanish along the way. Language plays a major role in Roberto’s identity, but his favorite aspect of his Hispanic culture is the food—especially carne asada. Family is also meaningful, and he loves spending time with his wife and daughters when he’s home.
When he’s on the road, Roberto has a passion for driving, and he’s found support and success at PGT.
“This is a good company,” says Roberto. “I don’t want to drive for anyone else.”
Ramon Garibay is a third-generation American from Laredo, Texas; his grandparents originated from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Ramon has been driving for 25 years, and he recently joined PGT in April 2021. Truck driving has given Ramon an opportunity to provide for his family, and at PGT, he has been able to run a local lane so that he’s home more often. Ramon enjoys spending more time with his wife and three daughters, but he lovingly admits that they keep him busier than ever!
For Ramon, being Hispanic means he gets to experience the best of both Mexican and American cultures.
“I’m exposed to a variety of things,” says Ramon. “I feel more fulfilled in life by knowing two cultures and languages. I also love the food from both places!”
Ramon believes the greatest aspect of his Hispanic heritage is a hard work ethic, something that was instilled in him at a young age. Everyone has to work hard to support the family, which made truck driving a natural choice for Ramon.
“Truck driving is the way I take care of my family,” states Ramon. “I started driving when I turned 21, and it’s just something that I’ve kept doing.”
Ramon is a PGT Trucking Certified PRO Trainer, tasked with teaching our new Apprentice and B-1 drivers through real world situations on the road. He interacts with our international truck drivers frequently, and it helps them to connect through their shared heritage.
“We have a great environment at our Laredo office,” says Ramon. “We’re all from different backgrounds, but we can communicate effectively.”
Ramon sees the hard work and dedication of our B-1 drivers, including their desire to overcome any cultural differences while in the U.S. He knows that it takes a little extra help to get our international truck drivers started, but once they build some confidence, these trained drivers are able to adapt to any situation, thanks to Ramon’s guidance.
“We’re all proud to be a part of PGT and work hard,” states Ramon.
Drive with PGT Trucking
PGT believes that there is strength in diversity, and we are proud of our drivers and employees from all backgrounds. Interested in joining our team? We offer language support, industry-leading benefits including healthcare and a 401(k) plan, and more! Come drive for the company that celebrates who you are!