A Day In The Life: Scott Stillwell

The Clean Machine

The easiest part of being a truck driver is driving; it’s everything else associated with it that can be a challenge, said CDL Driver Jonathan “Scott” Stillwell, who has 30 years’ professional driving experience. “The easiest thing is the job because you know what to do,” he said. “But the logistics of driving on the road are incredible.

“Number one, you have federally mandated hours that you can’t go over,” Stillwell said. “You have a location you need to go to, and a time frame you need to get there. You have to plan the trip and you have to plan where you’re going to stay because you can’t just park on the side of the interstate.

“If you try to eat out at all the locations, it’s possible, but it’s horribly unhealthy. You have to plan everything, like where to put the truck to bed at nighttime. That was the hardest thing for me,” Stillwell said. “You look where you’re going because you don’t want to turn a one-day trip into four.”

Stillwell has driven for MPW for about six years. “I was pretty much the driver who was hired down in Georgetown. I’ve been in Georgetown in the Andrews location since before it was functional,” he said. “I trained out in Sedalia, and I’ve been to all of our locations. At least the industrial water locations. There are too many of the others to drive to them all.”

One of the things Stillwell appreciates about working for MPW is having a dedicated truck, meaning even though it’s a company-owned vehicle, he drives it exclusively, unless the truck is in the shop. “We take care of them and make sure they’re in good working order,” he said. “But if something happens to our truck and there’s a spare one, we’ll obviously drive the empty truck, but we don’t sleep in it; we never hot bunk.

“The company puts us up in a hotel so we’re not sleeping in somebody else’s bed. Sleeping in someone else’s bunk is one thing that none of us looks forward to!” Stillwell said, adding that there are even more advantages to having a dedicated vehicle.

“You learn the way your truck sounds. You’re used to all the noises of your truck. One day, I heard a little squeak, and it turned out the water pump was going out,” Stillwell said. “So, I was down for a few days while they were changing out the water pump. That’s the benefit of having a truck that’s yours. You know your truck.”

Driving for MPW is also unique because of the payload. “People say, you’re a truck driver, what do you haul? The similarities end at 10 feet,” Stillwell said. From the outside, his truck looks like most others. “But if you look in the back of the truck, the whole trailer is one piece of water purification equipment,” he said. “We serve power plants, so we make sure they have good water, because nobody wants to buy a billion-dollar turbine every three years.”

Stillwell insists on keeping his truck clean; not only because he likes a clean machine, but also because he appreciates his position with MPW, especially as he recovers from a physical issue. “I’m grateful,” he said. “It’s a great company because while I’m trying to get back into better health, I can drive. I have more than a million miles, just with this company. I’ve had the same truck for about half the time I’ve been here, and it’s got almost 600,000 miles on it right now.”

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