What a Find
A quick stop turned into a lifetime commitment for this tanker driver
Billy Brannon, Dothan, Ala., Driving for 6 years
I always drove vans or straight trucks, but didn’t have my CDL to drive the big rigs. That’s what I really wanted to do, so I saved my money, went to a school for commercial driving and in 2000 I got my CDL.
It was one of the best decisions I have made. I love driving! I have been accident-free for more than six years, working for Airgas South in Dothan, Ala.
It’s definitely different driving this material — medical oxygen, hydrogen, propane, nitrogen and argon. My trailer is a flatbed, and you have to watch that your cylinders are being strapped right — be sure that the straps and buckles are good and tight. There’s a lot of paperwork and it all has to be in order. I keep all my ducks in a row, and my paperwork is very neat — I use a ruler to be sure of it.
I get a lot of funny looks when I’m going down the road because my truck is different. The flatbed has pallets that the cylinders of gas or liquid I’m carrying slide onto.
When I applied for the job, I told the manager that I had a lot of time available. I didn’t have a family and wasn’t married, so I drove all the shifts that nobody else wanted.
Even though I really like my job and am very dedicated to it, I knew that something was missing in my life. I have a great family, but had not found that right lady to spend my life with. I prayed the Lord would send me an angel. And he did just that.
On a cold night in December 2003, at around 2 a.m., nature called and I stopped at a place in Brundidge, Ala., to use the facilities. I had only one thing on my mind and that was taking care of business and getting back on the road.
But behind the store counter was the angel I had prayed so hard for. She saw my Airgas jacket and, knowing that there was a branch in Mobile, said “I know you didn’t drive here from Mobile!” Her ex-husband was a truck driver, and she used to ride with him, so she knew the job. We started talking and we’ve been together ever since.
Sabrena is very independent. She works as an armed guard at a bank here in Dothan. I know that she can take care of herself, and everything works with us.
And that is the best way that trucking has affected my life.