Welcome to the Road Warrior Spotlight Series where we interview some of the greatest drivers on the road and find out more about life at Variant and what makes them tick. Today, we’re joined by Nathan Douglas, a veteran driver that has recently joined Variant in the past 7 months.
Describe your experience working for other trucking companies before you made the switch to Variant.
When you’re driving for other companies, you’re just a number. I was always treated like I was replaceable and beneath the office staff. Variant is the first company that answers the phone by using my name instead of asking for my truck number.
If you had to choose one benefit, what is the best thing about working for Variant?
The respect. Drivers are the first priority for the company. I'm treated like family, and it is nice knowing that I have them in my corner.
Why do you like talking about Variant, particularly as an Ambassador with potential recruits?
Here at Variant, we are not only changing the trucking culture, we are changing lives one driver at a time. Variant has changed my life for the better. Let's just say that when I came to Variant, I was on the brink of losing my house, my vehicles and my family. The financial burden was just too great. After a month of being here, all my bills were current and after 6 months, I'm proud to say that my vehicles are paid off and so is my house. I am truly debt-free.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about applying to drive for Variant?
I know it sounds too good to be true, and I thought it was when I started at Variant. I was very skeptical about it at first, but Variant stayed true to their word. I challenge every driver to give them the chance to deliver on their promises.
What are some common challenges you face as a trucker? How does Variant help you overcome these challenges?
Bad numbers for loads, breakdowns, bad weather, being home time on time, and getting home if there’s a family emergency are everyday challenges. Variant gives us the support we need and allows us to make judgement calls. Being home on time isn't an issue with Variant and they’re always here for us when we need them; especially when we have those emergencies at home. Getting us home comes first, not our loads.
What do you enjoy most about trucking in general?
The daily challenges that the road offers makes it a fulfilling job—and the scenery is always a plus. I’m proving to my former teachers that it does pay to stare out the window all day.
What would you do if you weren’t a truck driver?
I've done several things outside of driving. But I think my calling would be to become a financial advisor and coach for truck drivers.
What major changes have you noticed in the trucking industry throughout your career?
Tighter regulations and not as many new drivers from our younger generations. This is a cause for concern for the future of our industry.
What makes you a great fit at Variant? What do all Variant drivers have in common?
I'm completely loyal to Variant, our drivers and our office staff. I put in a lot of effort to help make us better, because I believe in the company’s vision and goals. I truly believe Variant is a better way of trucking. I think we all are excited to be a part of something new that's bigger than all of us.
What are your must-have supplies when driving?
You can’t drive without great support from office staff and the best tools of the trade. I won't leave home without a good GPS, my atlas and satellite view abilities.
The average driver spends about 300 days on the road each year, which means your truck becomes your de facto home. And like any home, you probably want yours to be a comfortable, safe, and entertaining place to pass the hours on the road.
Today, we’ve got some tips for you from our drivers on products that can make your truck feel just a little bit more comfortable without costing a lot. Direct from truck drivers across the nation, these recommendations are sure to improve time spent on the road.