Ruan's Driver of the Year program gives us the opportunity to recognize the hard work, dedication, and exceptional performance of our driving team members. This past year, we honored our top drivers as part of our 2019 Winners’ Circle. These professional drivers go above and beyond for Ruan. Learn more about Winners’ Circle honoree, Tony, who is based out of our operation in Lawrenceville, GA.
How long have you been driving for Ruan?
I began driving for Ruan in September of 2017, and I ended up here under rather unusual circumstances.
What made you apply to drive for Ruan?
After spending 10 years working for the customer I currently drive for, my wife and I needed to relocate outside of their geography. After returning to Georgia, I would have liked to return to that company as a truck driver, but they only hire for warehouse positions at first, and then you can get in line to drive for them. I had already done that once, and I wasn't ready to spend the three to five years required to move up the seniority ranks to return to driving, so I looked at the outside carriers that the company utilized for their longer runs. Very quickly, Ruan moved to the top of that list, and I applied and was fortunate enough to be hired right away. My trainer at Ruan did an excellent job during orientation and really inspired me to make Ruan my home. She encouraged me to read the book, "In For The Long Haul: The Life of John Ruan," which I thoroughly enjoyed and have recommended to other new employees to familiarize themselves with our founder, his company, and our culture.
What is your favorite memory during your time at Ruan?
One of my favorite memories while driving for Ruan came about when our customer decided to donate a truckload of free bicycles to the Boys and Girls Club. I was lucky enough to be asked to "Captain that Ship" and made my way to Nashville, Charlotte, and Richmond. Seeing the excitement and gratitude on the faces of the children and adults really made my day! I was proud to be part of two great companies reaching out to help others.
What do you like most about working for Ruan?
One of the things I like most about my time at Ruan, and something I try to pass along to new hires and prospects, is Ruan's "Captain of the Ship" philosophy. My customer really encouraged me to "Act Like an Owner," and I believe Ruan's policy encourages the same behavior. When you really care about what you're doing and who you are doing it for, you take just a little more time to do the job right, to be on time, to be pleasant, to be helpful, to be a good steward of the resources entrusted to you, and to really strive to see that your customers are blown away by your dedication to them and their business. If you follow these principles, I promise you will be successful as well.
Do you have any tips for drivers who are considering driving for Ruan?
I try to tell them what I tell everyone in life. No company is perfect and there will always be challenges and things you might wish were different if you owned your own trucking company. Ruan is a wonderful place to work, and they give you the opportunity to be your very best. They give you the tools to succeed, but it is up to you to utilize the tools they give you. I have been very happy here, and I encourage others to give Ruan a try if they are willing to do their part. Be patient, be humble, be helpful, and stay positive—good advice for all of life's endeavors. I plan on staying here until I retire in 2032, just in time for Ruan’s 100th anniversary celebration!
What is your safe driving philosophy?
When I was being trained to drive in the past, my trainer said that I drove like an old man. I apologized and stated that I had always driven that way—I was never one to speed, slam on the accelerator or brakes, or take high speed corners. He stated, "No, I wasn't complaining; I was complimenting you. You'll last a long time out here if you can be patient and take your time." He apparently had trained too many new drivers who thought the truck was a sports car and tried to drive it like one. I pass that same story on to the drivers I train, that if you just take your time, be patient, and practice defensive driving techniques, you'll be successful! Please remember, we're "in it for the long haul"—just like Mr. John Ruan taught us!
How did it feel to be recognized as part of Ruan’s Driver of the Year Winners’ Circle?
It was an unbelievable honor to be selected as part of Ruan's Driver of the Year Winners' Circle. While I don't necessarily do all that I do for the recognition or financial compensation, it is always an honor to be noticed, to be appreciated, and to be rewarded. I tell others that most of what I've learned in life came at an early age from my parents and extended family. If you work hard, stay focused, and truly strive to meet the needs of others, your needs will be met as well. I have certainly found this to be true throughout my time at Ruan, as well as any other place I've ever worked, volunteered, or studied. I hope to keep making a difference in the lives of others—one day at a time. Won't you join me?
What's on the radio while you're driving?
True crime podcasts...I'm a true crime junkie!
Interested in driving for Ruan? Check out our open opportunities here.