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Attention Truck Drivers: Don’t Make a Bucket List. Live Now!
November 27, 2017
John Richards defies most stereotypes. He has more than 30 years of experience as a truck driver, but he’s also protected a big-time CEO as a bodyguard. He’s driven the rich and the famous around in Bentleys and Rolls Royces. He’s flown private jets. He’s worked the security detail for film sets, and yeah, he’s even appeared in some feature films.
John is a maverick with a soft side. His doting Italian mom calls him as many as four times a day, and he always answers (if he can)! He’s one of those exciting and fun people who’d rather die than settle down to a routine-oriented life.
“I don’t really have a job,” he boasts, talking about his trucking career. “This isn’t hard for me. I’ve never worked a day in my life.”
If owner operator John Richards is in town, just follow the laughter.
For such a big talker with a larger-than-life personality, it’s hard to get John to truly open up about himself. Instead, he prefers to turn the conversation on the person with whom he’s chatting, asking her questions about herself to deflect away from himself. “If you and I were to get married,” he says, “you’d have to spend six months with my Italian mother to learn how to cook for me.” You can see, getting John to be serious is a bit of a challenge.
We were, however, able to get him to open up a little about his background growing up in a white collar community in Binghamton, New York. His dad was a director at IBM, his mother a housewife, and John was afforded all of the trappings of privilege. He did go to college but true to his individualistic nature, he didn’t worry about all those people saying you need a college degree to do well in life. College didn’t do much for him. He dropped out to make money. Guess how? You got it – trucking. He hauled furniture and electronics and then got into flatbed trucking driving back and forth across the country and to British Columbia.
Eventually, he got interested in other occupations and ended up taking a break from driving for 10 years. It was during that decade that he tried new things like touring as a security guard with Live Nation. He acted as an extra in the movie “District 9”, took a small part in a TV movie, and auditioned for parts in TV shows. He worked in various capacities for the film and sports industries until he got burned out standing on his feet for 12 hours at a time, whether at an all-star game protecting athletes or guarding the crew on a film set.
John says that he keeps coming back to trucking, but he’s not waiting to retire with a bucket list in hand. Rather, he’s building into his life all of those pursuits the rest of us wait to do until we’re old and have money in the bank. He’s back in trucking now, and thinks this may be for the long haul, but you never know with someone like John. After all, he has no kids to put through college, and he stills lives with his parents in Binghamton when he’s not on the road.
He has so many interests that we couldn’t write about all of them in this article. Who knows whether one of those contacts he made in Hollywood will look him up some day and offer him a part in a film? Or maybe he’ll get the opportunity to work security for a casino in Las Vegas, or be asked to drive a deep sea fishing boat for tourists or be invited to become a chef at an Italian restaurant.
“I wanted to do everything I ever drew in a coloring book,” he says. “I don’t want to be 80 to 90 years old and say what did I do with my life. I have no bucket list. If I died today I can say that I did everything I wanted to.”
John won’t really give a straight answer, except that he keeps coming back to his career as a driver . He’s been an owner operator at Bennett now for about three years. During that time, he’s gained quite a reputation around the headquarters in McDonough, GA, for being a character and saying outrageous things that couldn’t be shared in this article without a scandal (slight exaggeration). If John’s in McDonough and you’re looking for him, all you have to do is follow the sounds of laughter.
When seeking owner operator trucking jobs, John chose to lease to Bennett because he learned that Bennett is one of the best flatbed and heavy haul trucking companies. After joining, he was impressed with the support offered to drivers. “They all watch over me closely,” he says, quoting a long list of beloved operations managers at Bennett, including and especially his manager J.R. Rushing. “I am here to stay,” he says. “It’s awesome.”
During his time away from driving, John found opportunities to drive a little here and there, so he could hold onto his license. He always knew he’d be back.
“Truckin’ is like a true love,” he says. “When you see that woman, and you say, that’s the one.”
If you’re looking to make the change and drive for Bennett, or if you’d just like more information, visit drive4bme.com, or contact one of our recruiters at 888-712-3036!
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Bennett is proud to be a sponsor of Tony Justice and his efforts to raise money for breast cancer research. Tony is a truck driver and country music artist that recently released a song, “War Paint,” dedicated to his wife and all the beautiful warriors that are battling breast cancer. All proceeds from the download of the song will benefit Susan G. Komen in the fight against breast cancer. Get your copy on iTunes today and please share the link with your friends to join us on the Convoy for a Cure!
oday, we honor our 2022 Drivers & Women of Excellence award recipients. We value our drivers/employees and take pride in celebrating them during our annual Drivers Appreciation event. 2022 has been an extraordinary year and these women have performed with the highest levels of professionalism and represent the best in the industry. Please take a few moments to watch as Marcia Taylor, CEO of Bennett Family of Companies presents the winners with their awards in a virtual format.
Bennett Family of Companies’ freight agents, field offices and company employees gathered for Bennett’s 42nd annual Symposium held on March 4-6th at the beautiful Hilton Peachtree City Atlanta Hotel and Conference Center in Peachtree City, Georgia.
The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with a fun-filled Mardi Gras themed welcome reception for attendees. Guests wore their favorite carnival attire and enjoyed a night of music, drinks, cajun food, dancing, and networking. It was a wonderful night of fellowship and being back together in person for this year’s event.
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Today, we honor our 2021 Women Drivers of Excellence award recipients. We value our drivers and take pride in celebrating them during our annual Drivers Appreciation event. 2021 has been an extraordinary year and these drivers have performed with the highest levels of professionalism and represent the best in the industry. This year, due to COVID-19, we celebrate differently than we have in past years. Please take a few moments to watch as Marcia Taylor, CEO and President of Bennett Family of Companies presents the winners with their awards in a virtual format.
The Bennett Family of Companies and the Taylor Family Foundation hosted the Thunder for Wreaths Ride on May 15, 2021. This annual event serves to raise awareness for Wreaths Across America, an organization that honors deceased veterans during the Christmas season. This year, Bennett partnered with local motorcycle groups and car clubs, and those participating rode in a single procession from Hampton, Georgia and finished in Americus, Georgia.
Today, we honor our 2020 Women Drivers of Excellence award recipients. We value our drivers and take pride in celebrating them during our annual Drivers Appreciation event. 2020 has been an extraordinary year and these drivers have performed with the highest levels of professionalism and represent the best in the industry. This year, due to COVID-19, we celebrate differently than we have in past years. Please take a few moments to watch as Marcia Taylor, CEO and President of Bennett Family of Companies presents the winners with their awards in a virtual format.
When it comes to truck driving, “Just watch me,” is a familiar phrase to Denise Endicott, this month’s featured Women in the Driver’s Seat member. Before a career in trucking, Denise was a Legal Assistant working in Largo, FL. Denise realized that she had a passion for trucking and wanted to drive an 18-wheeler after spending over three years out on the road with a former boyfriend that was a truck driver in Bonifay, FL. During this time, she rode with him and learned everything from securing loads, handling paperwork, staying compliant with truck inspections, and getting dirty with the upkeep of the truck; during that time, Endicott states that she was “bitten by the trucking bug”, and she definitely knew that she wanted to make a career of truck driving. However, Denise’s former boyfriend did not take her seriously, and she remembers there were several times when “He told me I couldn’t do it, it was no place for a girl.” On April 4, 2014, she received her CDL and began her career in the transportation and trucking industry. She quit her job and used money from her 401k and went to truck driving school with her CDL in hand. Denise was the only female in the class and the only one with a CDL already!
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