DES MOINES, Iowa – Anthony Leech twice has taken a leap of faith and he’s discovered both times he really enjoys what was on the other side.
The latest leap has led Leech to being named TMC Trainer of the Month of June.
Before joining the Black and Chrome in 2003, the Panama City Beach, Fla., native was working a job where he made tires. Craving a change of scenery and a new challenge, he entered the world of over-the-road trucking. And then he got into training.
“I was going through training at a CDL school when a recruiter for TMC visited,” Leech said. “The company was just transitioning to Peterbilt trucks and they promised awesome home time, which were two appealing things for me.”
So he took the leap. And then he was approached about training and after some initial trepidation made the move and now is in his sixth year of helping new drivers prepare for the road.
“I was approached about it a couple of times, but I declined because I was nervous to try it out,” he said. “Getting to know someone new and showing them how TMC works has turned into another aspect of my job that I love.”
Driver trainers are vital to the TMC training department. The Trainer of the Month is chosen based on their safety record and the safety performance of their trainees, the number of drivers trained and the retention percentage of those drivers.
Leech understands the challenges of transitioning to OTR driving and he focuses on the basics with his trainees, many of whom are coming into the industry from other pursuits.
“Most guys get in the truck and doubt themselves,” he said. “It’s my job to encourage them to keep going and keep learning.
“You have to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you’re safe doing whatever it is you’re doing. As long as you keep the wheels spinning safely, you’ll find success.”
The camaraderie out on the road is something that’s important to Leech. He’s been the best man in weddings of two drivers he has trained. It’s those relationships that are among the many reasons he plans to stick around.
“I plan on retiring with TMC,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”