128: Owner-Operator Highlight: Jimmy Evans

In this week’s episode of the Oakley Podcast, Jeremy Kellett hands the mic over to Miles Mason, who talks to Jimmy Evans about his experience with Oakley Trucking. Together they discuss Jimmy’s experience in the Marine Corps, the novelty of things well-worn, the necessity of trucking, and much more.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Oakley Update: GEOtab videos, company party recap (3:13)
  • Jimmy’s background and personal life (5:06)
  • How Jimmy came to Oakley (10:38)
  • Jimmy’s interests beyond trucking (17:47)
  • The novelty of things well worn (22:22)
  • What Jimmy would tell his younger self (28:53)
  • Jimmy’s road life YouTube channel (38:24)

Follow Jimmy’s Road Lyfe:

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Jimmy Evans  0:12  

We need the freight haulers, we need the bulk haulers, we need the liquid haulers. We need all of them. The pneumatics, the end dumps. Everybody plays a role and it’s very important. It’s the infrastructure of this country. It’s a lifeline.

Jeremy Kellett  0:25  

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family.

Hi, this is Jeremy Kellett, Director of Recruiting here to be trucking and I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family and this is episode 128. So on today’s episode, Miles Mason that works here at Oakley is going to sit down with one of Oakley’s owner-operators, Jimmy Evans and he’s from Ohio. And it’s gonna be a great conversation between these two because they’re Noda Oakley. So Miles Mason works in the recruiting department and helps with our social media and podcasting and things like that. And he has been here since April, I believe. And then we got Jimmy Evans. It just started his journey as an independent contractor with Oakley trucking, and it’s good conversation that they have. Jimmy’s been driving for many years and got a military background and he talks a little bit about that too, which is very interesting. So it’s just a good conversation between those two. I hope you enjoy it. But first, let’s do a Oakley update sponsored by Arrow Truck Sales.

Let’s listen to one of Oakleys owner operator experience with Arrow Truck Sales

Unknown Speaker  1:54  

I called Kenworth offer 440. Called Peterbilt. Call Freightliner. None of them wanted to work with me. So, Jeremy Kellett got me and got me over to Trey. Trey visor, me and him had a conversation. He’d sent me to Keith Wilson and never looked back from that point. I was upside down 29,000 and change. They paid off all but $5,000 of my loans on a blown truck. That right there said a lot to me. You know they’re you were willing to step outside of their comfort zone. To get my deal done. I’ve never felt like a customer. It was more like a family feeling. He took care of every aspect of the deal. He was completely transparent. There was no hidden, no hidden nothing.

Jeremy Kellett  3:03  

So if you’re in the market for a used truck, you owe it to yourself to call Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales in Springfield, Missouri. Tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast.

So real quick on the Oakley update. I don’t know if you’ve been to our YouTube channel lately, but JP in the safety department has put out three new videos concerning Geotab and very helpful hints that it basically did it saying they get a lot of calls for these simple tasks to do so he did a video putting it out there showing you a couple of things. One of them. Let’s see, they were just two to three-minute videos about how to verify logs, how to add and detach shipments, and also how to log in to TransFlo and hours, hours of service. So check those out on our YouTube channel. Oakley trucking, and it’ll show you how to do that simple. So he does a great job with it.

Also next week, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode because we’re going to be talking about the Oakley company party that took place here in North Little Rock and all the stuff that happened and all everything that went on with the pride and polish and just the reckon recognition of employees and independent contractors is going to be a great, great episode. So tune back in for that.

We’re glad to be back with you, starting this podcast. A little bit of time off for a month just to regroup and kind of get some new content for you and get fired back up. So we got some good information coming at you. And we’re starting out with this conversation between Miles and Jimmy.

Miles Mason  4:38  

What’s going on everybody? It’s Miles with Oakley Trucking. Jeremy isn’t here today. He’s currently in Catoosa, Oklahoma, helping out some owner-operators, paying for dinner, that sort of stuff. This is episode 128 of The Oakley Podcast and I have Jimmy Evans here. How are you Jimmy?

Jimmy Evans  4:53  

I’m good. How are you?

Miles Mason  4:54  

Doing pretty good. We actually had a technical difficulty where one of the cameras shut off, so we’re doing a little restart, but you were telling me a little bit about your background. And so why don’t we just start off with where are you from?

Jimmy Evans  5:08  

Okay, I’m from Northeast Ohio. I live in a little town called Ravenna, which is right between Akron and Youngstown, Ohio.

Miles Mason  5:13  

Very cool. And you joined the you said, you lived in the Carolinas at a time before you joined the Marine Corps?

Jimmy Evans  5:20  

Yeah, right. About halfway through my adolescent years, I lived in Charlotte and Greenville, South Carolina, we migrated back to Northeast Ohio. And then I joined the Marine Corps. And they immediately sent me back to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, which was on the other end of the state, and I loved every minute of it.

Miles Mason  5:36  

Very cool. And so that’s where I had asked you before where you got started because then you say that you. You’ve been driving for 31 years? Everyone trucking for 31 years? Yes, that’s correct. And that interest was sparked by your service in the Marine Corps.

Jimmy Evans  5:49  

Exactly. I was a motor transport Marine. And you know, you always wanted to go to the military learn a skill. So my skill was driving, and I was a tractor-trailer heavy equipment. And I thought, What am I going to do when I get out? Well, I’m a driver. So I’m gonna go drive. And here I am.

Miles Mason  6:04  

So where all did your service in the Marine Corps take you?

Jimmy Evans  6:07  


Miles Mason  6:08  

Really? Like, did it take you overseas?

Jimmy Evans  6:10  

Oh, absolutely.

Miles Mason  6:11  

Where overseas did you go?

Jimmy Evans  6:12  

Goodness gracious. I mean, I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, but up in Norway, Iceland, Greenland. And then obviously, we fly F Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom with Baghdad, Kandahar and all those deployments. Because I got seven deployments there.

Miles Mason  6:26  

Gotcha. What is driving heavy equipment in Japan? Like, that seems like it would be very interesting.

Jimmy Evans  6:35  

It is very interesting because you’re driving a American-made piece of equipment on the opposite side of the road because they drive like an England in Japan. Yeah. So you’re sitting opposite of the centerline track to make sure you’re not hitting anybody? Yeah, from a safety standpoint, it’s pretty awkward. But you get used to it. So it’s very unique.

Miles Mason  6:54  

Very cool. I guess what is the coolest place that you’ve been to? Or in your opinion, what is the place that you’ve been to? That was like, totally, like rocked your world?

Jimmy Evans  7:03  

The best place without a doubt would have been Norway. I’ve been there three times.

Miles Mason  7:06  

What about Norway?

Jimmy Evans  7:07  

It’s just beautiful. It’s beautiful. You get up into the fjords in the mountains. And I’ve been there three times. And it’s just unreal how gorgeous it is up there. And the people were phenomenal. We were doing NATO exercises up there. And basically, it was the northern tier during the Cold War case, anything ever kicked off with Russia. And this is talking about the late 80s. I’m aging myself here. But it was amazing. It’s something that you just can’t put the words into how beautiful it was.

Miles Mason  7:33  

You said that the people were amazing. What about the people?

Jimmy Evans  7:36  

Oh, as nice as could be. I mean, here’s a bunch of young marines parked on the side of the road and these people would come down from their house is on offer food and coffee and, and drinks are non-alcoholic. Of course, we get in trouble as a bunch of young Marines for that. But no, just amazingly nice people.

Miles Mason  7:51  

That’s very cool. So tell me a little bit more about your personal life. You said you have a wife, you have any kids, any family?

Jimmy Evans  7:58  

No, no, half-brother been married for 12 years now. Never had kids because I was always deployed and I didn’t really think it was fair try to bring a big family into the world knowing that— I had a pretty long military career. 22 years. If something happened, I’m going to leave my kids fatherless. So it just never materialized.

Miles Mason  8:18  

I think that’s a very honorable way of viewing— not really wanting to bring a child into the world with that sort of outcome.

Jimmy Evans  8:27  

Exactly. We lost men, and that means that kids lost dads, and some kids lost mothers. And, you know, it certainly isn’t a total deterrent, but it just never materialized.

Miles Mason  8:37  

Yeah. So you’re sort of kind of keep remembering details from what we had talked about before. You had mentioned that you and a bunch of your cousins had joined the military. Did that have any influence on the decision that you made?

Jimmy Evans  8:53  

No, not really. It just, well, no, I had my sister joined the army. One of my cousins joined the Air Force. One cousin joined the Navy and I went to the Marine Corps. So we had the definite inter-family Service revelry, but I’m sorry, he just can’t compete with Marines. We know that there are dress blues are amazing. But it was a good little family rival.

Miles Mason  9:11  

That was the silver lining, was wearing the dress blues.

Jimmy Evans  9:13  

Oh, you can’t beat them. Yeah, those dress blues are amazing.

Miles Mason  9:17  

Yeah. My last roommate that I had was a Marine in Legion.

Jimmy Evans  9:22  

They’re awesome guys.

Miles Mason  9:24  

Here’s an out-of-pocket question. Or maybe out-of-pocket isn’t the right word, but what is your life philosophy?

Jimmy Evans  9:31  

Oh gosh, the golden rule. Do unto others as you’d have done unto yourself. It’s very good. Something was said to me years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it. And there’s like stickers out now and little slogans that say this, but it says, be nice to everybody because somebody is going through something you know nothing about. It’s a very true statement. And I remember once I was driving down the road with my wife, and there was an old man in front of me. He was driving just very slowly, and I’m being impatient, you know? I was in my car and I’m like, ‘Come on, get outta the way.’ I’m being impatient, and my wife looked at me and she said, ‘Why don’t you slow down?’ And I said, ‘Well, the guy needs to speed it up.’ And she goes, ‘Honey, maybe he just lost his wife. You have no idea what that man’s going through. He could be driving slow because he’s sad.’ And I said, ‘Well, you know what? You gotta point.’ And it was a real eye-opener for me. So literally, yeah. Be nice to everybody. Because everyone’s going through something you know nothing about.

Miles Mason  10:23  

That’s like your mantra.

Jimmy Evans  10:26  

Well, for the most part, yeah, exactly. Stay drama free, and just treat people how you want to be treated.

Miles Mason  10:32  

I like that. I like that a lot. Yeah. So what brought you to Oakley?

Jimmy Evans  10:37  

Oh, gosh, I’ve got a friend that’s been here for about 10 years now. And I’ve known him for almost 20. And I’ll leave him nameless, but great guy. And he never tried to recruit me. To Oakley. As a matter of fact, I give him a lot of credit for all these years. He’s actually talked to me about the pitfalls of buying a truck some of those things that, you know, if you did this, you need to be aware of these things. Because it’s not all roses, you know. And I originally talked to Kent, I think it was five years ago. Realized five years ago. Yeah. And I’d stayed in touch with my friend obviously, all these years. And he just kept talking about how great Oakley was, you know, and, you know, he’s making great money. But beyond that they’re honest. He kept saying these people are honest. And it’s not that my company I left wasn’t honest. But there’s something to be said for integrity. They’re just really is.

Miles Mason  11:26  

Well, how did you meet your friend who works? He’s been where we both worked together at my previous job. Really, you want to talk a little bit about your job that you had before?

Jimmy Evans  11:34  

Yeah, I worked for a company called a do we pile on? It’s not a joke. It’s actually a real name. But it’s a great company out of Westchester, Pennsylvania, they’re LTL. And I was a line haul driver. I ran from Cleveland to Batavia, New York every night for the last 14 years. And he was the number two guy on the board and seniority. And but it’s just getting really boring. It was getting really old. But they were wonderful people. I mean, just a wonderful company. The leadership was great. The money was great well into six figures. I think I was gonna gross right around 120,000 This year if I would have stayed there and still made the choice to come over here. Just for something different and finish my career over here, doing what I want.

Miles Mason  12:16  

What about it was getting monotonous and boring?

Jimmy Evans  12:20  

Oh, goodness, it was the same thing every single night. And I’d heard it said once that you know everything in life, you know, just as 123123 It’s all on repeat. And I kind of got to thinking over the last few years, you know, it’d be kind of nice to get to four, five and six every now and again. Yeah, and I was only getting to 123 because it was Groundhog Day. So being over here at Oakley is great. I’ve seen places in the last month that I’ve been here that I haven’t seen in 25 years and it’s actually been pretty decent.  I’ve enjoyed it.

Miles Mason  12:48  

Remind me what division you are.

Jimmy Evans  12:49  

End dump.

Miles Mason  12:50  

End dump. Okay. Because you’re you said before the camera had cut that you were hauling Zorba to Milwaukee?

Jimmy Evans  12:57  

Yep. I picked up in Milwaukee and I delivered right down the street here to Altair in North Little Rock.

Miles Mason  13:01  

So is the is part of what makes things a little less monotonous. The active part of unloading the trailer. Do you is that one of the things that you like about?

Jimmy Evans  13:13  

Absolutely. I look I’ll say this, okay, anybody looking to come to Oakley, you’re going to sweat. You’re going to get dirty you’re going to work? That’s just a fact. Yeah. And I knew that coming in. And as a Marine, I’m not going to shy away from work. I try to stay as fit as I can for a guy in my early 50s. But just yeah, that the physical activity of getting up in there. I’m not gonna lie, you know, it’s hot. It’s sweaty. You know, sometimes you’re like, goodness, man, I’m sweating. It’s just terrible. I really can’t wait to get a shower. But, you know, for the most part, just being able to get out and have that activity, as well as the different products that we’re hauling. I’ve got everything. I mean, we all know this from scrap, to Coke, to roofing granules to scrap wire. It’s been amazing. Some of the things I’ve already put in that trailer.

Miles Mason  13:57  

When you go to these locations, and you have to deal with people, what do you like? What do you dislike?

Jimmy Evans  14:02  

Well, I always like meeting new people. And I’ve been actually extremely impressed that every single customer that I’ve gone to so far that I’ve went to the people have been really decent, phenomenal. You know, I’m gonna give you an example. I was in Rockford Illinois last week, picking up a load of cast iron borings going down to Indiana. And you know, just a new guy making mistakes, I came back up to their skill from the wrong direction. And here I am going the wrong way. And I did ask the loader I said do we go out the way we came in going this way? And he said, Yeah, so I assumed you went out the opposite direction. Well, anyhow, long story short, I’m facing the wrong direction. And I’m in Illinois, near Chicago. I expected that I was gonna get yelled at. Yeah, you know, the lady your hand slapped? Yeah, exactly. You know, and the lady in the office Campbell running outside trying to stop me today. Oh, gosh, here we go. I’m gonna get yelled at. She was like, you have to turn around, sir. I’m like, I’m so sorry. I’m the new guy. Very decent. I mean, she just did. I just tried to help Let me out, you know, and I apologize when I went to get my paperwork and look, I’m new. I didn’t know the proper way to go, I apologize. And she goes, Don’t worry about it, we got it. So people have been wonderful, even with mistakes that I’ve made, just trying to learn their process.

Miles Mason  15:13  

That’s very cool. Yeah, it must be exciting getting to go to all these different places.

Jimmy Evans  15:19  

It is actually, you know, I don’t really like to get into the weeds on what everyplace does with these products. But it is pretty cool. When you see how much industry is in our country, and all the different things that other people do. Like, I’ll give you an example. You know, I mean, I was at ABC, Coke and Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday. And as a new guy there, I made my mistakes there. And I learned a lot of lessons there of what not to do and what to do. But as I’m sitting there under the chute getting loaded, I’m looking at the men that are working there. And I’m sitting in a really nice Kenworth, you know, in a dry-fit shirt with my air conditioner on. And here’s a group of men outside in heavy canvas uniform, you know, close, working out in the heat, you know, watching me get loaded. And I’m thinking to myself, there are so many different jobs in this country that people do that. We just don’t have a clue how much is out there. Right. And it’s actually really cool to observe a lot of that.

Miles Mason  16:12  

There’s a lot of work that goes into just the everyday life of exactly of living in America. That’s something that I didn’t understand. Before I came to Oakley was the I guess maybe severity isn’t the right word. But the how important. The trucking industry is to the infrastructure of America, it’s like the bloodstream that is actually of our country is the slogan that I see all the time is if you’re what, like whatever you have, a trucker brought it.

Jimmy Evans  16:45  

If you got it, a truck brought it. There are these little things out on the highway, you know, we’re, you know, different companies might dog a different company, Swift or whatever. We need the freight haulers, we need the bulk haulers, we need the liquid haulers. We need all of them. The pneumatics, the end dumps. Everybody plays a role and it’s very important. It’s the infrastructure of this country. It’s a lifeline.

Miles Mason  17:07  

You have all of these commodities in one spot, how are you going to get them to the other side? They’re in, you know, you have commodities in North Carolina that need to go to Washington State. Exactly. How is it going to get there? Exactly. You got to pay somebody to take it over there.

Jimmy Evans  17:24  

Yeah. Who would have thought the roofing granules are gonna go from Montana to Atlanta. Wausau, Wisconsin, over to Shakopee with Minnesota and it was just that things move around so much. It’s really, really interesting.

Miles Mason  17:36  

Yeah. Very interesting. So what are on the word interests? What are your interests beyond driving a truck?

Jimmy Evans  17:45  

Yeah. You know, goodness gracious. I mean, I used to do a lot of things. So I’ll be the first to admit that I have ADD. So yeah, I’ll do something for a year. I mean, not work-related. I was at my last company for 17 years. So work is always the constant and Oakley will need a constant till I retire. But like I might pick up though for a couple years, and I’ll get bored with it. And then I might go fishing for a couple years. And then I get bored with it. But really, I hate to say it. Oh, goodness, all I ever do is work. You know, and I just enjoy working actually, I’m not a slave to it. But you know, I just like to process of working. And lately, it’s just been more in the digital world. You know, whether it’s photography, video, things of that nature, I find that to be pretty interesting.

Miles Mason  18:28  

What sparked your interest in the digital stuff?

Jimmy Evans  18:32  

Well, photography years ago, just capturing something for a memory, you know, and I think it’s really cool when you can look at a picture. And you know, it’s framed properly. And the clarity is great, and it’s edited to good and you’re like, man, it’s just an amazing picture. And I especially like night photography. That’s just beautiful. Looking at a skyline like a city after dark when the pictures taken properly. What kind of camera do you have? I have a Nikon? Yes, the 5600. Very cool. Yeah, it’s a little bit older. It’s still a mirrored camera. But I just don’t want to drop $3,000. They’re pretty pricey.

Miles Mason  19:04  

Yeah. You had mentioned to me before when you finished orientation that you have a drone. Do you have a drone?

Jimmy Evans  19:11  

No, no, that was another fellow at orientation. I think his name was Nick.

Miles Mason  19:15  

Was that Nick?

Jimmy Evans  19:16  


Miles Mason  19:17  

I remember there was it was your orientation class was very special. Because usually when I give that marketing Spiel to people, you can usually tell if they’re going to be interested in it or not. And I was surprised at the amount of people in that class that are actually interested in the video production in the photography, you know, it’s not a lot of times. It’s very, I’m getting into the weeds of, of how people view technology, which I don’t know, if I necessarily want to go there. It’s just usually people are either all about it, or they’re not exactly I was surprised with the amount of people in that class that were like, yeah, video editing, totally.

Jimmy Evans  20:03  

Like, two or three of us had exposure to that, and maybe four if I’m not mistaken. So you do you use a lot of social media now? Not really, because I don’t like the drama. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I think most of it’s fake actually. Yeah. I mean, you’ve got a lot of really—

Miles Mason  20:16  

Like, the things that people are talking about?

Jimmy Evans  20:18  

Yeah, exactly, you know, and just as long short, you know, not to go off on a tangent about social media. But, you know, for those people that are using it for family and friends, obviously, it has purpose, the grandparents seeing the grandkids, stuff like that. But and a lot of cases, you know, I think people are living a fake life on social media, you know, look, everybody’s on vacation, you know, and we just spent $30,000 to go wherever. And, you know, we live in the biggest house and drive the best cars. And it’s, it’s a facade of what may actually be going on, because the reality is that, that family’s probably in debt up to their eyeballs. And they’re trying to make everybody impressed on social media, when in all actuality they’re living a very stressful life, because we’re trying to be something they’re not.

Miles Mason  20:59  

I will say that I have seen studies that the more of a part that social media has played in everyday life, the less satisfied a lot of people are with their own lives. Because it’s kind of like, part of what you’re saying, or what I’m, what it’s reminding me of is that you’re seeing like the best parts of people’s lives. You’re just seeing, like snapshots of it. So when all you see are the good of somebody’s life, yeah, start you know, drawing that comparison. Like Exactly. These people are always happy always having a good time while he’s doing these great things. It’s like what am I doing? You never actually see the worst parts of somebody’s life on social media.

Jimmy Evans  21:39  

They don’t post the fight they had last night. They post a great dinner they had three weeks ago, but not the big argument they had last night about the bills and the kids.

Miles Mason  21:48  

Sometimes I have to just completely disconnect. It can be difficult, especially because that’s my job is, is handling all the social media. But there are some times that I just have to like, just just just get away from it because it can really get you like fall into the pit, you know, or you get so wrapped up in the social media, you have to like, exactly, take a break. Enjoy what you have. Yeah. Reevaluate. Now, that sort of stuff.

I think I have— This one says off-topic, but there’s a note that I have something that I was thinking of, was the novelty of things looking well worn. Does that make any sense to you? Or would you like me to elaborate?

Jimmy Evans  22:32  

Eh, elaborate.

Miles Mason  22:33  

So, I mean, here’s, here’s literally what happened, I was looking at my shoe. And I was thinking about how whenever I wear shoes, I will wear the same pair of shoes every day. Okay, well, I usually don’t switch it up. I like to stick to one pair of shoes, but I kind of like that over time, you know, you wear something enough times it gets kind of worn out. So I think that there are certain people there’s like the novelty of something looking well worn. And I think the other comparison that I drew to that is that there are people who are into motorcycles. Like I’m into motorcycles. There’s a certain novelty about old. Like it’s kind of like, like going to an antique store. See an old triumph for a Norton? Yeah, exactly. It’s like totally clapped out. But that’s part of the beauty of America. So I wanted to ask you how you feel about that.

Jimmy Evans  23:27  

The novelty of things well worn? Well, I’m gonna go a completely different direction. I’m not going to use it in regard to a material thing. I’m going to use it in the human sense and a word that I’m going to use as mentors and wisdom. Okay, so you have an old pair of boots. Okay. And those are the best boots you’ve ever owned. They’ve done you well. Okay. Yeah. Well, I don’t want to what soul people of age, because I’m getting there very quickly. But when I look at the mentors that I’ve had, and those men and women that are maybe a decade older than they two decades older than me, and they give me very wise advice. Okay, after much discernment and life’s experience, you start to appreciate the novelty of something well-worn as we get older. And you know, you know what, these are some wise words that I’m being given right now, I might want to absorb them and hang on to him a little while. So that’s what I take from that.

Miles Mason  24:22  

That’s cool. Did you have a lot of mentors growing up?

Jimmy Evans  24:29  

I’ve been very fortunate that I probably have a very core nucleus, maybe fires men that I’ve had, and obviously, my grandmother passed many years ago. She was without a doubt the wisest person I’ve ever known. And many, many conversations that you know, I didn’t appreciate them as much then even though I loved them. But now when you look back on him, you’re like, yeah, she used to have the saying that. She said, I got too soon old and too late. Smart. Say that one more time. I got too soon old and too late. Some Art, which is another way of saying wisdom comes with age. And it’s very true as I look back on those things, and I’m not a wise person by any stretch of the imagination, but I can see in my lifetimes were these men and women that I’ve heard that have been mentors, or some of the things that they’ve said to me actually absorbed and were instilled, and it changed the direction I may go, or a focus that I may have that I otherwise may not have done.

Miles Mason  25:24  

Kind of like, “Man. They were right.” I like what you said, you have your core nucleus because that reminds me of there’s this book by I don’t know if you know who Jack Donovan is, he has this book called The Way of man in the first part of the book talks about humans and their social structures. And basically a social circle that a, I guess, the maximum size of a social structure that a single human being can, can maintain, because it’s basically like you have your core nucleus of people that you listen to. And then beyond that, there comes a certain point where you know, so many people that you can actually maintain a sense of like, trust with them. And I think, I think in his book, he says that the maximum size that you can have is like a platoon of guys.

Jimmy Evans  26:20  

I believe that. I would even go smaller than that, I would probably say a squad, you know, someone who’s been there, I used to have a rule that I always lived by with my troops. And it was a no one personal thing about every one of my troops. You know, it was the way to make a connection, you know, whether it was somebody’s child, somebody’s mother, father, whatever it might be, that was important to him. But if I would have had so many troops, and I mean, at one point I had, you know, gosh, probably 30 or 4050 troops at one time, I don’t know how these dispatchers do it, maintaining all these trucks? Gosh, they’re so good at what they do. But if I had more than that, where you talk about this, this group you did, you’d be sore to try to even just maintain the memory of knowing what was what, and I can’t even go there. My core nucleus is about four or five. Yeah, yeah, no, everything else. They’re just acquaintances, exactly, are just acquaintances here, but it says, Oh, I’m your friend, well, matter, you’re an acquaintance. These are my friends right here.

Miles Mason  27:12  

Or it’s like, sometimes I see it as like, a circle, you know, your inner, I guess that’s why they call it an inner circle, inner circle. And then with each ring that you get out, you know, that group of people less and less and less. And so there’s like for me, too, there are about like, four people that I’m super tight with. And then you go out around, and it’s like, people that I probably give keys to my house. And then beyond that, exactly. The trust starts falling off, which I think a lot of people get caught up in, in train to have a lot of people in that inner circle, which is personally something that I have learned is four. Four is the magic number.

Jimmy Evans  27:56  

It’s too congested, it’s just too much to try to maintain. I think if people actually sat back and they really observed what they hadn’t evaluated them, they probably find that’s about what they had, you know, you’ve I probably have four people that I could say we’re actually brothers, you know, their brothers. Okay. And the rest of them. Well, you might be near friend, maybe. And beyond that. That’s few. And beyond that. Now, you might be an acquaintance.

Miles Mason  28:18  

What is that saying? Blood is thicker than water?

Jimmy Evans  28:21  

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve got some brothers that aren’t blood that that are just amazing. Totally. I know, they’d be there in a heartbeat.

Miles Mason  28:30  

That was kind of crazy. You took that off-topic thing and just totally spun it on its head. That’s the point. That’s the same to my whole. I thought that’s cool. But let’s see what else we got. On the topic of mentors, what’s some advice that you would give yourself? Your, your past self knowing what you know, now?

Jimmy Evans  28:52  

Oh, goodness, yeah, you have two ears and one mouth? Oh, absolutely. I think I sent that down so many times. Yeah, just be quiet. And listen, you’ll learn so much. People are so quick to speak anymore. And I’m guilty of this 100% My wife tells me all the time, you know, you talk too much. Ya know, it’s just unfortunate. It’s just the way I am. But looking back, goodness gracious. You know, there’s been so many times in my life that if I would have just stopped and listened, it would have been so much different. You know, and, you know, this is where good mentors, eventually sunk in, you know, take the time to observe and learn. And at my last company, I was a trainer. And I told all of the new men and women that are trained. I said, I’m gonna give you a little bit of advice. Okay. Go through a full cycle, before you form an opinion. Okay, it goes through a full cycle. What is it full cycle? And they asked me that question I did ask it was one year, one year goes through all the seasons and I’m not just talking the physical seasons, winter, summer, fall spring, but through business seasons, as we know, even here at Oakley, I’m sure we have, you know, seasons that are busier than others. You know, January might be busier than July because of soul or something else. I don’t know. And but I said go through all 12 months, before you form an opinion, and let that happen at the end of that one year, then you can start having an opinion about things and maybe start saying something, obviously, if you see something very important and say it, if it’s safety, bring it up immediately. But you know, if you’re looking at something within the company, then go through all the seasons. And it’s kind of the same thing with life. You know, if you gotta go through the seasons to learn what really works and what doesn’t. So, best advice, I would give, just sit back, Watch, Learn, okay, and when the time comes to say something, okay, just make sure that it’s productive. And that’s the other part of that, you know, there’s so many people in this world that are just absolutely critical. Okay, well, if you’re just a critic, then just say that you’re just being critical. Yeah. You know, I used to say to my troops all the time, that if you’re gonna come to me with a problem, you better have already thought about a solution. Don’t come to me with a problem. Just be like a senior, you know, this is wrong. This is messed up, man. Well, first of all, he was messed up, sir. Okay. But, you know, this is messed up. If you’re gonna come to me and say, It’s messed up, the next thing coming out of your mouth should be but I have a couple of ways that I think we might be able to make it better, that it’s a productive conversation. So I probably the best advice I give could be so critical.

Miles Mason  31:15  

Do you think people too often say something before they really think about it?

Jimmy Evans  31:20  

Absolutely. I’m guilty of that. Aren’t we all? Oh, yeah. Yeah. You know, goodness gracious. How many times do you say something and you can’t get words back? You know, you’re like, oh, man, I wish I wouldn’t have said that. It’s gone. It’s gone. Yeah, it’s out there. Kind of like an email, you know, as recall doesn’t work once you hit send. But yeah, it’s just it, you know, be productive. Again, it goes back to the very beginning. You know, I mean, do you want something being overly critical with you? Well, no, not really. You know, well, then quit being overly critical with them. You know, don’t be so quick to speak and just sit back and listen for a little while see if productive offered. You know, productive suggestions is constructive.

Miles Mason  31:54  

Scott Cowden has said before on the podcast, the first step to good communication is listening.

Jimmy Evans  32:02  

It’s very true. Smart, man. Gives good advice.

Miles Mason  32:03  

There are so many times that my parents have given me advice. And I’m like, Yeah, whatever. Yeah. And then it comes full circle. I’m like, man.

Jimmy Evans  32:07  

And the older you get, the more you realize it. It’s amazing. The older you get, how much you implement what they taught you, you know, but by the same token, you know, I had this conversation with a guy one time, and he was talking about how his father was, and you know, his dad’s father, and whatnot. And he was kind of going down the same path, and it wasn’t a good direction to go at and I said, you know, don’t be your dad’s dad, or don’t let your dad be you, you know, you have the ability to change the direction right now. You know, and so, you know, just those different things in life where, you know, you could look naked either be you can implement it, okay? And be the same person or you can realize, you know what, there might be a different way to do this. I don’t want this because I didn’t particularly enjoy this part of my, my life. So I’m going to make that change. So it’s better for those people coming after me. You know, we all have that power, just in how you treat other people.

Miles Mason  32:59  

One of the weird things about getting older— So I’m 24. And I’m coming to realize the transition between when you’re a kid, it’s like your parents are guiding you. When you get to a point, when you’re an adult, where you realize that your parents are just humans, to exactly what I’m saying. Yeah, like, it’s not it’s not in this like, almost like holy light, like I’m writing. It’s your once you become an adult, you realize you’re in the same boat.

Jimmy Evans  33:32  

Exactly. And that they’re just like us. They were just trying to make the best decisions. They could. Yeah, they’re not perfect. They’re gonna make mistakes. Yeah, you know, it’s just life.

Miles Mason  33:41  

Life. Life is crazy. Life is very crazy. You said you’re you, you’re a man of the faith. What? denomination?

Jimmy Evans  35:51  

Oh, well, you know, I was raised Protestant, Baptist, my wife was Catholic. So when her and I got married, I switched over, and I can’t remember exactly what the word was in the Catholic church went through RCA and all that. And then we kind of got away from that. And we pretty much just kind of became independent with our faith, you know, where, you know, the relationship that we have spiritually, is between us and God. And, you know, that’s how we channel our life and our spiritual life because there’s just been so many things that are jaded. Lately, with the different doctrinal religions and the churches, you know, it’s not to knock them in any way, shape, or form. But there’s been a lot of corruption, just like in government, you know, a lot of corruption, a lot of drama, a lot of stigmas. A lot of this, a lot of that. And it’s like, goodness, you know, if you’re a part of this, I mean, how do you know it’s completely correct? How do you know this? How do you know that? So you know, you just pray about it, and go with direction. And we worship independently.

Miles Mason  36:50  

You got to take personal responsibility for your own faith. I think that’s something that a lot of Americans need to realize is the importance of personal responsibility.

Jimmy Evans  37:02  

Yeah, I had a good one of my good mentors made a statement to me years ago, and it really resonated with me. He said, I have a personal relationship with my soul. And that’s all I need. And not to say that, you know, you don’t have fellowship with people that are like-minded. But nonetheless, it was very important that when he said that, because it really resonated with me, you know, that yeah, it’s that but it’s all about that personal relationship. So and that’s what we have. Very cool. Yeah, don’t take it for granted either.

Miles Mason  37:29  

I bet. It’s cool. Does your wife ever go on the road with shaver travel with you?

Jimmy Evans  37:33  

No, I don’t think it’ll happen much. She’s at home taking care of the four-legged minions.

Miles Mason  37:38  

What kind of four-legged minions?

Jimmy Evans  37:40  

Dogs. We have dogs, little dogs, pugs, chihuahuas, you know, little kitten dogs. As a lot of people with dogs. I got a chuckle one of my friends has a big Pitbull. And he laughs at me because we have you know, more than a few smaller dogs. And I tell him all the time, Mark, all of my dogs weigh less than yours. And I said, when you buy a bag of dog food, it goes by weight. This is for 20 to 30-pound dogs. This is I said, so all of my dogs are smaller than yours. It’s kind of funny, but she couldn’t really come out on the road with them. Because you had to pay somebody to watch the dogs and I’m not gonna bring the dogs with you as too much. Now. How many dogs do you have? I think she has six, six. Yeah, I couldn’t imagine. We’re fortunate. So yeah, yeah, there’s plenty of very cool. Yeah, it’s pretty decent stuff. It’s real nice. Yeah, she loves it.

Miles Mason  38:24  

There’s another question that I wanted to ask you, but I can’t remember what it was.

Jimmy Evans  38:27  

I don’t know, but I would encourage people to subscribe to my channel.

Miles Mason  38:31  

Oh, yeah. Let’s talk about Jimmy’s road life. How’s that going for you?

Jimmy Evans  38:34  

I’m having a good time with it. I would encourage people to subscribe to Jimmy’s road list. Try to get the word out there about Bruce Oakley, I’m a novice at this YouTube thing. But I’m having a really good time with it.

Miles Mason  38:45  

I guess we should back up and kind of explain. Jimmy has a YouTube channel documenting his life in trucking.

Jimmy Evans  38:52  

Yes. Well, primarily starting with Oakley pile, you know, they were hesitant and they frowned upon, you know, people making any kind of social media about them. And I get it, you know, they didn’t want that getting out there unless it was channeled through them. Right. That’s one of the things I really liked about Oakley, is that we can have the liberty and the latitude to do it. You know, as long as it’s decent, you know, and it’s professional, which of course, I understand that. But that’s one of the things I look forward to doing when I came over here because of that creative side with photography. And I’ve actually been having a really good time with it. And I know before I came to work, Tanner sides, Rob Holly, you know, those men that have been here that were doing it. I mean, I absorbed all of their videos trying to learn as much as I could about Oakley. And I thought it was pretty cool that they were doing that. And I said to my wife, I said, you know, that would be a lot of fun. I want to do that. And so after I came here and kind of got my feet a little bit wet with what was going on and kind of got into a rhythm. I started doing it myself and I’ve actually had a really good time with it.

Miles Mason  39:51  

That’s cool. What do you do when you’re on the road to occupy yourself?

Jimmy Evans  39:57  

That’s a pretty broad question.

Miles Mason  39:59  

I guess. I mean, it’s kind of like what do you like to do whenever you’re on a long drive?

Jimmy Evans  40:03  

Well, here’s what I’ll say. Okay? My dispatcher is Kyle Haney. I haven’t met him yet because he’s an Oklahoma port 33. I think it is 433 Goodness gracious. You know, when I was given him as a dispatcher, no, and I’ll get to your question here briefly. Yeah, I thought I got a dispatch from Oklahoma. How’s this going to work? And everybody here, Dustin Randolph. All those people said he’s a great guy. Been here for a long time. They said he’s a good dispatcher. And I’m gonna tell you something. He’s a good dispatcher. I’m very impressed. Yes, Kyle, if you’re watching this, you’re rocking it. I appreciate it. Okay, you’re doing a great job. He has kept me slammin. And I love it. And I’m a busy guy.

Miles Mason  40:41  

What is slamming?

Jimmy Evans  40:41  

He just keep moving. Just keep me moving. And you know, I’m not out here to sit around and play pinball games in the truck stops, I’m not here to make a living. I’m not here to put as many miles on that truck as I can. And I’ve got to give it I’ve got to give it to Kyle. Okay, I got here today for a 34-hour reset, with 20 minutes left on my clock that is planning. You know, I don’t think that’s a coincidence, because that’s the second time that’s happened. I went home over Labor Day with about an hour and a half left on my clock, which means that he had me routed and planned to basically utilize all of my hours. And just what a great job he’s doing. Very thankful to have him. So I have been so busy. That literally I am as a new owner-operator, I’m trying to plan my next fuel stop trying to learn how to go about doing that. Trying to plan the next maintenance on my trucks, okay, where’s my I’m still looking at routing because like I said, I ran upstate New York for 15 years, you know, I don’t know a lot of these other highways as well as I should, it’s been a number of years. So you know, now my time is spent, just trying to make sure I’m doing my job as efficiently and profitably as I can the same as any other company. But at the same time, you know, I think of different ways that I could, you know, if I did a video of this, or if I did a video of that not driving down the road, of course, you know, it’s unsafe, but different ways that I could kind of produce what I’m doing. For those people that were like me that might want to come here and want to see more of what we do the day to day life. And so that’s what I tried to do, you know, basically operate that truck efficiently. And try to find a way to produce a product that people would want to watch.

Miles Mason  42:18  

So you’re just behind the wheel and the gears are turning and you’re exactly I’m older than I do. I’m every analytic has my route. Yeah. What am I going to do for my next video?

Jimmy Evans  42:26  

Exactly, yeah. Yeah, which way am I going? Okay, where am I buying fuel at the best price? Do I need some work done to my truck? Where’s the best place to get that done? Am I going to stop and spend the night? And yeah, if I if I’ve taken a number of videos, I use GoPro, I love GoPro, you know, okay, let me extract these and see if I can edit them together in something that might actually make a product that somebody might want to watch. And that’s what I do in the evening. It’s actually pretty time-consuming. It takes about an hour and a half at a time.

Miles Mason  42:54  

Video editing is very time-consuming.

Jimmy Evans  42:58  

I have a great appreciation for those people that have been doing it because I realize that it can take some time. Yeah, yeah, but it’s a lot of fun. I enjoy Yeah, the creative process.

Miles Mason  43:07  

Just something about it. Yeah. Even like editing the podcast is just there’s something about cutting video together that I just love.

Jimmy Evans  43:15  

Exactly. There’s a lot of work to it. I have a big appreciation for what you do here.

Miles Mason  43:20  

Well I appreciate what you do.

Jimmy Evans  43:21  

Oh, thank you. I appreciate that.

Miles Mason  43:23  

All right, Jimmy, that’s it. Don’t forget to like and subscribe, and comment down below if you have ideas for what you’d like to hear, but appreciate it, Jimmy.

Jimmy Evans  43:33  

Thank you, sir.

Jeremy Kellett  43:34  

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.