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Industry in training — Taking the Hire Road

Tim Chrulski, chief operating officer at Garner Trucking and host of the Beyond the Cab podcast, has seen firsthand what building relationships can do for personal growth and career advancement — and the best way to develop them.

With a background in sales, Chrulski began working for Garner Trucking after getting his CDL. The company soon decided to create a retention and recruiting department of one and tapped Chrulski to fill that role. After moving around within the company, Chrulski eventually became COO, his role today.

Chrulski attributes his growth in the industry to positive leadership, relationships and training — specifically the American Trucking Associations’ LEAD ATA Program. 

The program represents the many different segments, regions and fleet sizes that make up the trucking industry. Those who enroll in LEAD ATA will gain real-world experience and in-depth industry insights. The program was designed to help prepare those in the trucking industry to become leaders by giving participants the opportunity to gather four times a year to cover different aspects of the industry, including challenges and the best way to solve them.

Chrulski was in the inaugural LEAD ATA class in 2012.

“To be able to get exposed to something just beyond the day-to-day and understanding the bigger picture of how things work is invaluable,” said Chrulski. “It has certainly helped shape me and I was able to make great friends that I know I can lean on or have conversations with in the event of issues or questions. Those relationships proved to be long-term.”

Chrulski also believes in the importance of image and membership. 

“Regarding image, I think it’s super important to get out there and toot your own horn. We need to be talking about our industry. We have such an outstanding and integral group of individuals, top to bottom, across the industry and I think it’s important to expose that,” he said. “There are so many that don’t understand all of what we do and how important it is to the overall economy of the country, so that’s why I think image is No. 1.”

When talking about membership and involvement, Chrulski believes that staying involved with different organizations and associations can be a way to collaborate with others in the industry.

As far as outreach and recruitment is concerned, Chrulski wants to make it a priority to bring more young people into the trucking industry.

“A lot of college kids today don’t understand how much opportunity there is in the trucking industry — both behind the wheel and behind a desk,” said Chrulski. “There are so many different facets of our industry.”

He also believes in assisting other drivers in making connections across the industry — something he aims to achieve with his podcast, Beyond the Cab.

About our sponsor

Driving-tests.org has helped thousands of truckers obtain their CDL at nearly double the standard pass rate and now, employers can use driving-tests’ tools on-demand with their new hires. Their training platform is fully remote, DMV-approved, and costs a fraction of standard training fees. Head to driving-tests.org/cdl-premium/corporate to learn more

Click for more FreightWaves content by Britni Chisenall.

More from Taking the Hire Road:

Retention through training and onboarding

Building driver loyalty and engagement

Improving carriers’ cash flow with Branch

Britni Chisenall

Britni Chisenall is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves. She lives in Ooltewah, TN with her husband, Garrett and her cat, Lily. Britni is a graduate of Dalton State College.