• Pictured on the cover of National Truckin Magazine are two outstanding company drivers: Jackie Taylor, the Highway Transport driver who achieved two million miles, and Dexter Ratliff, 13-year Highway Transport driver trainer.  

    Both are company drivers, not owner operators. Currently, Highway’s most pressing need is for system drivers. It is a little-known fact, but Highway has been welcoming owner operators for many years.  Recently, Highway Transport owner operators enjoyed a 7% pay increase.

    Soon after receiving the 2-million-mile award Jackie had a no-fault accident that totaled his truck…he hit a bear while driving on I-40 through the mountain wilderness of western North Carolina (an area commonly referred to as “The Gorge.”)  Thankfully, Jackie was unharmed, but the encounter earned him the nickname “the Davy Crockett of Highway Transport.” If you are lucky enough to see Jackie Taylor on the road, be sure to shake his hand. How will you know it is Jackie? His is the Highway Transport tanker sporting this new decal. Larry Edwards, Fleet Director, designed the special emblem to place on Jackie’s truck. “We’ve got to honor Jackie in a big way. We want to tell the world about his milestone. This is one small step we can take to show the proper reverence for Jackie’s remarkable achievement. He is a hero of Highway Transport.”If you are a driver and drive safely for the amount of time it takes to accumulate that many miles, you could eventually have the opportunity to attain million-mile status. It is one thing to drive a normal box truck a million miles, but it is quite extraordinary and amazing to operate a chemical tanker truck for that many miles. It took Jackie about a decade to achieve his first million-mile award. That was back in 2007. But what an amazing feat to do it again. It takes an elite class of drivers to operate 65-foot chemical tankers.

    As we all know, tanker drivers are not your average typical “trucker.” Chemical tank drivers possess an extraordinary set of skills. Highway Transport drivers are selected based on their stable demeanor and specialized certifications. They are heroes with the deepest concern for others. An Army veteran (1988 to 1994), Dexter Ratliff is a calming presence at Highway Transport. Dexter has spent many years in a leadership role guiding and instructing drivers about chemical tanker procedures. Dexter is the reason Highway is home to the top tanker driving talent in the industry.  “Dexter is one of those people you can get in the truck with, take off down the road, and you just know everything will be alright.” says Joe Sheldon, Highway Transport Director of Recruiting.Customers appreciate Dexter’s attention to detail. He delivers many loads to high-security chemical facilities. He is well versed in the safety protocol of chemical facilities. He does a great job training drivers in the finer details of chemical tankers. Most of the time, a driver will encounter guards at entrance gates. Highway Transport drivers are frequently required to open every door and hatch + the main hood. Guards take a mirror on a long pole and walk around the truck prior to entering the gate.  

    When it comes to reaching top-tier company leaders, Highway Transport maintains an open-door policy. “Any driver is welcome to contact me at any of time,” says Greg Watkins, CEO of Highway Transport + Co-Chair of Watkins Associated Industries. “Dexter is one of those drivers I hardly ever hear from. I hardly ever hear anything about him, but I know he’s there. Many nights I have rested in the assurance that Dexter is handling anything that comes up.”Safe chemical tanker driving is celebrated as an act of heroism. We connect with all drivers—the outspoken ones as well as the quiet ones. Dexter is one of the quiet ones, but spend two minutes with Dexter, and you get a sense of his might, his strength. Dexter prefers to remain out of the spotlight. As the saying goes “still waters run deep.” Former 27-year Highway Transport President Gary Reagan once said, “Sometimes I wish every driver in our fleet was exactly like Dexter.”Are you an owner-operator interested in transitioning over to tanker? Are you a professional truck driver interested in finding a home where drivers are held in the highest regard? Consider a career with Highway Transport. Check out the corporate web presence hytt.com.

     

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    Discover tanker positions for today’s trucking professional when you visit Drive4Highway.com. Currently, the most pressing need is for system drivers. Oftentimes, a system driver transitions into a Regional driver. Highway Transport is a tanker trucking company in operation since 1948 providing transportation of specialty chemicals throughout the United States and Canada. Our tank fleet has served chemical manufacturers with the highest quality service and equipment. The longstanding perception of Highway Transport continues to be one of family and tradition. However, the company has always been very agile, very quick to adapt to business trends.