At the start of each New Year, people all across the globe sit down to set New Year’s resolutions. These goals, whether personal or professional, help guide everyday choices. These can make a profound difference throughout the year – as long as those resolutions are followed. After sitting down with seasoned Centerline Driver Chris Happel, we learned that his career has been defined by meeting the goals he continually sets.
Chris started his career in transportation helping offload trucks at the Los Angeles airport, LAX. After interacting with some of the truck drivers he worked with, Chris decided to obtain his CDL and has been driving ever since. After spending some time as an OTR driver, Chris now primarily drives local routes as they allow him to spend time focusing on his personal and professional goals.
Chris described the job of a professional truck driver as both physically and mentally challenging. That’s why two of Chris’ personal goals are to destress and focus on his health. “Some days I work up to 14 hours,” Chris explains, so when he completes his route he likes to socialize with friends and dance away the day’s frustrations.
Chris explains that a focus on health is “an ongoing process.” He tracks progress by how he feels, but makes conscious efforts to improve what he eats on the road. Chris explained the struggles he experienced as an OTR driver, “The one thing I didn’t like about over-the-road was that the truck stops catered to fast food and eating on the go. We’re not in an office where we are running around. We’re in a truck.”
Now driving local routes, Chris packs snacks and adds them to healthier for-purchases items. For example, Chris typically plans his route to end at a Subway where he can purchase a salad and then adds his own avocado and some trail mix to add flavor while staying on a budget.
Local routes also give Chris the ability to focus on professional goals. Currently, Chris puts in the time to improve with technology. He’s concentrating on becoming knowledgeable with computer programs that will one day help him transition into an office environment within the transportation industry.
Chris left us with some advice for planning, setting, and meeting goals. Whether a driving goal or a personal goal, “Plan your route.” Be aware of your surroundings, potential complications, and the overall trip: with foresight and planning, you can overcome roadblocks and make it to success.