In his 17-year driving career, New York native Milo Moore has seen a bit of everything, both on the freeway and in his experience at various employers. For a while he was even his own boss, an experiment that showed him how difficult it is to make a living as an owner / operator.
But the last five years have been particularly educational for Moore and have shown him how much more fun it is to work with the right employer.
“My business was unsuccessful and I needed a job,” he said. “I applied everywhere and had three options at different companies. I used to do brokered loads for Virginia Transportation and I thought it would be a good fit. You exceeded my expectations. At first I thought I wouldn’t be staying here long, but I will retire here. “
Moore, 35, said his employer has other, more subtle qualities that he values in addition to the usual salary and benefits. The opportunity to officially share years of trucking knowledge with the next generation of drivers is one of those things.
“Virginia Transportation asked me to look after new employees and existing employees, and I did that for two years,” he said. “They asked me to train a couple of guys and they turned out to be excellent vans. I cannot say enough about this company. Wherever you want to go, they let you go in your career. “
Moore, who lives in Florida, transports cars for Virginia Transportation in Rhode Island, a gig that has taken him across the lower 48 states and into Canada.
He said he got a taste of work early in life – kind of.
“My father grew up and was a police officer and worked part-time for a towing company,” he said. “I drove around in the tow truck as a kid and I loved it. When I was 14, I got a job with this towing company. I started washing cars and then taking care of the tow trucks. After I got my driver’s license, they had me towed a bit and drove on from there. I got my Class A (CDL) on the day I turned 21. “
Moore loved the job and the freedom of driving, but like any newcomer, he had to pay his share of the dues.
“They watch the older boys and they make it look easy, so try to imitate that,” he said. “This speed comes with time. Anyone who tells you they haven’t damaged a cargo in their career is lying to you. You learn by screwing it up and you hope the failures are minimal. “
As time went on, the work got smoother and the routes got longer, from an initial territory to the tri-state New York / New Jersey / Connecticut to long-distance travel to California.
“I started venturing out to the west coast when we got a contract with Enterprise,” he said. “I brought Priuses to California and Mustangs and Camaros back east because they were worth more on their respective shores. I never left the northeast until about 2014. Now I love the longer trips. “
There is a downside to these transports, Moore admits – away from home all the time. The distance between him and his wife and two children is a sting that neither time nor experience has dulled.
“It’s hard to be gone. I call my children every evening. I’ve missed so much and I’ll never get it back, but you try to be there for the greatest things, ”he said. “At the same time, you have to put everything in your pocket for this job and concentrate on what you are doing, because so much can go wrong here so quickly. Your main focus is on getting home. “
With that, Moore closes the conversation and says that with the support of a good employer, many of the difficulties of the job can be made more manageable. He says he’s found this at every level at Virginia Transportation.
“I tell the younger folks that you want to look for a company that has the three most important things you need – good equipment, wages and benefits,” he said. “The level, the Virginia [Transportation] keeps her gear … I don’t think we have trucks that are more than three or four years old. We get the latest equipment all the time, and that makes life easier. It is important to you that you get the safest equipment. “
Of course, there’s more to a good place to work than just making sure your equipment is top notch, noted Moore.
“And perks, a lot of younger people aren’t worried about perks, but they should,” he continued. “We have full health care, retirement, all of that.”
Moore said that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 had shown the character of many freight forwarding companies in how they looked after their drivers during an incredibly challenging time.
“What [Virginia Transportation] while the pandemic did for us, no one else in the industry did it, ”he said. “There were people in other companies who were laid off well into 2021. Many of our people were on leave, but about 30% of our fleet never stopped working. And they paid for our medical services for the entire time we (had to) work. “
Virginia Transportation worked hard to provide work for as many drivers as possible.
“As the freight slowed down, I thought, ‘Okay, I’ve been on the road for a little over a month. I go home.’ I went home for a week – and the day my week was up they got a huge job, ”said Moore. “We moved 30,000 rental cars for Enterprise and Hertz from Florida to Atlanta Motor Speedway because nobody rents cars. Typically 60% of their fleet is on the road at all times, leaving nowhere to go for those cars. We did that all summer last year. “
Throughout his career, Moore said he seldom missed the opportunity to extol the benefits of the trucking industry for the next generation. After almost 20 years and over 2.4 million kilometers, he’s still excited about what he’s doing.
“With Virginia [Transportation] I could be anywhere in the lower 48 or the four provinces of Canada any day. I go everywhere, ”he said. “I like the southwest. I really enjoy these 11 western states; it’s wide open and beautiful. It’s a different world out there. “
Every driver has a story to tell, and that story could encourage others to explore a career in truck driving. And sometimes a horn is enough.
“I’m just one person on the whole, but when you can influence a child, that’s great. You always see these kids on the streets of the city and they pump their arm to blow the horn. It’s cool to put a smile on their faces, ”said Moore. “I am very proud to receive compliments for the way I look after my truck. I’ve had women come with their children and they think the truck is the coolest thing. Just let them take a look at it and answer any questions they have. I really enjoy that. “