Orlando trucker inducted into Truck Driver Hall of Fame
TAMPA, Fla. -- The International Food Service Distribution Association just wrapped up a conference in Tampa, where some of the industry's best drivers were inducted into the Truck Driver Hall of Fame. Barry Thomas became a truck driver in a round-about way.
What You Need To Know
- The International Food Service Distribution Association just wrapped up a conference in Tampa, where some of the industry's best drivers were inducted into the Truck Driver Hall of Fame
- Barry Thomas became a truck driver in a round-about way
- He works for McLane trucking in Orlando
- He's excelled as a truck driver and was just inducted into the Truck Driver Hall of Fame
"I used to work for my father," he said. "He had a furniture business when I was young and we used to deliver furniture and everything. So, that's how I got started driving trucks."
That was about 35 years ago, and Thomas says his first job behind the wheel didn't quite end so well. "He kinda fired me, so I said, 'I'll show him. I'll go out and get a job.' I came here and got a job," said Thomas.
He works for McLane trucking in Orlando. In fact, he's done more than work -- he's excelled as a truck driver and was just inducted into the 2022 Truck Driver Hall of Fame. He gives his dad some of the credit.
"My dad always said, 'If you're gonna do something, do it right.' I've just been brought up that way," Thomas added. Thomas says taking control of a big rig is a big responsibility. Before getting behind the wheel, he makes sure everything is running properly.
"We gotta make sure our landing gear is up," said Thomas. "We wanna make sure we have enough fuel in our truck that runs our truck, so we don't run out." He says safety is always his top priority. "People are in a hurry.
The fact that you're hauling 70,000 pounds down the road, you gotta have a lot of patience. You gotta understand the people driving. They've got a job to do.
You just gotta slow down and give it time. Over the years, you just get better and better about it." Barry didn't just get "better and better" -- he is considered one of the best.
"You know, out of 35,000 drivers and they picked 18, I was really honored. I know there's a lot of good drivers and for me to be honored in this pick, I'm still speechless about it. I enjoy being on the road.
I enjoy our customers.
Our customers eventually, if you're on the route long enough, they become our friends, so that helps with the whole job."
That helps make the road like a second home.