Everybody knows that texting while driving is a bad idea. But when you’re sitting in the cabin of a vehicle with enough weight and velocity to make boulders nervous, tiny cars with distracted drivers just seem ridiculous.

Kenneth Parkhurst has been driving for 19 years, and when we asked him what the most surprising thing about being a fleet driver is, he told us it was the things he saw other people doing in their cars.

“There are some strange people on the road. Texting, putting on makeup, reading novels, eating their dinner.”

He’s even seen drivers working on laptops on their laps. Everybody could do better about being safe around trucks, but driving around an eighteen-wheeler with a mouthful of hamburger and a face full of laptop might be a fast way to trouble.

Be true to yourself and roll tide!

Kenneth is a University of Alabama football fan, and he’s got the ringback tone to prove it. He set his phone to the brass and base chorus of UA so that the home office (who root for a rival team) would have to hear it every time they phoned him. He’s an honest, straightforward man with some simple advice for drivers new to the industry.

“Be patient. Take your time. Don’t get frustrated when you don’t get home every weekend.”

He loves his job. For him, being a driver means being a certain kind of person. “As long as you’re true to your word,” he explained, “that’s all that matters. I get to see the beauty of America. The small towns and places all across the country. Meeting different people. I get to enjoy the freedoms.”

He also said not punching a time clock or having someone breathing down his neck was a big bonus to fleet driving.

The goods and the grub

Kenneth makes a lot of stops on his route, but he never fails to hit up his favorite Tennessean Truck Stop BBQ Joint. He’s relaxed, loves his football and lives according to a time-proven principle. “It’ll all work out in the end.”