There have been technological advances in so many areas around the world, from commercial to residential.
One thing that hasn’t changed as dramatically is transportation. Fifty years ago, big rigs were pounding the roads, delivering produce from coast to coast and border to border. Today, those 18-wheelers are doing the same thing. The insides and the panel instruments have all been upgraded to include GPS and many other new functions, but driving for the long haul remains the same. Victor Diaz knows, he’s been around those big trucks and transport loads all his life.
Diaz is the owner and operator of VD Transports, a one-truck operation that delivers produce from South Texas to all points north. His most recent trek – a 10-day trip – took him to Philadelphia, Illinois, Wisconsin, Dallas, San Antonio and back home. That delivery logged more than 4,200 miles. “Most of his trips are seven days and about 3,000 to 4,000 miles,” said Victor’s wife, Hilda Diaz. Hilda takes care of the mileage logs and other paperwork for the business.
The semi engines are made to run for a million miles. The engines can run nonstop, only needing to be turned off for oil changes or other maintenance. Like most semis, Victor has his crawlspace behind the front seat to sleep and rest when the required break times come around. It’s enough room for him and his sons.
Victor’s dad also was a truck driver/transporter. As a child, Victor would “help” his dad and go on many long trips. Likewise, Victor will bring one of his two boys with him during the summer and other breaks. Daniel is 9 years old, and Rafael, who went on the latest trip, is 5 years old.
Victor began his business a little more than two years ago, departing from the truck driving company to go on his own. A longtime friend sold him his first truck via monthly payments and now Victor’s on his third truck. “The second one had too much maintenance and was putting us in debt,” he said. “But I’m much happier making my own money with my own business.”
His sights are on expanding his business soon. He said he plans to purchase another truck and hire a driver. Now that his name is known throughout the industry, he regularly has loads and enough work to expand. “That was the hardest part, getting my name known, where other companies could trust me,” he said. Now, he knows several drivers and has regular customers. Most of his pickups are in south McAllen at the produce terminal on Ware Road.
As the summer months turn into fall, there’s a two-month period where the transportation industry slows down for what Victor delivers. It’s during August and September that he can slow down and be with his family. It’s also the time when they will go on vacation. This year they’re thinking about driving to Mazatlan, Mexico for a vacation. It just won’t be in a semi.
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