Read Mike's point of view of the experience: https://www.teamrunsmart.com/articles/career-smart/november-2022/taking-on-the-road-as-a-team
Not long ago, I had the opportunity to run Team with an unlikely driver. The driver I partnered with has the normal title of Regional Sales Manager for Daimler Truck North America. Mike Stricker wanted to experience driving a new Freightliner Cascadia equipped with all the latest safety systems and power train in a real-life scenario.
I hooked us up with a 1,876-mile run from Laredo, TX to Swedesboro, NJ. Mike flew and met up with me in Laredo to take the first part of the drive. He drove for five hours while I slept on this first segment. It was difficult for me to stay asleep as I am not used to running a team operation. It seemed as though I felt every nook and cranny that the truck encountered on the road. It wasn't that the truck rode poorly. It was simply the fact that I was not used to sleeping in a vehicle as I am normally the driver. After Mike's first five hours driving, I took over for a while and later stopped to have breakfast at Creek Travel Center in Atmore, Alabama, and to stretch out our legs.
Mike took over after our break and drove us through Montgomery, AL, and Atlanta, GA. We stopped for fuel in Spartanburg, SC, and later arrived at the rest area in Concord, NC where we switched drivers again.
I finished our trip to New Jersey where we got unloaded. After we finished being unloaded, we switched drivers once more and Mike drove to our pick-up point in Newark, Delaware. At that point, my good friend John Zimmerman picked us up and we all went to have breakfast. Mike got a ride with John to the airport to catch his flight back to his home.
On this run, Mike experienced the true life of a trucker. He microwaved his meals in the truck, slept in the truck during his downtime, and even showered at the travel centers when we stopped. Mike shared with me that he had even more respect for truck drivers now after experiencing three days of “walking in their shoes”. I had now another newfound respect for Mike, who has an engineering background followed by a Detroit technical sales rep background prior to becoming a sales manager, for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule to drive and experience products in the same manner as a professional driver would.
I don't want to put words in Mike's mouth, so coming up here soon, he will be writing up his experience as a blog for me to put up on the Freightliner Team Run Smart site. We can't wait to read his point of view of his time on the road with me.
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Pictures attached courtesy of Pedal Coach.