Byron had over 20 years of driving experience. He has driven both local and over the road, and during his career he had the unfortunate experience of working for three companies he thought he could retire from but ended up closing their doors. When he signed on with PTL, he hoped that this company would last. When he was told to watch the video of Mr. Waller, he said he was nervous that he was with yet another company that was closing. After watching Mr. Waller say that PTL was now employee-owned instead of closing, Byron said he actually cried tears of joy. He had finally found a place to call home. Byron said that he wanted to stay with PTL until they closed their doors or he made it as a gospel singer. He often would play his guitar while over the road with trainees.
He started training after some convincing from other trainers. He had trained in the past at a different company, and after hearing good comments from others that were trainers, he decided to give it a try here.
Byron said training is both a challenge and exciting because he gets to meet different people and has to learn how to learn how to work with people of all types. “You get to pass on something,” Byron said, “and you can teach someone to be safe and appreciate the highway.”
He had two aunts that were killed by truck drivers. He passes on to his trainees that the truck can destroy someone’s life, so you have to be cautious. “Respect the road and everyone inside the vehicles,” he said. “You have to drive safe because that’s someone’s family in that vehicle and you want someone to be safe with your family in their vehicle.”
Byron told his trainees that he has 20 years of knowledge and to please pick his brain. He taught them not only the safest way to do everything, but also gave them extra tips on how to perform duties like sliding their tandems. He said that he always had pride in what he did and tried to teach his trainees to have pride in themselves and their job. “Have respect for the vehicle you’re driving,” Byron said. “You’re driving an 80,000 pound piece of steel. Don’t get too comfortable in the truck. If you get too comfortable, you get distracted and lose your focus on driving.”
Byron said that driving is like being in the military or being a police officer. You have to have a strong wife and strong family to back you. He was able to take his family with him at different times in his career. He said that he had never really noticed the little things along the way because he drives daily and feels like its normal to him. He took his son to New Mexico and his son said “Wow, Dad, that’s a plateau!” His son rode with him into New York City once and was amazed to see a chipmunk. He had never seen a chipmunk in Florida before. His daughter saw snow for the first time while over the road with him. His wife rode to Arizona with him and he had to explain to her about snakes and scorpions on the side of the road.
Byron was an asset to Paschall Truck Lines, Inc., and will be missed.