Employee Spotlight: Mark Sickmiller
Looking for a change in scenery, Mark Sickmiller hit the road with TMC in late 2004. After several years in the education and management industries and nearly a decade as a Senior Pastor, Mark didn’t necessarily feel he fit the typical “truck driver” mold, but he was ready to steer his life in an entirely different direction altogether.
Implanted in Alabama, the Michigan native racked up 8 years of successful driving, accomplished over one million safe miles and trained nearly 70 fellow drivers. One evening, however, Mark’s driving career came to a screeching halt. While at home with his family, Mark suffered four epileptic seizures. He made a full recovery, but was unable to continue being behind the wheel in the truck driving industry.
TMC, seeing the potential in Mark’s abilities as a driver and trainer, offered him a new position as a Dedicated Fleet Manager. Grateful for the opportunity, Mark uprooted his family and relocated to Des Moines to start on the path to his new career. Making the switch from driver to fleet manager has not been easy for him, but his experience as a driver continues to influence his day-to-day functions in his new role. “I try to be an encouraging voice to my drivers.” Mark says, “I picture myself out there with them. I know the shippers, I know the truck stops, I know the struggles. I pray for my drivers throughout the day because it is an amazingly difficult job.”
For fellow drivers looking to forge a new path in the transportation industry, Mark advises that the transition requires a “very different set of skills and challenges. Both involve time management and planning skills, but being a fleet manager adds those pressure moments where ten people want something all at once. However, with computer skills, patience, an understanding of logistics and organization, a great truck driver can certainly become a great fleet manager,” he says. “Hopefully one day I will fit into that category.”