Destination: Excellence, From Poland to the U.S.
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. Józef mostly hauled throughout Poland, but also delivered freight & loads 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. After so many years behind the wheel in Europe, it was his first time riding in a rig in the United States. Józef was able to see much of the United States and even Canada, including Montreal. Before heading back to Dominick's home state of New Jersey, Józef was able to stop in to the main TMC Transportation terminal in Des Moines, Iowa.
Józef Polanski poses in front of Dominick Krajewski's Peterbilt 379.
Taking advantage of the rider program (one of TMC's many benefits!) was an exciting one for Józef. Dominick Krajewski’s Peterbilt 379 is much different than rigs in Europe, which are mostly cabovers. There are some big differences in our trailers as well. According to Józef, Europe doesn’t have traditional flatbed trailers. Rather, they have curtain-side or conestoga trailers, which also tend to be much shorter than the flatbed trailers we have at TMC. Józef experienced all aspects of flatbed truck driving the American way, even enthusiastically learning how to roll and put away tarps.
Józef Polanski rolling tarps.
Having his father along for the ride was equally enjoyable for Dominick. He enjoyed having someone in the truck, not only to show around, but to keep him company. Dominick has fond memories of riding along with his father, and it was a fun role reversal to get to be the one in the truck driver’s seat. He loved being able to teach his native Polish father about flatbed trucking and TMC Transportation. 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 ended up being his favorite food from the trip!
Józef Polanski meets TMC Fleet Manager Arnie Mercer (l).
Józef was amazed at how well-organized everything is in the U.S. and throughout the nation's largest, employee-owned, flatbed carrier - TMC. He was impressed with the efficient communication and quick load turnaround so drivers can continue making great pay.
Now that Polanski is more knowledgeable about truck driving 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!