We hope you enjoyed our last interview with Neal. Next up is Kim Merrill who has nearly 30 years of trucking experience!
What do you do at JTL?
I teach students the basics for becoming safe CDL drivers. They gain real life experience through backing and driving, but learning in the classroom is also key.
How long have you worked in the industry, and how long at JTL?
I have been a licensed CDL driver since 1985. I drove across the country for 17 years, doing team driving, but I have been an owner/operator for the last 8 years now.
How do you help students learn to become safe, professional drivers?
Being patient while teaching is key. I try to put myself in their shoes and think back to when I was first starting my training. It is also important to remember each student is unique and learns at a different pace and may need a different style of teaching. One of the most important lessons is to be a defensive driver.
Why do you enjoy training/working with new professional drivers?
JTL is a great place to instruct because there are so many resources to draw from: classroom, experienced drivers, and a structured routine. It’s important for the students realize how many resources are at their disposal.
Why is JTL a good school to teach and learn?
A strong basis is set from day one. We don’t cut corners; safety, timeliness, and responsibility is required from our students.
How do you stay in touch with any former students?
I stay in touch with some students via Facebook or text. Some of the graduates will stop by with their truck and trailers to say hello, which is my favorite way to keep in touch.
What hobbies do you have or what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family and pets. I also enjoy outdoor activities like camping, swimming, and yard work.