When Curtiss Cline started driving for CalArk, George Strait had just started crooning about Ocean Front Property, and Reagan was halfway through his second term as president. Curtiss had already been driving a truck for 27 years on May 5th, 1987 when he began working with us. Because his dad owned a trucking business, he says he was born into it.
He's driven trucks that had enough trouble pulling 5500 pounds of styrofoam trays uphill that he laughs about the time he was passed by an older woman on a bicycle. He still thinks fondly of his special favorite, an orange and yellow 1996 T600. His knowledge of engines has often allowed him to get maximum performance from the trucks he's driven. He talks about the tricks of his trade with the easy knowledge and complex vocabulary of an artist.
Last year Curtiss brought his wife Debbie to a CalArk dinner celebrating 30 years of working for CalArk and an astonishing four million safe miles, the only one of our drivers to have achieved that milestone so far. Asked what's kept him loyal to CalArk for over three decades when turnover in our industry is so common, he said drivers have changed a lot over the years and that a strong camaradarie and work ethic kept his generation's road warriors working together.
Through his decades with CalArk, he estimates he's had fewer than ten dispatchers. He currently works with Michelle Finn but has a lot of fond memories of the twenty-two years he spent working with no-nonsense Ann, calling for check-ins via payphones instead of keeping updated with on-board computers.
At CalArk we feel honored that Curtiss continues to share his skills, experience, and incredible work ethic with us, even after hitting his 31-year anniversary last Saturday. Thanks for keeping the wheels of American business turning, Curtiss!