“When I see [people] smile, it is the best reward.”
Professional Truck Driver, Cargo Transporters, Inc.
Derrick Whittle has been a professional truck driver for over 41 years, accumulating more than 3.8 million accident-free miles. This July, Derrick will be celebrating 29 years with Cargo Transporters, Inc. Derrick served in the U.S. Coast Guard and became extremely fascinated with all of the large machinery from ships to aircrafts, “I just had an affinity for large vessels.” While in the Coast Guard, Derrick travelled home via Greyhound bus during his leave. He loved buses and upon his discharge from the Coast Guard, Derrick wanted to become a bus driver. Unfortunately, the age minimum to be a bus driver was 25 and Derrick was 21. After job searching a few years, Derrick’s older brother told him to become a truck driver and connected him with their driving school instructor. Derrick began classes the following November, finishing in the top 10 of the class.
Being a professional truck driver is the perfect career for Derrick. “What I do works well for me. It is hard for me to sit still for very long so driving a truck I get to see the country; I am basically a paid tourist!” He says one of the most inspiring parts of being a professional truck driver is the people [he] get[s] to meet across the country. Along with being a professional driver, Derrick is also an ordained minister.
Throughout his career he has met a lot of people that are lost and he enjoys helping others get back on track.
“A person’s self being is more important to me. In the shape of the world today, this is what I need to do. I see the world differently and enjoy helping others find their purpose of living. When I see them smile, it is the best reward.”
Recently, an Air Force veteran stopped to ask Derrick about his truck and he gave him a tour. Standing out in the snow and rain to show the veteran the truck Derrick reflected, “My truck is such a magnet. There is a connection there for him and I love to bring all of that together.”
During the COVID pandemic, Derrick finds himself more in demand as people struggle to find their purpose in an uncertain world. His advice? “There is a lot of unknown and the doctors are trying their best to explain and understand this. It is just a season and it will eventually pass. Be patient and be careful. We will get through this.”