Hometown Helpers: Truck driver delivers essential supplies to communities
Every week, EastIdahoNews.com is introducing you to Hometown Helpers in our community. We want to spotlight a firefighter, police officer, city worker, snowplow driver and others who quietly keep our cities and counties running.
IDAHO FALLS – This week, we are featuring Chris Berry, a truck driver with Western Transport Inc. in Idaho Falls. He has worked for the company for seven and a half years and said he can’t imagine doing anything else.
He transports potato products out of Idaho to other states. Truck drivers like Berry, help keep the economy going by transporting food, gas, clothing, and other essential everyday supplies.
“I think the most fun thing I like doing is actually being able to meet a lot of different people,” Berry said.
His job has given him unique opportunities throughout the years.
“The farthest northeast that I’ve gone is New York. That was actually really interesting because it’s the farthest I’ve ever been and the road that I happened to go on, took me right by the Statue of Liberty and I have never seen it before so that was kind of, ‘Wow!'” Berry said.
He has seen places he’s never been able to thanks to his job.
“Just seeing what’s out there, seeing the adventures. It’s always kind of fun to travel around St. Louis and see the St. Louis arch, Kansas City. We pass right by the Chiefs Stadium,” he said.
Berry can be out on the road 10 to 11 days at a time. It’s not easy sometimes — the work hours can vary.
“We can come in at 2 a.m. in the morning with a preloaded trailer and go straight out. Sometimes, we can come in the morning at 8 a.m. and go out and go pick up a trailer from the yard, get our information from dispatch on what we are doing, to where we are going to pick up from distribution centers,” he explained.
He can be driving for hours so that’s why he has everything he needs inside of his truck when it’s time to stop and take a break. He’s got a bed, microwave, fridge, and TV.
“Really driving a truck with a semi, it’s a home away from home,” he said.
Berry has a family. He has a wife and three kids. Thankfully, technology has come a long way for him to be involved in their lives when he is away on the road for his job.
“Technology that we have now with Skype, FaceTime and everything like that, I am actually able to do homework with my kids,” Berry said.
He said he’ll be clear out in a place like Tennessee and able to do homework with his kids after his workday.
Berry said there’s a lot that happens while driving that many might not think about and he has a safety tip for drivers.
“Truck drivers have it pretty hard out on the road. With truck driving, we are in the truck all the time and these are 80,000-pound vehicles when fully loaded. We are not able to stop on a dime. When you see a big rig, just be a little cautious around us. Don’t cut in front of us,” he said.
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