Post Date - Feb 2, 2023
Espy Hailey from Wingate, North Carolina, has been a professional driver for 60 years, with 55 of those years being logged at Tyson. We couldn’t be prouder to have had him on the Tyson team so we sat down with him to learn more about his driving career and hear what advice he has to offer younger drivers.
Today, Hailey hauls frozen freight on local runs which gets him home with his wife Bobbie every night, but when he got started back in 1968, he was ready for long hauls. Hailey’s first route was a delivery to Chicago with another driver, a guy he said is one of the finest he’s met. Hailey was understandably nervous with it being his first run, and in a big city.
His partner let him know he was going to nap but reassured Hailey: “When you get to where you don’t know where you are, wake me up.” Hailey quickly replied: “You better stay awake then!”
Since that first run, Hailey has learned a lot about how to drive a truck. Some advice he wish he knew from the start? How to drive with the traffic.
“Drive as safe as you can and don’t try to keep up with the people who pass you,” he said.
With so much experience as a professional truck driver, Hailey has plenty of good advice for those just starting their career.
“Be careful and listen to what others are trying to tell you,” he said. “Listen and then ask them questions. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions.”
Hailey sits behind the wheel of a Volvo, which he said he is pretty happy about. It fares much better than the first trucks he drove 60 years ago; the ones now have AC, power steering, and adjustable driver’s seats.
“Sometimes it gets so comfortable I can almost fall asleep,” he said with a laugh.
Not only does his Volvo make his runs easy, so does his dispatcher, “he is one of the best,” Hailey said.
Even though Hailey has been behind a Tyson wheel for more than five decades, he has no plans on leaving anytime soon. When asked how much longer until he retires, he was ready with a joke.
“I’ll give them about 10 more years,” he said. “As long as I can do it, and they don’t run me off, I’m going to work.”
Hailey encourages other drivers to find a great career home like he did at Tyson.
“If you want a good job, a job you can retire on, go to Tyson. Give them a shot,” he advises.
With Tyson, you have the power of one of the largest food production companies in the Fortune 500 backing your success. Our private fleet has opportunities for OTR, Regional, Local, Teams, Students and Military CDL-A drivers. If you’re thinking of making a change, take Espy Hailey’s advice and connect with Tyson Foods today!