Xavier Cook, driver of the year with Brite Logistics, Inc. has almost 14 years of experience in OTR trucking. He has been working for UPS and SWIFT trucking companies and ends up driving with Brite Logistics. At the moment he has been driving for more than 2 years with Brite.
Xavier has told us his story and has given some piece of advice for truck drivers that are looking for a good trucking company to work for.
What is it like to be a truck driver?
Life of a truck driver
Let’s start with the question most future drivers ask themselves: why become a truck driver? Most of the drivers tell us that they wanted to travel, to explore the country. They would like to be their own boss, earn money and don’t spend time locked up in the office 9-to-5. Xavier was one of such explorers.
“Well, what made me become a truck driver is, I just wanted to explore. I just wanted to see the United States myself. I was working to get my pilot license, and I was trucking.”
“I love traveling. So that’s why I became a truck driver.”
Xavier Cook has started his trucking career with UPS, where he had a great experience and great reviews. Then he went to SWIFT. With them he got two letters of recommendation from two different companies, one from cold storage and one from a freeze.
“Basically, one letter said I was professional. And you can see that letter if you happen to be at West Valley, Utah.”
Best place to start a trucking career
Xavier wanted to get into reefers.
“I thought I’d make more over there, but with reefers you’re always on the move. It’s really stressful, I guess, thanks to UPS, that kind of built up their salary, but it’s really different compared to Brite. It’s more tense.”
“Then, you got to check the temperature, you got to make sure the product is in place. Then, of course, sometimes you deliver to grocery stores and special customers.”
Xavier depicted that one winter he was delivering some set of medical supplies to Oregon. It was over 700 miles to that clinic like the same day drive. He had coped with it and got a letter of appreciation from the company. It said they appreciated the service and dedication.
After UPS was SWIFT.
“It was amazing, but then I was trying on leaving, and I heard about Brite from my good friend, Alex. And he mentioned that the pay was great. So, I called Brite. I was planning to bring my truck over and I thought that was great.”
Xavier was going to bring his truck but had to leave it in Utah, because SWIFT had terminated his contract.
“You have been a great driver, always on time, and everybody appreciates you. We don’t want you to go, but if you’re planning on leaving, send out your truck.”
He was upset, just stuck in the middle of Utah, and all of a sudden, he paid a substantial down payment to take the truck out. Xavier was going to Brite and had booked the flight to Chicago. When he arrived he explained the situation with the truck and his stuff in storage in Utah. Xavier left all his belongings there and came to orientation. The same day he got his Brite truck and the first load.
“All my stuff was in West Valley. The same day, my first load. That was amazing!”
“My first load was a dead head over to 250 miles. Pick up that load and go straight to West Valley, Utah. It was great! They allowed me to get that settled. That was amazing and I was really touched! All my stuff is in like half of the country, from my truck and the same day, here I am getting all my stuff back. It was amazing!”
Your teammate and a friend on the road
Xavier had a chance to team-up with different dispatchers while working with Brite. All of them were professional and supportive.
“My first dispatcher, Tony, was great. There was communication. After that, it was Diego, who I still talk to till this day.
Great dispatcher! Friend, brother in a way. Absolutely amazing!
And Sean, he was great. He always told me, “I really wish there were more drivers like you.” And Sam. Every time I got a problem, I would talk to Sam and he would instantly resolve it. Anyways, I got Dave. He was of great help. It was amazing. Every time there was a problem, Dave was there.
So, Dave unfortunately got a better thing, want to move on and whereas the best thing that happened was they gave me Sam. I was really happy on the way that I’m with Sam again. This guy that literally took care of me since day one. I never forget that and don’t want to let him down. It was amazing work. I don’t want to choose favorites, but if you work with someone longer, things go really smooth. Every driver I talked to that worked with Sam will always talk about how great and professional he is.”
“Xavier is a very reliable driver. Always ready to help. Always ready to do some recovery for us. He is a dream driver for us! I wish all the drivers were like him.”
OTR truck driver
What skills and personal traits trucking career expects you to have?
Xavier Cook is the Best Driver of the Year 2020 with Brite Logistics and has got appreciation from other trucking companies. We asked him what personal traits and skills are important to achieve success in OTR truck driver’s career.
“You gotta ask yourself do you like being alone. Not too many people can handle being alone.
What you need to have is that you’ve got to be a people person, really. And you got to learn a little bit of professionalism. You got to dress decent, you can’t just wear flip flops.
The customer is our client, so you have to treat them as such and if the customer wants anything, you work within the best of your ability to do so.
I’m just trying to build relationships and keep it professional because you never know who you are talking to and you end up having a contract worth keeping.”
How to choose the right trucking company to drive for
The best trucking company for you
Many truck drivers are interested in how to choose the best trucking company to work for. What would Xavier suggest to think about and what to pay attention to.
“Choosing the best company is really suggestive and it all depends on what you want. For me personally it is kindness. I don’t care how much I’m making, but if it’s too much of a headache, I’m gone.
And that’s what I really love about Brite. Dispatchers are kind and they’re willing to work with you.
I can tell you, back in 2019, there was a situation. My great grandmother, she got diagnosed with, I don’t know what to call it. Basically for three months stretch, they put me like local, regional, I was allowed to take the truck home. The fact that they told me to take as much time as you want. They let me go home every night basically. Yes. I got home every night and would take care of my grandmother. I will never forget how Sam and everyone else made it possible for me to take care of my great grandmother. After that situation was settled, I was back to business.
I can go on and on, but what can I say? They didn’t have to do that. I’m really grateful!”
We appreciate Xavier for his hard and dedicated work and we are looking forward to working for many productive years together.