Richard Clifford always knew the ins and outs of trucking. You could say that trucking runs in his blood. Richard's dad, uncle, grandfather and several aunts are all involved in trucking in some way. So it wasn't a surprise to Richard's family when he took up the "family business" and went for his CDL at the young age of 22. "I knew I could make good money in this career," Richard said, "There is great opportunity to grow and the job is always needed."
Perks of the Job
Now 24, Richard has been trucking for a little over two years and has just enough experience under his belt to know what he likes and doesn't like about trucking. "I love the scenery," said Richard, "You get to see beautiful parts of the country on the job. My favorite drive so far was a stretch between Idaho and Spokane, WA." But he is quick to point out that not all parts of the country offer such relaxing, pretty drives. "California is probably the most frustrating in terms of traffic," Richard said, "Traffic is easily the worst part of the job."
He usually tries to keep his hours lower than the allowed maximum of 11. "I try to spread the work out a bit that way," Richard said.
When Richard isn't trucking he is usually spending time with his family in New Mexico and Oklahoma. He enjoys visiting with his mom, dad and sister and hunting, fishing and camping. Richard also recently purchased his own home in Oklahoma. While he isn't home for long stretches, he enjoys the security of having his own place; and he is blessed to have family nearby who can help with the lawn and general maintenance when he is out on a run. "I'm thankful my cousin is only a few blocks away," Richard said, "She mows for me and checks up on the house. I usually repay her with a nice dinner when I'm back in town."
Picking a CompanyRichard has only been with K & J for about four months, but once he started it was clear he had made the right choice. "I really like K & J," Richard said, "They have awesome staff and great dispatchers. They try their best to help you and make your job as easy as possible. I was down for 3 days recently because I ran over a spare tire that came off the car in front of me. They didn’t give me any grief. That wouldn't have been true with my previous company."
To Own or Not to Own?
While he has considered becoming an owner operator or using K & J's lease-to-own program, he is currently happy just driving K & J's company truck. Being an owner operator can be a great financial decision, but it is not without risks. You have to know you want to be in trucking long-term for buying to make sense. It also requires a large monthly payment on the truck which is difficult for some drivers. Richard hasn't ruled out the possibility of growing into an owner operator, but for now he is quite comfortable working for K&J as a company driver.
If you're looking for a change, check out K & J!