From Day One

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Family ties within trucking run deep, and whether parents encourage it or not, future generations have trucking in their blood from a young age, which determines if they will eventually end up driving.  This was no different for 23-year-old John “Tyler” Hale of Snow Trucking LLC and his love of trucking from day one – it was in his blood and his DNA, and nothing could stop his seemingly predetermined destiny.

Born and raised in and around the Gainesville, GA area, Tyler wasn’t born in a truck, but he was raised in one, riding around with this dad.  Early on, as an infant, his dad would be trucking and, while driving down the road, would prop Tyler up on the steering wheel to feed him his bottle.  Tyler said that from the moment he could talk, there wasn’t anything else he wanted to do other than drive a truck.  Trucking has been in Tyler’s family long before his own birth, including his grandfather and his father, Jason.  And even though his name is actually John, he goes by Tyler because of more than one “John” in his family, including his grandfather, and his almost two-year-old son John “Knox” Hale.

At 10 years old, Richard Snow came into Tyler’s life and became his stepfather.  Interestingly enough, Tyler’s dad Jason and his now stepdad Richard have become best friends.  Tyler is very fortunate to not just have a father, but also a stepfather, which gives him two great men as role models and people to look up to in his life – and, as an added bonus, they get along extremely well.

Tyler started working in the shop for the company in 2014 and started driving in 2016.  The pictured truck was bought in June 2017 and was originally all white.  It is a 1987 Peterbilt 359 with a CAT 3406B under the hood, 15 over transmission, 3.55 gear ratio, and a 280” wheelbase.  The truck also has a front bumper from Johnny’s out of Atlanta, GA, Hogebuilt quarter fenders, and 6” stacks.  All of the paint work was done in-house, and the colors are actually 1957 Chevrolet aquamarine and 2020 Kia frost white, with all the paint work completed in October of 2019.  They opted to keep the interior looking period correct, and did not do any custom work inside, other than the addition of gauge bezels, switch extensions, and knobs.

Currently, Tyler and this 359 do not have a dedicated refrigerated trailer, nor do any of the drivers at the company, as they do drop and hooks, completed often, with a fast-paced movement of loads coming and going.  There is always a “but” though, and, in this case, it is a trailer they recently purchased which is near period correct for this Peterbilt.  It is a 1993 Great Dane 48’ trailer, which will be restored in the near future.

There are different facets Snow Trucking LLC is affiliated with, and it is the youngest company within these entities.  Snow Services was started in 2010 as a mobile shop service.  Jason had been driving for a different company when, one day, he and Richard were talking and they decided to start their own company and call it GTG Trucking (Go Truck Go), which officially began in 2011, along with getting their first shop that same year.  Richard’s father Tommy had inspired both of these men with his vast knowledge of not only starting a trucking company, but also building it into a large-scale operation.

Initially, they set out to buy a couple trailers, but what they found were two Freightliner FLDs in a field, which they bought for $12,250, then drove home.  The company still has one of the trucks, which has over four million miles on it.  The truck is parked behind the shop with plans for a restoration.  Snow Trucking LLC was established in 2017, runs 27 trucks, along with 15 owner operators, and hauls refrigerated products.

The company is family oriented, with pretty much everyone in the family having a hand in it, including Richard, who is the owner and manages all three shops, plus does some farming.  Tyler’s mom Jennifer is the office manager and Jason is the general manager on the trucking side.  Tyler works where he is needed, including driving full time and working in the shop, but he can usually be found in the seat of a tractor or something affiliated once the hay season starts in the spring.

While talking with young Tyler, he recalled his favorite memory from when he was little.  When he would ride with his dad, almost every time when they would stop to load, unload or get fuel, Tyler would sit on the steering wheel and his dad would spin him around on it.  I also asked what his favorite memory was so far since he has been trucking, and he said it was when he had the experience needed, was able to get on the company insurance, and he finally got to run with his dad.  He and Jason ran relay (taking loads to other drivers for a drop and hook deal) to Lincoln, AL, which they did for about two weeks together.

I had a chance to talk to Richard and get his insight on Tyler as a person and as a driver.  He said he purposely had Tyler start from the bottom and work his way up to where he is at today.  As the son of an owner of a company, there is a false misconception sometimes that everything is just handed to them, but Richard wanted to make sure that Tyler knew the ins and outs of the company, as well as having the respect from others within the company.  Tyler started out in the wash bay and then worked towards greasing trucks and changing tires.  Not long after, he had Tyler moving trailers around in the yard which, back then, was a small lot.  Tyler quickly learned good backing and maneuvering skills, in a small space, with a combination.

Some people may wonder how I find some of the trucks I write articles on, and some may wonder how I choose the trucks.  Sure, I see a beautiful truck, but more importantly it is the quality of the people behind the wheel.  I find the trucks at shows, on the internet, and when luck is with me, I find them in my travels.  I spotted this particular 359 as I was heading to Statesboro, GA just north of Aline, GA at a fuel stop.  Thanks to some research and the help of longtime friend Daniel Anderson, I was speaking to the owner on the phone within three hours of spotting the truck.  Just through talking on the phone, I was able to realize these were good people, and the date to photograph the truck was set up.  Lucky for me, the truck was a Georgia truck, which is the state I reside in.

Special thanks to Tyler for his time moving the truck around, and the entire family for welcoming me to their area.  Jason and Jennifer never married, but they co-parented Tyler and raised him together.  After Jennifer married Richard, all three of them continued to raise Tyler into the fine young man he is today.

Humble isn’t a word to use loosely, and no one needs to say they are humble.  It is an unsaid description of virtuous people who know where they started and use that as a reinforcement to strive to always improve.  From day one, Tyler had this trait instilled in him to learn, work hard, and keep chasing his goals.  As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.

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