According to Transport Topics, truck drivers are becoming social media influencers. There are several drivers among the Bennett Family of Companies that are on various social media platforms as social media influencers in the transportation industry. In addition, Bennett is a sponsor of Tony Justice, all-American country music artist and truck driver, who also has a considerable social media presence. Learn more about why our drivers and Tony use social media to expand their career.
Eric Hessler –
Eric Hessler, owner operator with the Heavy Haul Division at Bennett Motor Express, has been driving trucks for over 10 years. Like many, Hessler began his career in the transportation industry after finishing a tour of duty with the military. While looking for a new career path, he responded to an online ad to attend truck driving school. After he completed the program, his first job was with Stevens Transport hauling reefer. Soon, he then purchased his first truck and trailer; a 2004 Volvo and flatbed trailer, later. Immediately, he fell deeply in love with trucking due to the independence and freedom to travel the open road all over the United States.
Six months into driving, he wanted to have greater flexibility and more skill in hauling other commodities. Eric had never pulled a flatbed trailer in his life and did not have a lot of knowledge and experience. As a new driver, he found himself seeking out knowledge or tips from mentors about the trucking industry. Many fellow truckers were happy to help, but Hessler realized he still needed help. He turned to the internet to help with further questions.
“I started my YouTube channel, Heavy Haul Nation, in July of 2020. When I was a new driver, I found myself going to YouTube to learn more about truck driving from those in the trucking industry that had been doing it a bit longer. While searching YouTube, I could not locate any useful content or tutorial videos (i.e., how to secure loads, how to handle DOT inspections, etc.) that answered my questions. I now create useful videos that I think would help other drivers,” said Eric Hessler, owner-operator with Bennett Motor Express.
With many videos, his channel is a beneficial resource for truck drivers, gives other drivers in the industry a look into the life of a heavy haul truck driver, and it also shows his young children what his daddy does while working. As of today, Hessler’s channel has over 29,000 subscribers. Learn more about Eric Hessler here.
Tony Justice –
Tony Justice is an All-American country music artist and truck driver. Bennett is a sponsor of Tony this year as he travels on an eventful tour at truck shows across America while also promoting his upcoming new album, “Greatest Shifts.” He is one of country music’s most talked about independent artists, selling over 100,000 albums, gracing magazine covers, and earning over 20 million YouTube views. His music is All-American, respectful, adventurous, and honors the lifestyle of the hard-working patriots he meets every day in small town America as a truck driver.
Tony Justice shares, “It’s a real relationship grounded in roots. Bennett stands strong on the American lifestyle that built the trucking industry. Writing songs about my life out here on the big road is a shared experience with our community.”
Brett Taylor –
Brett Taylor, driver with Ace Doran and A&H Trucking, has been in the trucking industry for 23 years. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he wanted a career that would give him some freedom and found that career as a driver. In 2020, Brett and his wife, Stephanie, were recognized as “Rolling Ambassadors” for Bennett; the pair traveled to Columbia Falls, Maine, to transport over 10,000 wreaths to Andersonville National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America Day.
His YouTube channel, Patriot Specialized, was created with the mission to provide drivers some insight into the ins and outs of hauling specialized freight.
“Since being a driver for 23 years, I know a thing or two about moving specialized freight. We hope with our YouTube Channel, Patriot Specialized, it will provide new and existing drivers with an entertaining and educational training tool to learn more in the world of specialized freight. I do my best to help drivers gain some skills to move around the country and maximize their loaded miles therefore helping to increasing their bottom end,” said Brett Taylor, driver with Ace Doran.
Terrence and Sharon Cooper –
With 15 years’ experience in truck driving, Terrence Cooper is an owner-operator with Bennett Motor Express. As a child, Terrence grew up around uncles that were truck drivers; they would take him out on the road from time to time and tell him stories of being a driver. After that, he was hooked and that’s when he knew that’s what he wanted to be in life.
His wife, Sharon, joins her husband when he is out on the road. They have been married for five years and have six children and four grandchildren. Since their children have graduated from college, they are currently living an “empty nester” lifestyle. Terrence enjoys being able to spend time with his wife as he travels around the country.
Terrence originally got on TikTok just for fun but then after meeting Eric Hessler, BME owner-operator, three years ago that’s when he urged him to start posting content about being a truck driver and life on the road. Before that, Terrence and Sharon were making videos as a “diary” to show their children and grandchildren of what they do over the road and their life but were not sharing these videos on social media. That’s when they decided to start showing others their videos and now have a social media presence on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook with their handle “Going Broke Trucker”.
“I love doing the videos. After being in the truck all day long and dealing with either traffic or crazy situations on the road, it gives me an escape. It gives me something to occupy my mind of doing them. One of the main reasons for the channel (Going Broke Trucker) is to show people what it is like out on the road and hopefully inspire others to join the industry. We also wanted to share our evolution from where we started from dry van, reefer to flatbed and now to step deck. We hope to eventually move into the heavy haul industry,” said Terrence Cooper, BME owner-operator.
Terrence also shares, “I’ve met some great people on there (social media) and made some very good friendships. The trucking community on social media is very close knit.”
Watch his TikTok video here to see how he uses this platform, to lift up fellow drivers when they are going through a rough time in their life. After creating his TikTok channel three years ago, Terrence now has over 3,000 followers.
To learn more about driving opportunities at Bennett, please visit www.drive4bennett.com.