Million Mile Driver Spotlight #2
At PGT Trucking, we know the value of having good people and good drivers on our team. Our drivers are not just a number on a truck – they’re Proud Professionals who dedicate their lives to keep our economy growing and ensure we have access to the goods we need every day. PGT treats our drivers with respect, and we focus on delivering five core values to our drivers: Pay, Family/Home Time, Equipment, Respect and Support/Training.
Our next Million Mile Driver spotlight is on Mark Amezcua, a veteran driver who proudly represents PGT through one of our top Independent Contractors. For Mark and all of our Owner Operators, we know that in addition to our five core values, they also need independence, opportunity for growth and access to incentive programs. Independent Contractors face unique challenges as owner/operators, but PGT helps our drivers overcome these challenges to be successful. By working with a reputable carrier like PGT, Owner Operators have access to a strong, consistent freight network, a reliable and profitable customer base and unparalleled support, resources and safety programs.
PGT’s Million Mile and Safe Drivers, whether Independent Contractors, Company Drivers or Lease Purchase Drivers, are the safest and most dependable drivers in our fleet, and we’re honored to celebrate their accomplishments at our annual Million Mile and Safe Driver event.
Meet Mark Amezcua
Mark Amezcua started driving with Kitchen Trucking/PGT Trucking in 2009. Mark enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge with others as a road trainer, but he doesn’t claim to know everything. Mark is always asking questions and looking at other drivers’ methods to find ways to improve. So many new drivers are afraid to ask what seems to be a simple or stupid question, but Mark says there are no stupid questions.
“It’s just something that you don’t know yet, so ask,” advises Mark.
Driving a million safe miles isn’t easy, and there are always close calls along the way. According to Mark, one of the biggest challenges of the job is securing each load correctly. Many drivers constantly worry about their load and wonder if it’s loose or if it might shift after a hard brake maneuver. Mark focuses on proper securement from the start so he can worry about his load less and focus on driving more.
“You can never over secure a load,” says Mark. “You need to feel comfortable with what you’re hauling.”
Mark follows DOT and PGT requirements for load securement, but he will add as many extra securement devices as needed until he’s satisfied that the commodity won’t move. Even so, he still completes his trip inspections routinely to double check that nothing has shifted. Mark takes his time to ensure that his truck, trailer and securement devices are in proper working condition so that he and his fellow motorists are safe. By knowing his load is secure, Mark can then focus on safely navigating the other hazards he faces on the road: construction zones, on/off ramps, traffic, other motorists, etc.
Mark is honored to be recognized as a Million Mile Driver, but he simply wants to get through the day safely and take care of others. Mark wishes that other motorists were more aware of their surroundings and more knowledgeable about truck driving in general. Many people don’t even realize when they’re driving in the truck’s blind spot, which can cause challenges for both drivers.
Mark’s advice? “If you can’t see me in my mirrors, then I can’t see you. Just be aware of everything.”
Mark credits his success to taking things one day at a time. When he first started driving, he didn’t even think about reaching a million miles. He just concentrated on making it through the day without incident. One day became two days, two days became a week, a week became a year. Next thing Mark knew, he was at one million miles and counting.
“You can’t look at a full year from the start. It’s a lot of pressure to put on your shoulders. You have to go one day at a time,” says Mark.
Mark appreciates the opportunity to drive and grow with PGT as part of an Independent Contractor fleet. PGT gives Mark the opportunity to be himself, which he self-describes as nice, loud and straight to the point. Mark’s Fleet/Terminal Managers know he will help out in any situation, and more importantly, they know Mark is a true Proud Professional whom they can count on. Mark’s positive attitude and focus on safety make him a standout driver at PGT. In Mark’s spare time, he enjoys kayaking and renovating his house.
When asked about his next goal at PGT, Mark’s response was simple: “Get through the next day.”
We applaud Mark’s dedication to safety, and we’re thrilled to have him on our team of Proud Professionals. Congratulations on a million miles, Mark!
Drive with Us
PGT understands what it takes for an Independent Contractor to be successful like Mark and his team. We value your independence, and with PGT, you’ll have the option of regional runs, no forced dispatch and the ability to be home weekly. We offer Owner Operators competitive pay rates, including 75% of the line haul, and we have a rich and consistent freight base that allows you to control your own schedule and earning potential.
We want you to succeed, and our Independent Contractors (and all PGT drivers) have 24/7/365 support to ensure that all their safety, equipment and personal needs are met. Owner Operators also have incentive programs like discounts on fuel, parts and tires, access to health care plans and numerous bonus opportunities.