Destination: Excellence, From Poland to the U.S.
Last month, TMC driver Dominick Krajewski enjoyed a very special ride-along experience with his father-in-law, Józef Polanski. Józef was a truck driver in his native Poland, and drove trucks in Europe for 40 years, mostly hauling throughout Poland but also to Germany, the Czech-Republic, and Slovakia. He is in the process of retiring, and currently drives a taxi in Poland.
Józef rode along with Dominick for about two weeks, from January 4th-January 15th, and it was his first time riding in a rig in the United States after so many years behind the wheel in Europe. Józef was able to see much of the United States and even Canada, including Montreal, and the main TMC terminal in Des Moines, before heading to Dominick’s home state of New Jersey.
Józef Polanski poses in front of Dominick Krajewski's Peterbilt 379.
The experience was an exciting one for Józef, as the trucks in Europe are mostly cabovers that are very different from Dominick Krajewski’s own Peterbilt 379. There are some big differences in our trailers as well compared to Europe. According to Józef, Europe doesn’t have traditional flatbed trailers, they have curtain-side or conestoga trailers, and their trailers also tend to be much shorter than what we have here at TMC. Józef experienced all aspects of flatbedding American-style, even enthusiastically learning how to roll and put away tarps.
Józef Polanski rolling tarps.
The experience was equally enjoyable for Dominick, who loved having someone in the truck to show around and keep him company. Dominick’s own father was a truck driver, and he has fond memories of riding along with him. It was fun for him to experience the role reversal and get to be the one to show someone else around and teach about trucking and TMC. Dominick even showed Józef around the TMC terminal and training yard, and introduced him to his Operations Manager as well as his Fleet Manager, Arnie Mercer. They also had lunch at TMC’s own Chrome Café, and the burger Józef ate there ended up being his favorite food from the trip!
Józef Polanski meets TMC Fleet Manager Arnie Mercer (l).
Józef was especially amazed at how well-organized everything is here in the U.S. and at TMC. He was impressed with the whole process of how efficient the communication is and how quickly drivers get set up with their next load. Now that Polanski is more knowledgeable about what life on the road is like here in the U.S., he is more eager than ever to get back in the truck. He says he will be “back with a vengeance” and better prepared for the next journey. He plans on visiting the Krajewski’s again later on this year and doing another ride-along, and yes, hopefully enjoying another Chrome Café burger.
In the meantime, Józef will continue to display TMC stickers with pride on his taxi!