A driver who started with nothing succeeds and shares the wealth
Claude Jones, Glen Mills, Pa., Driving for 24 years
I went to college and was studying architecture and working as a school bus driver. When I was 19, a friend got me a job driving a straight truck. I was bringing home a good income so I stayed with it, and after work I would practice backing up tractors in the yard. I drove two years locally, and when I was 21 I hit the road and have been here ever since for the good and bad of it. I love what I do. I always liked to travel, and as a truck driver I have the chance to meet different people and to learn how to deal with people from all walks of life. Every time I pick up a load and get it to its destination safely, that’s a big thing. Knowing that I’ve done my job and done it safely gives me satisfaction, and of course we all know that without trucks, America stops.
I know people who have college degrees who do not have the success that I have found in trucking. And I started with nothing. My mother had six of us, and gave us up. I don’t know my father. The people who raised us were not related to me. They were well into their 50s and some people were telling them they had no obligation to me, but they knew I had nowhere to go. It doesn’t bother me if people know about my past. I was able to pick myself up, and others can too, whatever their downfalls.
Three years ago, I had nothing again. I was sick, I came out of a bad marriage and had no home and no money. But God gave me this vision and the opportunity, and with faith, prayer and work, look where I am. I began to work for Dart, and while I was leased to the company I formed a business plan. Now I run my own business. Failure Turned Into Success Inc. includes six companies under one umbrella, including my truck, which has its own authority. I just hauled the first load under that authority. People who have worked with me and seen what I do have been inspired to start their own trucking companies. When I’m on the road I want to make a good impression as a driver who is a professional, so I always have four or five suits with me. I also like to attend church when I’m on the road, and want to dress appropriately for church when I go.
With the revenues I earn from trucking, I can offer scholarships to people who need a second chance. Our first scholarship was given to a young lady who was in college under another scholarship, but had lost that help when her grade point average fell below their requirements. She was in danger of having to leave school, but we got her the funds to continue and now her grades are back up and she will graduate.
This work is a dedication to the people who raised me and to all those who give others another chance to succeed. Failure Turned Into Success is about letting people know that if you have a dream you can achieve it.