Gagandeep Baidwan was born in India and moved to the United States in 1997 with his family, he also attended high school once arriving in the US. Gagandeep’s father was a truck driver who had already relocated to the US before bringing the rest of his family over. Gagandeep decided to become a truck driver following in his father’s footsteps.
Mr. Baidwan has been a self-employed driver for a number of years now and runs a successful trucking company. He feels the industry has changed a lot due to DOT regulations, the use of electronic logs, and the higher costs of doing business, such as the cost for diesel, insurance, the taxes to drive in different states, in addition to the maintenance and repair costs to keep his trucks running. Gagandeep Baidwan really enjoys being able to work for himself and being able to choose his freight and what trips he and his drivers will take.
Tell us a little about your industry and why you chose to be in the trucking industry?
I chose to be in a trucking business because it allowed me to be self employed and be my own boss. It gives me a lot of freedom and the ability to maintain work-life balance. Plus, the money is good in the trucking industry.
If you could change anything about your industry what would it be and why?
The electronic logs can be burdensome on drivers. If a driver is picking up some freight and has 7 hours left for driving, but it takes 7 hours for the freight to be loaded, then the driver will have to stay there for 10 more hours, so it is possible to have to stay put for 17 hours in total just to meet the regulations. You might even be sleeping in your bed while the freight is being loaded, but it will not count for rest time.
There really needs to be more flexibility in the driving regulations. Sometimes you are close to home, like 3 or 4 hours, but you can’t get home because you are running out of your driving hours. Once your 14 hours of driving is done, you cannot drive anymore that day. Even if you are just 3 hours away from your house, you have to wait 10 hours before you can drive again and head home.
How would your colleagues describe you?
I am my own boss so I pick up my own loads online with a broker. I can log in and see what loads are available to drivers near them and decide if I want to take the freight or not. I do not have a dispatcher or many people to interact with to pick up a load. I like the freedom I have being able to plan out my routes and what loads I am going to take next.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I have to really balance my work and home life with the industry and the demand. The work can get slow at times and also have busy seasons. You cannot take much time off when you have a lot of bills to pay but still you have the ability to make your own schedule. Hardest part is waking up early in the morning and finding suitable loads for my drivers. I also work with my drivers to plan out their preferred routes so they can stay close to home for an event or family gathering.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
My work phone is a big help to me. I use multiple navigation apps to help me with my routes. The trucker maps and apps are especially helpful to tell you when the next truck stop is coming up along your route. I also like the option to get online to book my freights.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
You really have to keep an eye on the weather conditions and the traffic around you. You also have to know what you are hauling and how the weather will impact your ability to slow down in wet or icy conditions, it is harder to stop a loaded truck in poor weather conditions.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
My dad. He worked hard for our family and I was always proud of him for always taking care of us. I was glad to follow in his footsteps and get into the trucking industry and grow the business.
What does success look like to you?
To me success would be getting to spend a lot of time with my family. I would also like to have more time to go to the gym and focus on my health a little bit. Growing my business is my ultimate goal and having the freedom to be your own boss is what I call success.
What is one piece of advice you would like to leave our readers with?
Work hard. It is that simple. If you work hard to make a good living you feel good about yourself and your family will respect that you are a hard worker. I watched my dad go to work and always knew he was out there working hard. I was always so proud of him and want that for my family.