You might be driving for hours. It might be snowing as you move through the Appalachian Mountains. Your truck load could be upwards of 30,000 pounds. On a downhill, you feel a rush of adrenaline. You pay close attention, and stay on the lookout for ice. You know the truck is nothing to play with.
We rely on our truck drivers to transport material throughout the year. And truck drivers depend on their Transportation Coordinators to ensure that trucks are safe, and routes and schedules are efficient.
First, he swept floors and moved trucks in the plant at night to prepare them for loaders the next morning. Then, for about 14 years, Meneco drove trucks with product out to customers. His firsthand experience as a driver is a huge asset. Since Meneco understands what truck drivers need, he can anticipate potential problems and quickly resolve them.
Facing New Challenges
However, Meneco has had to overcome new challenges, too. Coordinating requires explicit and timely communication across multiple parties.
Clear communication between customers, account managers, and drivers about the specifics of a project and its timeline are essential to its success. To make sure a job gets done well, “You can’t start in the middle, you can’t expect them to know what you’re going through or what’s happening at any given moment. You have to walk through the A to Z with them.”
Walking through each step in the process with each person involved takes patience, but it’s kind of like driving downhill with a heavy load in the snow. You just have to take your time.
How to Handle Stress
Meneco isn’t easily stressed. He has aspired toward this role with steadfast determination, and earned it. When it starts to feel overwhelming, Meneco shifts focus, and grounds himself by remembering his journey. “Those nights sweeping the floor, and moving trucks late. I did all of that to get here. So now that I’m here, I give it my 100%, my full attention.”
Additionally, maintaining a space where people enjoy being lowers stress. Meneco prioritizes seeing people happy, so a lot of his attention goes into shaping a positive environment for everyone he works with. It’s a sign of success when people gather in the shipping department, and are able to have fun together.
Love What You Do
Work receives his full attention when he’s working, and when he’s not, he’s fully enjoying his personal time. Often this looks like getting up at 4am to get to the gym before heading into the office, and when he gets home, he’s spending time with his kids.
Meneco gleefully describes his daughter who is six and always tells him what to do. And his son who’s autistic inspires him to be a good and patient guide. Together the three of them might ride bikes together, or head to the garage, where the Ponds have a longtime family tradition building cars.
While all the other kids were outside playing in the woods, Meneco was in the garage turning wrenches. He built his first car at 7 with his father, and his grandfather with his father around that same age, and so on. Now, he’s enjoying every minute teaching his own. It’s rewarding when you’re in it for the long haul, and you love what you do.
Sara Montijo is a writer for Kloeckner Metals. She graduated with honors from NYU and has previously facilitated multimedia programming and worked alongside renowned chefs. Her friends call her a time warp.