CLDA Spring Magazine - FINAL - Page 31

He has a loyal , and professional demeanor . Drivers like Eric are essential for a company ’ s growth and stability .”
Nicolette has been working with Xcel since the company opened its Phoenix office five years ago . She is one of 80 ICs Xcel uses to deliver anything from small parcels to heavy freight . They provide expedited deliveries sameday and next-day , offering white glove , medical , TSA , and banking delivery services . Xcel ’ s Chief Operating Officer , Tim Cocchia describes Nicolette this way : “ She is an amazing driver . She does whatever we need and goes wherever the work is available . She keeps herself moving . She is a wonderful person to work with .”
CLDA magazine asked these ICs about their work and why they like the IC lifestyle .
Eric has been driving some sort of vehicle since the age of 12 . He grew up in Jamaica and Hawaii and has lived all over the United States . He ’ s managed drivers and done the driving himself . He ’ s picked up and delivered everything from legal papers to pharmaceuticals to fur coats . He ’ s worked in-house for big companies and independently for smaller ones and now prefers to be his own boss as an independent driver .
Nicolette has driven everything from tractor-trailers to vans . From test track vehicles to sedans . After retiring from the post office after 26 years , she grew bored playing with her grandchildren . She got her CDL and spent two years in the cab of a Freightliner team driving with her son . After that , she took on test driving for Toyota , checking the brakes of new models at over 100 miles an hour when she was 63 . She ’ s worked for a number of courier services and likes the independent contractor lifestyle . Most recently , she ’ s spent much of the time picking up and delivering COVID tests .
Both ICs say they like being their own bosses . “ I used to sit in an office . I don ’ t want to do that anymore . I like being independent ,” says Bailey . “ I like meeting different people during my day , and I like being my own boss . The truth is I just like driving . I ’ ve been driving for over 60 years . It keeps me young . I ’ m 72 years old and I ’ m never sick . I ’ ve got a lot of energy and I think my job ’ s got a lot to do with that . Most days I ’ m driving between 8:00 a . m . and 6:00 p . m ., but I ’ m fine if a job takes me until 8:00 or 9:00 at night to finish .”
Nicolette likes the freedom of being an independent driver . “ It is the perfect job for me . I can set my own hours and days off . It allows me the freedom to work independently . I enjoy the interaction with customers ,” she says .
The IC lifestyle is not for everyone , but both Eric and Nicolette say it ’ s perfect for them . CLDA Magazine asked them for any advice they might give someone considering becoming an independent driver . Eric advised working with companies that compensate drivers well and understand the challenges of an independent driver . “ Find a company that pays decently and understands what we ’ re facing like , escalating gas prices ,” he says .
Nicolette ’ s advice focuses on whether the job is a good fit for your personality : “ If you can follow instructions and work in a timely way then give it a try . For me , what makes it the most satisfying is completing all of my assignments on time and making the customers happy .” CLDA
spring 2022 customized logistics & delivery Magazine 31