Driving at Heritage: A Commitment to Safety, Development, and Family
Service Type(s): #Transportation #careers and culture
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Drivers from our transportation division, Heritage Transport, have covered 8.8 million miles this year, providing our customers with a partnership they can rely on. There’s a lot that goes into accomplishing that distance in a safe and compliant manner, but the key piece is ensuring our drivers wake up happy to get behind the wheel – and that starts with safety.
Joe Sluss, Vehicle Optimization Director for Heritage Transport, is consistently researching the best ways to keep our drivers, and others on the road, safe. “Being a hazardous waste carrier, it makes sense to find as much safety stuff as you can, without hindering the driver performance,” he said. “We want to be at the forefront of safe driving. I ask myself if I’d want my family next to one of our vehicles on the road, and if the answer is ever no, we do everything we can to update that piece of equipment.”
Recent safety investments include front-view video, lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control. In addition to investing in technology, we also empower every employee to stop working if they ever see something unsafe or feel they cannot complete a task without risk.
While driving can be a solitary operation most of the time, our team of drivers and managers keep communication lines open to help each other out. George Fuller has been a driver for over six years, and this is one of the aspects he loves about his team: “That’s the awesome part – it doesn’t matter where I am, if I have a problem, I can call one of these guys. You don’t have be nervous about going somewhere you’ve never been or don’t know anything about because somebody’s probably been there, and if they haven’t, they’ve been somewhere like it because there’s guys that have a lot of experience around here and they’ll walk you through it.”
The experience that comes with career longevity is just one benefit – the other is the relationships developed. Teresa Wade has been with our transportation division for over 25 years, and she said, “I’ve worked with a lot of the same people here, especially the drivers, so they become a part of your family.”
The family atmosphere is an important cultural aspect to cultivate. Ken Szymczak, who started as a driver in 1999 and is now General Manager for Heritage Transport, said, “You spend as much time with your coworkers as your family, so I think it’s important to enjoy what you do, and have the family atmosphere.”
The Heritage core value “Freedom to Learn and Grow” supports another commitment to Heritage drivers – one that allows all Heritage employees to explore their areas of interest all within the Heritage family. Ricky Hutchinson, who has worked at Heritage Transport for 34 years, started out as a driver but became the Operation Support Manager, supporting driver training, three years ago. As part of his role, he trains new drivers how to operate tankers and works with them one-on-one until they’re completely comfortable operating the vehicle and trailer on their own, “whether it takes two weeks or a month.” Drawing his purpose back to the importance of safety, he said, “When you’re working with hazardous material, you want to ensure that the operators understand every aspect of operating the vehicle and are comfortable with it before setting them loose on their own.”
For drivers at Heritage, every day is different. We’re proud to provide our clients with a reliable partnership that prioritizes safety and compliance – and delivers rewarding career opportunities for our Heritage family. Interested careers at Heritage? Explore our open positions.
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