187: From Trucking to Thriving: Troy Parker’s Story at Oakley Trucking

This week on the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett chats with Troy Parker, an Owner/Operator at Oakley who has been with the company for the past five years. During the episode, Troy discusses his career as a truck driver, emphasizing the family-oriented values of Oakley, the support he receives, and the flexibility of his role. He highlights his commitment to safety, the importance of truck maintenance, the challenges and rewards of being an owner-operator, the supportive culture at Oakley Trucking, and more. 

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Troy’s background and experience in trucking (2:36)
  • From logging to owner-operator (4:28)
  • Troy’s Investment in his truck (5:22)
  • Safety and law enforcement experience (10:57)
  • Life as an owner-operator at Oakley (11:43)
  • Challenges and commitment to safety (13:31)
  • Financial management and dedication to the company (17:20)
  • Balancing work and family life (18:30)
  • Final thoughts and takeaways (20:08)

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.


Troy Parker  00:12

I was told when I came to work here at Oakley, that it was more family oriented than it is to this day. You’re not just an oak, which means a lot in this day and time. Yeah, there are places where you are

Jeremy Kellett  00:27

just and we even, you know, we’ve got 900 owner operators, and you’re saying you’re not their

Troy Parker  00:33

family when we meet somewhere their family, you take care of you see somebody broke down needs help, whatever it might be, they have common ground gathered around here. Welcome

Jeremy Kellett  00:44

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 insight to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family. There’s Jeremy kellett director recruiting here at Oakley trucking and I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast about trucking business and family. And as always, we appreciate everybody listening to the Oakley podcast and giving us some feedback and what you guys want to hear. And I always get good feedback when I interview Oakley drivers and I’ll tell you what it seems to get the most likes is talking to our owner operators about their experience as truck drivers, their history, their life and their time at Oakley. So we’re gonna visit today with Mr. Troy Parker and see what his life has been like as a truck driver.

Arrow Truck Sales Commercial  01:50

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Troy Parker  02:36

We say Mr. Parquet, it’s been great. I’m doing well appreciate you come in here and

Jeremy Kellett  02:44

do this. Yeah, well, I mean, you know, it’s, I know we kind of caught you off guard a little bit. That’s okay, that seems to get the best stuff. When you least expect it. Yes. Tell us who you are and where you’re from.

Troy Parker  02:55

I’m Troy Parker. I’m from Sherman, Texas. Spent some time raised in northeast Oklahoma. And I came to work for Oakley about five and a half be six years and mark that I’ll be with you live in Oklahoma. Now. I live in Sherman, Texas, now Sherman to get a famous family. And that’s one thing I would like to say about Oakley. They’re very understanding. Very flexible about you know, we all have lost knees and requirements and stuff that we you know, are needed to meet what we got to take care of at home. And they’re very flexible with that.

Jeremy Kellett  03:39

You gotta know, I’ve got

Troy Parker  03:41

my wife and our youngest son who is in college now. The rest of them are out of the house.

Jeremy Kellett  03:47

How many total for Oh, man.

Troy Parker  03:50

Yeah. But we had a pleasure working here. Always I mean, anything that comes up if he whatever it is that you need. They’re flexible with doctor’s appointments. I enrolled whatever it is you need to go to, their gallbladder needs. And that that kind of is reciprocated, you know that when they need you to do something that

Jeremy Kellett  04:16

goes a long way with you and that’s you and your wife. That’s right. Yeah, making those

Troy Parker  04:22

appointments. So that’s why we work.

Jeremy Kellett  04:25

How long have you been in trucking?

Troy Parker  04:28

Ah be 31 years in August.

Jeremy Kellett  04:31

What would you start out doing?

Troy Parker  04:33

I started out and logging long before I had a CDL hell to worry about. I started when I was 11 years old. Driving log trucking gears. The man that raised me would be 102 years old this year and that’s what we did. We logged in and worked hard. And then I went into the oil field, setting up drilling rigs and hauling pipe and pumping units. Then I did some heavy hauling for about 14 years. And then here I am and Gabe Oakley. I came to live an easy life. You did.

Jeremy Kellett  05:16

You’ve worked hard enough all rounders bought you. You bought your first truck to come here.

Troy Parker  05:22

I did. First truck I’m home.

Jeremy Kellett  05:26

When I was little I decided to become an owner operator.

Troy Parker  05:29

Well, it was always scary stepping into your own business aircraft. And we made it in five years so we’re going to call it a success. That’s good.

Jeremy Kellett  05:40

Well, you are a success. You know, I actually was talking to your dispatcher. Yeah, because you know, one thing we need to clarify is, y’all might see some things a little different here with our backdrop. Ceph we’re actually in Oklahoma, doing some recording. And that’s why we are highlighting some you know, Oakley, here lately that is out of Oklahoma. So this is our port 33 terminal. Out of Catoosa. Oklahoma, just out off 412 highway used to Tulsa. We got a trucking terminal and course port 33. And I always like to get to know some owner operators that have been dispatched to Oklahoma. And what I’m getting at is I was talking to your dispatcher cow earlier. And I said it’s tell me something unique. Tell me some good things about Troy Parker. Well, you know, he said some good things about you, Troy, he really did. He said he’s easy to work with. You work hard, you’re really efficient. good communicator, you get the whites on. I mean, he’s just he had, you know, a lot of good stuff to say but you and you know, that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what he looks for. He did tell me though, something I want to ask you about is you spent a bunch of money on this truck. Now what kind of truck you got.

Troy Parker  07:10

They had an O seven 379. Put a it’s an economical Hot Rod is what

Jeremy Kellett  07:17

it is what it is.

Troy Parker  07:20

Yeah, just put a new engine transmission, all the undercarriage drive lines, bushings, kingpins, brakes, everything.

Jeremy Kellett  07:30

So what made you do that? Well, I keep it and put all that money into it. Because that’s a question a lot of people ask, I’m sure like, well, you know, why don’t you just go buy a new one.

Troy Parker  07:40

This is my opinion on that. Whatever that counts for? I see. A lot of the nerd trucks like a sudden garage experience and you know, a lot of recalls and time off, you know, trying to get their trucks repaired and wiring harnesses and deaf fluid and Excedrin Metro, usually the Deaf fluid. So that’s what made my decision. Let’s put 100,000 in yet. And put $100,000 into that and then another truck. You put 100,000

Jeremy Kellett  08:17

on your truck

Troy Parker  08:18

while I put her found it

Jeremy Kellett  08:21

recently, recently, it’s got

Troy Parker  08:24

I’ve got all I’ve got 15,000 miles

Jeremy Kellett  08:27

since you’ve done all this. Yeah. Wow. That’s dedication on keeping this truck. Is it the truck? You started your way? Yes. Okay, so you’ve had it? Yeah. Since then five or six years. Tell me something about working at Oakley trucking. As far as your actual job that you do. You pulled up drove

Troy Parker  08:49

I do. I came on asking to be a regional grabber. And I typically leave on Monday morning, on Friday afternoon. Most of the time every once in a while we get a Saturday, you know, home at noon or something but that’s what I do. And it works for me when everybody’s happy and most importantly the wife is happy.

Jeremy Kellett  09:17

That’s what we got. Yeah, why is she happy? Well,

Troy Parker  09:21

It’s been 26 years of obedience on my part.

Jeremy Kellett  09:27

That makes her head. That’s perfect.

Troy Parker  09:30

Gina, you need to get you to lock that.

Jeremy Kellett  09:35

Oakley Trucking is a 100% Owner Operator company. We specialize in Hopper bottom and dump and pneumatic drivers. We provide the trailer free of charge and you provide the truck. We have a large customer base that reaches the whole United States as well as parts of Canada where owner operators live anywhere from Texas to North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and everywhere in between and we get them home weekends. We take it seriously when you join Oakley truck because we need you to be successful. Oakley offers great benefits and competitive mileage pay. So you know that when your wheels are turning, you’re generating money no matter if you’re loaded or empty. We understand that you want to make a good living and that you make our living. We only take on independent contractors and to be honest with you, we are very particular on who we lease on. You must have a good driving record, good work history and clean, dependable truck. So if you’re interested in Oakley trucking or just want some more information, you can go to Oakley trucking.com. Listen to our weekly podcast, the Oakley podcast and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Let’s talk about maybe if he wouldn’t drive on a truck? Well, I’ll tell you what, first. You told me you were in some law enforcement back in the day a long time ago. Yeah.

Troy Parker  10:49

98 man 2000 2001

Jeremy Kellett  10:52

How’s that helped you and your truck driving career or has it? It

Troy Parker  10:57

I’m pretty vigilant as far as being observant and safe first, always makes you know, when you’re in law enforcement course you kind of keep your hands on a special there. And it’s the same way with trucking. You gotta look out ahead of you as far as you can see, left right and behind you. And it’s so yeah, I’m pretty

Jeremy Kellett  11:28

hefty with safety. Yeah.

Troy Parker  11:31

Yeah. I mean, it’s I try to be courteous to others and help somebody if I need help protect somebody from the protect

Jeremy Kellett  11:39

What kind of other owner operators are weird Oakley? There Lupo made a lot of friends.

Troy Parker  11:45

I have made a lot of friends. Some that are even some of the off camera that are going man. You know, good fellas.

Jeremy Kellett  11:53

You still stay in contact? Yeah. Yeah. What kind of I mean, now get into the job. You know, I know getting homes is important. The product you haul the places you go. A lot of people don’t understand the life of a dump truck driver, you know, they think of local rocks and gravel, that kind of stuff. Yeah,

Troy Parker  12:17

We haul all kinds of products and have always said if you can put it in a trailer wing, dump it out. We’ll come.

Jeremy Kellett  12:25

We’ll call it any unique stuff. You’ve done that? Yeah, well over the years.

Troy Parker  12:29

I mean, we started the, you know, the fire lighters in the roof and granules and some of them, you know, went up and picked up warm Dart and hauled it to Nashville, Tennessee. And that was a learning experience for sure. I started down into the prettiest part of Nashville you can go into and I said, This can’t be any place for warm dirt. But it was where to go. It went to a worm farm.

Jeremy Kellett  13:00

Who knew? Yes, well, we got that little.

Troy Parker  13:03

I don’t know. I probably heard somebody say if we can load it in there and dump it out. We’re gonna get it

Jeremy Kellett  13:09

you’re probably right. Yeah. What do you think? You know, you see a lot of billboards. It was hit by a truck. A, you see a lot of you get a lot of people from the outside of the general public they have their mentality about truck drivers can be negative. What do you think? And what do you like to tell those people that don’t know anything about truck drivers?

Troy Parker  13:39

I don’t find that. If we’re looking at the big truckers as some kind of, you know, something to be scared over. You know, I think a lot of that is just word of mouth and gossiping. Because talk to your guides, people we deal with on the road. It’s everybody. It’s not just big trucks. And it’s not just the cars there. It’s a multitude of people that are texting, driving carelessly, not paying attention to us. Big trucks on the road haul 80,000 pounds down the road 70 miles an hour, we can’t stop like they can in this little car. And so when this little car is not paying attention, and all of a sudden you get a tarp signal on, they’re gonna make a left turn and then we’ve got to go somewhere. So that falls back to sci fi where you keep your distance from them just in case they do that. Because

Jeremy Kellett  14:36

they’ll do it. That’s it. You know, safety has got to be important all around. But isn’t that hard to do every day? It is hard to do every day. How many miles you run a week, bro. It

Troy Parker  14:48

is a goal of mine. I want to go home with a clear conscience. I don’t ever school buses scare me to death. If Ashley yells Cool, but I’m gonna be back there where they can just barely see me. Can we drive a lot of two lane country roads with switchbacks and sharp curves and you come around a curve spade and then you get a school bus. Stop letting out kids, where are you gonna go?

Jeremy Kellett  15:20

You gotta be you gotta be thinking that I’ll

Troy Parker  15:23

always be alert.

Jeremy Kellett  15:26

Is it? What do you think’s made you successful? Safety and

Troy Parker  15:31

what? Commitment? Explain. I know, a lot of times, we’ll preload something on a Friday. And now know that, you know, come Monday. It’s backed. It’s Oakley. Stan. It’s my time for Oakley. And we go to our state and try to stay committed.

Jeremy Kellett  15:54

And that you stay committed. And all week long till you get home, whatever, whether it’s Friday or whenever. And then you get that paycheck. paycheck. And that confirms your commitment that does you like to lock your nose or Alkalete like

Troy Parker  16:15

clockwork on a paycheck? Yeah. Never had a problem with him ever. That says a lot. It does. It’s not that way everywhere. No, it’s not. It’s not what I was told when I came to work here at Oakley that it was family oriented. And it is to this day you’re not just which means a lot in this day and time. Yeah, there are places where

Jeremy Kellett  16:44

you are just and we even you know we’ve got 900 owner operators and you’re saying you’re not

Troy Parker  16:51

their family when we meet somewhere their family you take care of you say somebody broke down needs help whatever it might be QCon brown gal brown here

Jeremy Kellett  17:04

talking about getting paid on Friday. Is there any tips that you would give to an owner operator, I guess an existing owner operator or what about becoming an owner operator on managing their money? What’s your secret to that?

Troy Parker  17:19

Well I’ll let my wife do most of that. That’s your secret now. A sacred is to one thing I think makes a big difference especially with one I drive is if you know your fuel cost. I mean, ugly as they take care of you on your fuel surcharge they get discounts at all your major truck stops and watch your money and watch where you buy your fuel and they frugal with your spending as much spot

Jeremy Kellett  17:58

you’re able to save some money evidently $100,000 on your truck, right? I mean you have to Yeah, but to me, you know that even tells me and it should our listeners that you’re willing to put $100,000 into your truck. You’re not worried about company work

Troy Parker  18:20

for now. I’ll be here till they run me out.

Jeremy Kellett  18:24

What one last thing and we’ll wrap it up What does Charlie Parker like to do on the weekends on his time I’ll well

Troy Parker  18:30

Troy Parker’s family says that he’s a workaholic. And he likes to see progress around the house with bench building and land clearing and so we’ve got two days in charge on Sunday. So really, we just got a day and a half to do Oh,

Jeremy Kellett  18:50

you got a farm or something? Yeah, well, we’ve

Troy Parker  18:52

got farm we’ve got pigs and

Jeremy Kellett  18:55

How many acres?

Troy Parker  18:57

We’ve got five they

Jeremy Kellett  19:01

They said I’ll take some maintenance. And now that she What does she do? She takes that during

Troy Parker  19:07

a project manager for Choctaw Nation on all their commercial development.

Jeremy Kellett  19:12

She got full time janitors

Troy Parker  19:15

they’re building all the time. Pretty proud of her.

Jeremy Kellett  19:18

Well, you know, it sounds like you got a great marriage. A great family. Yes.

Troy Parker  19:23

Good marriage. Good family. Well, it was back to that. 26 years of obedience. Yeah, yeah. It gets a

Jeremy Kellett  19:33

a lot of things done. Man, anything else you’d like to add before we go, good conversation. I really appreciate you

Troy Parker  19:44

inviting me in here. site to the folks that are wanting to be an owner operator. Hopefully it is definitely a good place to come. We keep our equipment clean site, maintained. Works are there if you want it So

Jeremy Kellett  20:00

Let me know what everybody else is thinking out there. And let me ask you this: what’s the worst thing about your job?

Troy Parker  20:08

Being away from home?

Jeremy Kellett  20:10

And that’s during the week. Turn away. There you have it, folks. Troy Parker, Oakley owner, operator, five going on six years. Yep. You hear your story right here. I mean, this is good, authentic information that you’re getting from our owner operators and trying to get this information out to you. So, you know, if you’re interested in coming out, we jokingly make a decision but also just the other owner operators that we have in our families. And you know Troy Barger. You know if you see him out there on the road, I asked him about that 100,000 He put in that truck because he’d be glad to talk about it. I appreciate everybody listening to the LP podcast. Troy, I appreciate you hanging out with me for a few minutes. Yeah, we’ll talk to you next week. Thanks. Thanks for listening to this episode with Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show in 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, the Oakley podcast.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.