HMT – Greg, congratulations on 20 years! That’s awesome. Trucking often sees people come and go, sometimes several times over, but not you. What has kept you at Hyndman/Celadon Canada/Gerth Transport through the years.
GREG – I’m not a subscriber to the ‘grass is greener’ philosophy. There’s upheaval and costs associated with moving around. That’s not for me. I’m invested at Hyndman. I’ve learned the systems, adapted where I needed to and built strong relationships here. I know the people well and they know me. We mutually benefit from this. Mike, my DM, really works for me. I believe my success is important to him. In return, I do what I can to make his day a little easier. It just works – why upset the apple cart?
HMT - How did you come into trucking?
GREG – It was a bucket list sort of thing. After studying Business & Marketing in college, I worked in retail advertising for many years. I also took my turn at real estate and mutual funds but the 9 to 5 urban rat race wasn’t for me. I was born and raised in Peterborough, ON and had pretty much stayed close to home my whole life. I was looking for an adventure of sorts to broaden my world. Trucking offered me that opportunity.
HMT – Trucking has changed quite a bit over the past 20 years. How have you coped with the changing job and industry?
GREG – I’ve always been resilient. I search for solutions, adapt and can think on my feet. That’s not to say it’s always been easy. For me, I like to keep things simple. I’m at a point in my career where routine is a good thing. I earned a spot on the GM Dedicated run and it’s afforded me a good work/life balance.
HMT – Is achieving a good work/life balance a priority for you?
GREG – I can say it is now. Not unlike many of my colleagues behind the wheel, I’ve endured the challenges of the road. I was an O/O for a period during some tough economical times. My truck died, my marriage ended and I was a Dad with kids who needed me. I think trucking today offers more flexibility and support towards maintaining a healthy balance with better home time and run options. Today’s technology helps too.
HMT – So Greg, how do you spend your downtime?
GREG – The lady in my life is a lead-hand on an alpaca farm – 90 alpacas and about a half-dozen horses. I spend a lot of time helping around the farm. I really enjoy it. I also like to dabble in writing. I lean towards the historical fiction genre.
HMT – Wow! 90 alpacas! Can’t say as we’ve heard many drivers spending their downtime this way. Now that’s fascinating. Let’s play the “favourites” game.
What is your favourite:
GREG - Well, my karaoke go to songs are Joe Cocker’s “Feeling Alright” and Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”.
GREG – Pot roast, for sure.
GREG - The Flying J in London, ON at exit 189. It’s the place that knows me by name. The people are great, it’s clean with good amenities.
GREG – It’s a bit lengthy to get into here. Let’s just say it involves me, my truck and a train in Springfield, IL back in my rookie days. It was shall we say a teachable moment that still resonates well with me twenty-some years later.
HMT – Greg, thanks for chatting with us. As we wrap things up, what advice can you offer folks out there starting out or considering a career in trucking?
GREG – I would say that you should first ask yourself “Are you comfortable with your own company?” If you are, then you’re off to a good start. Then, have a game plan to cope with the periods of solitude on the road and strive for a good work/life balance to mitigate what we call sacrifices of the job.
HMT – Greg, on behalf of everyone at Hyndman, thank you. We are very grateful for your 20 years with us and wish you continued success on the road and with your 90 alpacas on the farm!