Melton Truck Lines, Inc.
Most trucking companies have lots of quality professional drivers on the payroll. These drivers deliver loads on time, represent their employers with pride and bring an upbeat attitude along for the ride. Given this reality, just imagine how special someone would have to be to receive Driver of the Year honors a one-of-a-kind role model like Jesse Davis.
Jesse has recently been named Driver of the Year by Melton Truck Lines, and he could not be more pleased. “This was a real team effort, because I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of the people at Melton,” he says. “I am committed to getting the job done for Melton and their customers, so it’s nice to get such positive feedback.
“Years ago, I read a Louis L’Amour short story called ‘Riding for the Brand,’ and it had a big impact on my professional life,” continues Jesse. “It talked about staying loyal to what matters and emphasized the importance of mutual trust. You could say that I’ve built my career on those beliefs.”
Jesse first got into the business back in 1978 after working with horses for several years. He trained the animals and even spent some time riding them in rodeos. In his mind, however, he was always dreaming of getting behind the wheel of a big rig.
“As a young boy, I sometimes rode along with my uncle, who was a professional driver, and I thought it was great,” says Jesse. “It wasn’t too long before I decided to follow in his footsteps.”
He got his start hauling hay up and down the West Coast and immediately discovered that he enjoyed the challenge and variety offered by flatbed freight. Not content to simply pick up drop-and-hook dry van loads, Jesse preferred to get a little exercise and tie down and tarp his freight. He ran with a number of flatbed companies before settling down with Melton in 1998.
“I was a little dissatisfied with the carrier I was running with, and I checked in with one of the recruiters at Melton,” remembers Jesse. “I didn’t want to rush into anything, so it was six months before I made the decision to come on board. When it comes down to it, I was sold by the great equipment Melton runs and the quality people there.”
Jesse’s Driver of the Year award is persuasive proof that he made a sound decision, and he again makes a point of acknowledging the support he gets from company management. He especially credits Melton owner Bob Peterson. “When I stop by headquarters in Tulsa, Bob will always stop what he is doing and walk over to shake my hand. He understands what it takes to do my job, because he once ran as a driver, himself.”
Jesse loves his life on the road, and his job is made much nicer by the presence of his wife, Patricia, who regularly comes along for the ride. “Patricia helps me out in more ways than I could count with things like checking maps, keeping up with the Qualcomm unit and even helping me tarp loads. Patricia’s a great support, and more importantly, she’s my best friend.”
The staff of Over the Road and Pro Trucker magazines would like to wish Jesse continued success with Melton Truck Lines. For more information on company driver opportunities available at the company, see their ad on page 112 of this issue.