Tim Franklin has logged 2.5 Million Miles with CalArk, and recently celebrated his 20 Year Anniversary as a member of the CalArk Family. When he sat down with CalArk Safety Director, Leslie Stout, to talk about the last 20 years he was beaming over his new blue Peterbilt he was about to move into. He would have been in a new truck sooner, but he wanted to wait on a blue one.
20 years is impressive for a driver in the Trucking Industry now, especially when it is spent with the same company. Tim actually started his trucking career prior to CalArk and boasts an impressive total of 33 years behind the wheel of a big rig. Tim comes from a family of truck drivers who include his dad and his uncles. He says his Uncle Herman let Tim help him load up his truck and let Tim sit in the seat. Tim also drove on a farm for a neighbor at the age of 14. Tim says that did it for him; he wanted to be a truck driver and that is all he has ever wanted to be.
Sevierville, Tennessee is the only place Tim has called home. That is where he grew up and that is where he is routed for home time. Tim is pretty low key and low maintenance. He enjoys days where he is off and has no schedule to keep and has no-where to be. He likes to spend time with his mom and dad. Since all he has ever known is trucking and since he has spent his entire adult life working, he doesn’t know much else.
When asked how he has made it 20 years with the same company, Tim first credits Deronda Wofford saying, “It’s Deronda. I pulled off some incredible things when I started so she started calling me one of her good ones. She still calls me one of her good ones”. He also says he likes all the people at CalArk. He has friends here. There is nobody in the office he cannot go to. Everyone is approachable.
When asked what he would tell new drivers coming to CalArk, Tim says he would tell them, “If you don’t know something, call someone. If you can’t get someone on the phone, look around you. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. The best lessons come from humbling yourself and asking for help.” Tim then shared an example of a time earlier in his career when he was frustrated and screaming mad over not being able to back into a particular parking spot. He said an older driver came up to his truck and told him to set the parking brake and get out. The older gentleman proceeded to talk to Tim to calm him down. Then right there in the lot that night, the older gentleman taught Tim how to use the “zig zag method” to back. Tim continues on saying, “It is so important to help others you see struggling”. That is exactly what Tim does now. He is paying it forward by helping other drivers he may see struggling.
Per Leslie Stout, “Tim is someone who takes pride in a job well done. He may have a bad day, but he is willing to do what it takes to turn it around. He is committed to being the best he can be. He is respectful and understands no matter how long you drive, how experienced you think you are, there is always something to learn in this industry”.
Thank you, Tim, for choosing CalArk. Thank you for your commitment to Safety, to CalArk, and to the industry. We are proud of your accomplishments and look forward to seeing you hit many more milestones while moving the Wheels of American Business.