For some civilian drivers, the simple task of driving incites frustration and anxiety, but truck driver Leo Garcia finds himself at peace while on the road. Learn more about Leo and why he loves his job as a Reddaway driver…
Dreaming of Big, Shiny Trucks
Leo Garcia was born in El Monte, California and grew up in Monterey Park. As a kid Leo spent his time playing baseball and tennis both inside and outside of school. It was at the young age of 12 when Leo first thought about driving as a career.
“When I was 12 I remember seeing a truck and being amazed at how big and shiny it was. That was the moment that I realized truck driving could be a career,” says Leo.
However, Leo started off his career pursuing other passions and came to the trucking industry later in life. His love for astronomy landed him a job at a aerospace company where he made titanium parts for aircrafts. How many people can say they’ve played a part in building an aircraft?
Finding Peace On the Open Road
Later in life, the wonder and awe that Leo felt as a 12 year old boy still remained and prompted him to go to truck driving school to earn his CDL. His first job as a truck driver was making Coast to Coast runs for about a year.
Leo’s wife also had an interest in driving, so he would often take her on ride alongs and show her the ropes, something that was great bonding time for the couple. His wife ended up driving for Wonder Bread for 23 years, and was only the second female driver for the company when she first started. What an accomplishment!
Leo started at Reddaway in 1990 shortly after his wife started at Wonder Bread. He’s been driving line haul ever since and loves the peace and quiet of his long drives from Fontana in Southern California up to Northern California. While Leo enjoys the peace and quiet some days, other days are best spent jamming to music in the cab.
Whatever he’s doing, it’s working! Leo has received a 2 million mile safety award for his excellent driving record, but has now reached almost 3 million accident-free miles. This great accomplishment is clearly not something any driver can achieve overnight, or even in a year. There’s more to it than just driving, and Leo can account for that:
“Good health and plenty of rest are keys to safe driving. A well-rested mind is capable of a better reaction time and a greater awareness of what’s going on around you,” says Leo.
On the Road to Retirement
Leo has enjoyed his career not only at Reddaway, but as a truck driver in general. He has always worked with nice and respectful people at the company and can’t say enough good things, making his coming retirement a bittersweet moment. While he loves the trucking industry, 2017 is the year for Leo to retire and start a brand new adventure with his wife in Henderson, Nevada.
The Garcia couple has been together since they were teenagers, and are still going strong today. After putting in the hard work together to learn the ins and outs of truck driving and having long, successful careers as drivers, the couple will soon be able to relax together, focus on spending time with their 3 children and grandchildren, and expand their hobbies.
When Leo isn’t on the road, he enjoys metal detecting and is excited for all the hidden treasures the Nevada deserts hold. In the past he has found some interesting relics and carvings among countless other odds and ends, and he is excited to see what he’ll find next. Leo also has a knack for astronomy and loves looking at the stars with his telescope.
If Leo’s 12 year old self could see where he has ended up and what all he has accomplished, he’d probably be pretty darn proud! Reddaway is grateful for Leo’s hard work and safe driving, and we wish him a happy and healthy retirement.