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Meet Steve, 55, professional driver

Steve Fields

Steve Fields Paul Andrews

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We talked to 10 people who roughly represent the 164 million-person U.S. labor force. Ten stories, one question: “Is the economy working for you?” Meet Steve.


The numbers on Steve:

Steve Fields has been driving professionally for 35 years, with most of those years spent at YRC Freight. It’s a good job — he’s never missed a Christmas or a Thanksgiving with his family and says the benefits are great. Currently he works what’s called a “turn bid,” where he drives between Kansas City and places like Des Moines, Wichita, Omaha and Sioux City, all in a day. From where he sits, he can always see an upturn or downturn in the U.S. economy before he starts hearing about it on the news.

What kind of training did you have to do to get your job?

I never received any formal training, but my grandpa drove a truck and I rode with him on many occasions.

When you were a kid, what job did you think you were going to have when you grew up?

I always thought I wanted to be a conservation agent (game warden). That just didn’t work out.                             

What’s the one tool you can’t do your job without?

The one tool I need to do my job is me. Kinda funny answer, but I need to take care of myself and be rested and alert when I climb in that truck.

What’s the hardest part of your job that people don’t know?

Hardest part of my job is keeping safe. Drivers these days are so distracted with so many different things and they don’t think twice about what can happen if they are not rested and alert.

What was your first job?

My first real job was in a cabinet shop, building cabinets and such. I was asked to go out on the truck to deliver a really big cabinet one day and that sort of turned into a daily routine. I’m kind of a big guy and I was strong back then (lol). Next thing I know, I’m driving their trucks and going in long runs to Florida, New York and other destinations. Back then, you could get a chauffeur’s license and drive a commercial motor vehicle. I loved being away from the shop and out on my own, without a time clock or a boss. I had to be self-motivated, make my deliveries and stay on schedule, but could break and lunch when I wanted to.

Click the media players below to hear how Steve’s story evolved:

https://www.marketplace.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Steve-Feb-2020.mp3
February 2020 ^
https://www.marketplace.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Steve-April-21-2020.mp3
April 2020 ^
https://www.marketplace.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Steve-September-14.mp3
September 2020 ^

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