BC native Ozment making a difference in trucking industry
Published 6:30 am Wednesday, April 15, 2020
For Bridge City native Toby Ozment, he has seen it all the last several years, being a truck driver for Crete Carrier and traveling all across the country.
He has been busier than ever of late as the 46-year old has been traveling across the United States delivering service and goods during the COIVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been interesting for sure, but as a truck driver it makes me feel so wonderful that all my stops are benefiting the American people,” said Ozment, who goes by the handle of “Ozriker’. “It’s all about the ‘American Way’ and us truckers take tremendous pride in that.”
Our nation’s truckers are doing what they do best even during the coronavirus – they keep on trucking.
They are definitely the backbone of the country’s supply chain, traveling our nation’s highways and byways to deliver goods like food, fuel and other vital supplies. And while daily life has slowed to a crawl for many, the trucking workforce keeps delivering the goods and ensuring that the public’s vital needs are met.
“We’re seeing a lot more stuff during all of this,” said Ozment. “Everyone is just super busy and that puts a lot of trucks on the road right now.”
While on the road and on his stops, Ozment has realized how important the trucking industry is.
“Truckers are kind of the lifeblood of the supply chain in the country and you kinda notice it even more in the past month or so,” said Ozment. “If people are going to eat, the trucks are gonna move. If they need medical supplies, the trucks are gonna move. If we stop, the world kinda stops.”
Places are a little bit easier to get to these days as well.
“Went through the Kansas City area a few weeks back and there was hardly any traffic,” said Ozment. “Of course, some of the bigger cities have traffic, such as Houston, but it definitely slowed down for the longest. I am starting to see more traffic pick up lately though.”
With most restaurants and truck stop destinations and dine-in areas being shut down, it has been tough for a lot of truckers to get food but Ozment said he has ran into amazing people along the way.
“We have been turned away in a lot of places and that is understandable during all of this,” said Ozment. “On the flip side many people have come up to truck stops, knock on our trucks and ask us what we would like. We try to give them money but most of the time they say ‘We got it.’ There are some tremendous people out there with big hearts. I want to point out that Texas Roadhouse restaurants have been amazing through it too and have been great with curbside service.”
There is one thing that Ozment definitely misses during these crazy times.
“You’re out on the road all the time and you’re always by yourself, so stopping at those truck stops and stretching for awhile and getting to eat and talk to all of the fellow truckers is awesome,” said Ozment. “I really miss that and listening to so many great stories. I can say this, talking on CB radio has probably more than doubled, because we love keeping up with everybody to see how things are going.”
Ozment delivers all kinds of goods and supplies across the states and has a lot of stops at WalMart distribution centers.
“I have delivered all sorts of goods to WalMart distribution centers and on several occasions, have delivered directly to stores,” said Ozment. “Food delivery and other essential needs supplies are really moving fast these days and the demand is high.”
Ozment has made many unique trips as well.
“I’ve delivered to several military bases,” said Ozment. “I remember delivering liquid acid that helps makes the soles of boots softer for military men and windshields for military vehicles. Our company, we deliver a little bit of it all.”
Ozment has worked many jobs in his life from refinery work and offshore but once he got into the trucking business, he was “hooked.”
“I absolutely love it, if I knew how fun and rewarding this was when I was 21, I would’ve done it my whole life,” said Ozment. “I have seen so much of our great country and get to go through places like Yellowstone Park and Hoover Dam and Branson, Missouri. You get to see so many different kinds of scenery from snow, to big lakes and beautiful parks and when the leaves start to turn. Sometimes you can see all of that in one day. It can be tough at times to be away from home so much and I do miss it, but this job has been amazing to me. It just doesn’t feel like a routine job. It’s a career and a fun one.”
Truck driving is a demanding task for sure but it can also be enlightening and fun.
Last spring, Ozment represented his company in the Nebraska Truck Driving Championships. Competitors demonstrate knowledge, talent and skills which focus on what it takes to be a safe driver on our streets and highways.
“It was definitely a great adventure,” said Ozment. “It was my first-time. I actually finished fourth, which isn’t too bad for a first-timer.”
Ozment is almost on the road daily and he really appreciates what Americans are doing across the country in not only trying to curtail the virus but how they are starting to gain respect for all of the truckers.
“Right before I passed under an overpass the other day there were several trucks and people gathered up on top of it,” said Ozment. “They were holding up signs that said ‘God Bless Truck Drivers’ and ‘Keep On Trucking’ and that’s an awesome feeling. We are all glad that so many folks out there are beginning to appreciate us more and more.”
There is no doubt that Americans across the country are feeling that way.
“That’s a big 10-4 Good Buddy, Ozriker Out.”