Although Lance’s grandfather and father were truck drivers, he wasn’t interested in being a third-generation driver. His plans for adulthood involved a career in the Air Force and after graduating high school, Lance enlisted. But his service led him back to what ran through his blood line – truck driving.
When Lance transitioned out of the Air Force, he went to work for his father Eric who managed a multi-unit operation composing of three warehouses and 18 drivers. Lance spent over 5 years as a regional truck driver, but with a wife and children at home, he felt it necessary to find a local truck driving job.
Lance reached out to a driver who had moved on to a local truck driving job with J.B. Hunt and was convinced to run with the company. A few years later, father Eric was hired to drive on the same J.B. Hunt Dedicated account as his son.
“It was easier to work with my dad, than for him as my boss,” Lance said with a laugh. “I learned a lot that I know from my dad and over the years, I learned a lot on my own.”
Eric also enjoyed working with his son and exchanging advice. “We were both just drivers on the same account,” he explained. “I got to know customers a lot quicker when he would explain it to me.”
Both have found their tenure at J.B. Hunt – 17 years for Lance and 13 years for Eric – to be filled with meaningful work, growth and appreciation. “I love local work and being home every day or every night. I like the people I work with. My managers are really great… they listen to you,” Eric said. “They’ve really brought something to my life, I hope I’ve brought something to theirs.”
“Everything seems to be focused on drivers. They want to know we are happy and want to know if we are not happy. That’s not something you hear about other companies,” Lance added.
This past winter, Lance had the opportunity to present the Driver of the Year award to his father at J.B. Hunt’s DCS southwest region’s annual kickoff event in Dallas, Texas. “It was a really good feeling. The Driver of the Year award is a lot different type of award than winning one million miles. With something like this, other people see your job performance and nominate you. That’s something more special,” Lance said.
Receiving the Driver of the Year award and a $5,000 bonus check was an experience that Eric will never forget. “I can’t put one word to it. It was very emotional. To look at my wife, to see her smile and hear her say, ‘Finally’,” he said. “This is what a truck driver works for in his career – to be noted for the work they’ve done by a company like J.B. Hunt. You are the best of the best.”
Such recognition and appreciation for drivers has made J.B. Hunt Lance and Eric’s final career destination. “It feels great to work for a company that looks at drivers and gives them a chance for something like this, I thank you for that,” said Eric. “I plan to be with the company until I retire,” Lance added.