This is the best job I've ever had
“I’ve always loved driving and being on the road,” said Crystal, a wean truck driver for Iowa Select Farms. “I’ve done supply deliveries and ran a forklift in previous jobs, I’ve always just wanted to drive something.”
Today, much like our other 19 wean truck drivers, Crystal started her day at Miller/Sow 13 near Jewell where she picked up a load of newly weaned pigs (540 pigs to be exact) to deliver up to Fairfield/F485 near Albert City. After that delivery she headed back to the truck wash in Iowa Falls, exchanged her truck and gooseneck for a sanitized one and headed down to Kielsmeier/Sow 12 to pick up a load of 680 pigs destined for Walleye One/F616 near Whittemore.
“Most days it’s two loads, some days it’s three,” said Crystal, who joined us five years ago after a friend encouraged her to apply. That friend happened to be Doug—the manager of Sow 16—and the referral worked out well, because as Crystal says, “this is the best job I’ve ever had.”
“I love driving and the people are great to work with, but I also appreciate the independence and being by myself. I’m just wired that way I guess,” said Crystal. “I enjoy seeing and interacting with the farm managers and the crews at each of the sites—we work together. This morning the Sow 13 and Sow 12 crews were on it, they were ready for me and the transition went smoothly. We rarely have issues.”
“Crystal has a great attitude and always helps out whenever we need some extra work done or an extra load,” said Clint, the Director of Inner Sanctum (a term associated with transportation internally from farm to farm, associated with the highest level of biosecurity). “We all help each other out,” adds Crystal. “I know if I need a hand that one of my fellow drivers will lend some help, and it goes both ways.”
And it’s a family affair, Crystal and her husband own Crazy Horse Trucking, a company that has three drivers and three trucks, all running market hauls for Iowa Select Farms.
Crystal also steps up to train new drivers and says the most important things about the job are understanding the rules of biosecurity, driving safely and under the speed limit, knowing when to adjust flaps and panels to keep the piglets comfortable during the trip, and how to calmly load and unload the pigs.
“Teaching someone how to unload pigs is the easy part,” laughs Crystal. “Backing up a gooseneck trailer if it’s their first time—that gets a little more difficult.”
“Crystal has a tremendous understanding of the transportation system and all of the practices and protocols we follow to ensure biosecurity, safety and animal well-being,” said Clint. “She’s a natural trainer, very patient and takes the time to explain the details. I feel very comfortable pairing her with a new driver to show them the ropes, we are lucky to have her,” said Clint. #billionpounds