Million Mile Driver Spotlight #4
At PGT Trucking, safety is the driving force behind everything we do. “Safety is Everyone’s Job – All the Time,” and for our drivers, it’s what gets them home to their families each week. We support our drivers by providing them with the resources, tools and knowledge to be safe and reliable flatbed truckers.
Every driver candidate goes through a thorough training and orientation program, and based on their skill level, they may drive with a Certified PRO Trainer before driving by themselves. Even after training, our Safety Managers continually provide coaching to our drivers to improve their overall safety scores. Our drivers have 24/7/365 access to our training team, Fleet Managers and Safety/Risk departments. Whenever a driver has a question about load securement, vehicle safety or equipment, they can contact our team to get the help and answers they need.
We celebrate the safety and success of all our drivers, but a select few have taken safety to the next level. Drivers in our Million Mile and Safe Driver Programs have surpassed our safety goals, including our next driver spotlight, Matthew Kroft.
Meet Matthew Kroft
After years of doing construction in California, Matthew Kroft decided to enter the trucking industry, and in 2010, he packed up his 1989 Chevrolet Blazer and drove to Pennsylvania to complete his PGT orientation as a Company Driver. A million miles later, Matt has experienced a career full of adventure and opportunity. He enjoys seeing different parts of the country (while getting paid for it) and loves that the job is different every day.
Matt believes that trucking is a lifestyle, not just a job, and he knows that flatbed truck driving is an even more specialized role. Thanks to a few years of over the road experience as a van driver, Matt felt it was easier for him to transition to the world of flatbed. He was already comfortable driving a truck, which allowed him to focus on commodity securement and other aspects of flatbed truck driving.
“Trying to learn both driving and flatbedding at the same time would have been difficult,” admits Matt.
For new drivers, Matt encourages them to listen carefully during orientation and to not be afraid to ask questions, even when they’re out on the road. There are always people available to steer them on the right path.
“There are many knowledgeable people at PGT to help you be your best, be safe and be successful,” says Matt. “There’s a lot of good material in orientation about how to be safe and happy while trucking with PGT. Take time to soak it all in.”
Matt knows that safely driving a million miles (and more) isn’t easy, so he focuses on the lessons he learned from his training. He always tries to maintain a “space cushion” in the front, back and both sides of him, and he keeps his view far enough ahead so that he can appropriately adjust his speed based on the situation.
“You have to drive with the idea that others do not see you and anticipate their errors,” explains Matt.
Matt utilizes the five keys of the Smith System, a safe driver training based on precautionary driving measures. At PGT, our trainers are also certified Smith System instructors, and this training is part of our orientation program. Our drivers can’t control the weather or the other motorists around them, but they can anticipate and avoid unsafe situations by following the Smith System.
At PGT, Matt has the support and comradery he needs to be successful in the truck. Matt enjoys connecting with his fellow drivers, whether through group texts, saying hello at truck stops or even getting a friendly wave on the road. Matt also appreciates the communication he has with PGT, not just with his Fleet Manager, but with the corporate office and supporting personnel as well.
“I can call anytime and get someone on the phone to answer my questions or help resolve my problems,” says Matt.
We’re happy to answer Matt’s call, and we will always be here to support Matt and all our drivers. For Matt, hitting the million mile mark is just the beginning.
“My next goal? Another 10 years and another million miles.”
Congratulations, Matt! Here’s to another million!
Join Our Team
Come join the company that utilizes safe practices each and every day! New to flatbed? No problem! PGT will give you the support and resources you need in order to be successful and make it home to your family safely. Your training doesn’t end after orientation. Our drivers have support 24/7/365, with immediate access to their Fleet Managers, Safety/Risk Teams and Training Department, so that every question about load securement and vehicle safety is answered. PGT offers great benefits, including a percentage pay package, health insurance, 401(k) programs and late model equipment.
PGT is committed to safety: “Safety is Everyone’s Job – All the Time,” and our goal is to be the safest and most reliable flatbed carrier in the industry. This starts at the top with our CEO and founder, Pat Gallagher, and applies to every employee, driver and member of the PGT team.