GRANDVIEW — If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life – this saying rings true for Andrew Morales, co-owner, and Director of Operations of Northwest Carriers (NWC) trucking company in Grandview.
The company was founded about 25 years ago by Morales’ father, Ruben Morales, and it’s all Morales has known growing up.
“My dad used to let me skip school to go out on the road. I spent more time in the truck than I did in the classroom,” Morales admitted with laughter in his voice.
The 32-year-old expressed how comfortable he is with the work and how it’s not something to just jump into. “Nobody goes into the trucking industry because they don’t love it. You’ve got to love it,” he conveyed.
Trucking is a labor of love and Leo Dominguez, who has worked with NWC for about two years agrees. The 28-year-old also grew up into the job.
Dominguez, husband of Michelle Dominguez and father of an 11-month-old baby girl, Boe, disclosed “My dad and my grandpa were truckers so it’s nothing new to me and it’s keeping me busy.”
The men also realize the tremendous responsibility they have during these times where grocery stores are seeing an increase demand for supplies.
As a man of the road, Dominguez remarked how supplying a load to Wal-Mart or Smuckers feels “pretty good.”
“There’s always a good day, there’s always a bad day, but ever since the virus, there’s been a lot more hauling than usual. It never gets boring!” Dominguez remarked.
Morales said that while there has been some leniency to when truckers can take their breaks to expedite both long and short hauls, safety is a primary concern. Some of the distributors for which NWC transports goods have their own increased risks of COVID-19 exposure due to the nature of their distribution and agricultural production.
“Our company provides our drivers with masks, sanitizer, and gloves although we’d rather drivers to constantly wash their hands and use the sanitizer,” he said of the precautions NWC has taken.
Diesel mechanic Morales also divulged his recent exposure scare. “Tree Top in Selah had a bad case of coronavirus and had to sanitize their plant and they told us so we should get our drivers tested,” he revealed.
While the test was relatively easy to take, “it’s just nerve-wracking waiting for your results,” according to Morales.
If found to be have tested positive, Morales would have had to distance himself from his family for at least two weeks, a prospect that seemed daunting to him.
“I’m really close to my sister who’s seven. She’s like my daughter. We do everything together. I would have had to stay away from her,” Morales stressed.
The Grandview native also revealed a few of his family members are immunocompromised making a positive result a distressing situation to him.
Fortunately, his test was negative, and Morales was back in action, fixing trucks with mechanical issues get back on the road while ensuring his drivers are safe.
“We have to be responsible not just to our employees but to everyone our employees come in contact with,” Morales allowed.