Henry Bills Interview: Ready Mix Driver at Texas Concrete

For Truck Driver Appreciation Week (September 13-19, 2020), we are putting the spotlight on some of our Austin, Texas ready-mix concrete drivers who make all our projects across Texas possible.

How did you get started in this career?

I have a management background; I spent 10 years managing restaurants. Following that, I worked for the City of Austin for 10 years driving for them, and that’s how I ended up with my CDL. I love working here. It’s a great working environment and the job is easy because I genuinely enjoy doing it. If you’re going to excel in this career, you really have to love to drive. We work long hours, but we love what we do.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I’ve had a lot of experience with different companies over the years, and I love how this place treats us, really. They are good to us and I have nothing but respect for our managers that we work with, because the respect is mutual. It’s a great company to work for. I’ll tell anybody that I meet that this is a solid career, and there’s a high demand for CDL drivers. It’s definitely a rewarding line of work.

Any advice for new drivers?

In this industry, safety is always first. My objective is to come back home the same way I came into work. So I tell new drivers that if you drive safely, pay attention, and don’t let yourself get distracted, this job is easy. You have to understand the equipment you’re operating, because these trucks are very dangerous if you don’t respect them. When you’re taking corners, you have to slow down because it’s top-heavy and you’ve got liquid back there that’s moving back and forth. You have to pay attention at all times and keep your eyes constantly moving and checking your mirrors. You can’t worry about a phone call or what’s going on elsewhere, because it doesn’t take long to slip up.

Don’t let circumstances that may happen on a work site dictate your day or take you out of your character, because when you leave that job, you still have to operate a 30,000-pound vehicle safely. And if you’re focusing on anything but the road, you could easily have an accident. But if you keep safety as your #1 priority, you’ll do just fine.

Anything you’d like to share about yourself?

I’m a Black cowboy; I love riding horses at the ranch when I’m off work. I own a bunch of horses and I also used to have cows, show hogs, all that. I also love motorcycles and I ride as often as I can.