“We take things that might be lost and make them useful again,” Greg Rice explains from Dallas, Texas. “It’s basically like recycling, what we do.” Along with colleagues from around the world, Greg drives a large truck, collecting leftover organic materials to the serving facilities for Darling Ingredients. “We process used cooking oil for renewable diesel fuel and co-producer for dog food and cat food. As a truck driver, I’m co-producer of consumer goods.”
Their job is an essential part of Darling Ingredients’ activities. Here, it’s all about careful planning and logistics. “Much of this is achieved through trucking and logistics as well as advanced manufacturing practices and technology‘Gregs’ Canadian co-worker David Healy says.Our goal is to provide solutions to problems and create ingredients that power the world.”
A function that takes you to places, while operating large vehicles – and even larger ones. Like Richard Jansen’s truck from Holland, a country known for relatively small cars. “I drive a beautiful Scania truck with a two-axle tractor and two-axle trailer that has a steering function on the rear axle. This gives a narrow turning radius, which is useful on smaller back roads. My initial thoughts upon first seeing this car were, ‘Wow, what am I going to do with such a large group when I’m out on the farms?”
Greg consolidated his driving experience at Darling Ingredients as well. “I drive a 10 speed Mac. She’s got about 370,000 miles. I like it so much, I never knew how to drive 10 speeds until I came here.”
A big truck is not only essential for the large loads our truck drivers carry, it is also essential in the extreme conditions they encounter from time to time. “We have a diverse range of trucks such as Sanibulk Tandem and Tridem, Tankers, Dump Trailers, Boom Trailers and Trucks.‘,” says David, whose driving often adapts to the North American continental winters.The weather here can be extreme with temperatures approaching -30°C for 3 months of the year or more. The roads are awesome with potholes and black ice a familiar place. Hydraulic and electrical system problems are common.”
Challenges are well known for the job, which also presents many great moments. Like feeling free, Richard admits. It’s been part of Rendac in Son, The Netherlands, for 25 years now. “This shows how much I want to do what I’m doing here at Rendac. I’m outside most of the day, driving my own truck. I am a free man to carry out my work.”
“The best part is knowing that I play a huge role in keeping the earth clean while helping to solve our energy issues.David adds.My colleagues know my skills and how best to use them to achieve our goals.“
The fellowship is no stranger to Greg either. “The best part of my job is working with my co-workers. We all have different ways, but we do talk to each other now and then, see how each other’s days and ways were. Also, it’s great to work with people from all walks of life.”
The diversity of co-workers and people they meet on the job is important to our truck drivers. So it is important to be themselves. “It is important to be yourself so that people feel free to communicate without feeling judgedDavid says.People are human and there are no stupid questions…always ask if anyone has something to add.”
“Respecting each other is very important,Richard says.Be there for each other, send a postcard or make a phone call to see how one works, and see how you can stay engaged. Here, “communication” is the magic word.
Greg stresses that this applies even to the bigger picture in Darling Ingredients. “We are all on the same team. We are trying to help each other. If someone else needs help, factory guys, managers, or other drivers, they should just let me know.”
Can you imagine a better result that wherever we are active, as beloved ingredients we thrive by enhancing our diversity? Our success really depends on ‘our sum’.