One of the key speakers this year presenting at the 2013 Trucking Social Media Convention will be Jeff Barker; professional driver, columnist, health advocate, and outdoor enthusiast. Jeff will have the task of addressing the topic this year, Truck Driver Wages and the Driver Shortage, which will be no easy undertaking. According to a survey we posted late last year, Mr. Barker’s presentation came in as the #1 topic most requested by CDL drivers to be addressed.
Jeff Barker is no stranger to the trucking industry; presently he is a current professional over-the-road truck driver and a veteran of the road with over 2 million safe miles under his belt. He has also worked in other areas of the trucking industry as a Heavy Truck and Transport Refrigeration Mechanic and has worked as a company driver and an owner operator over the course of his career.
Jeff has also been involved in trucking journalism since early 2005 and writes from many of his own observations and firsthand experiences with various situations he has dealt with over the years. He has won Communications Awards for some of his articles that are featured in Land Line Magazine, which is the official publication of the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association. OOIDA has been a sponsor for all 3 years for the Truck Driver Social Media Convention.
Mr. Barker is also a regular Guest Speaker on many trucking-related radio shows, addressing truck maintenance, driver health, and professionalism issues on the road. With his sense of humor, sarcasm, and directness that are readily noticed in his communication skills, Jeff is often considered by many to be ‘The Dee Snider of Trucking Media”.
As a working driver, Jeff is also concerned about safety on the road and created the Facebook page that is known as Support Better Independent Truck Stops. He stresses the importance of helping the ‘Mom and Pop’ truck stops stay in business as they typically offer better amenities and safer overnight parking for drivers. He also brings to the attention of his fellow drivers the urgent need to protect the truck parking that’s already available.
Jeff is a devout believer in the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the road. He is an avid cyclist and creator of the Ride and Roll program which teaches drivers the health benefits of bicycle riding and how to carry a bike with them in their trucks. He is a firm believer in the fact that there’s more to our health than just making it past that next DOT Physical as his long-term approach to health issues addresses the quality of life a driver should be able to have when they reach their retirement age and how to make it happen.
Mr. Barker is also an advocate for improving the overall image of the truck driver that will help them earn a higher level of respect. He is serious about maintaining a professional appearance, attitude, and manner of conduct which has greatly benefited him over the years.
As a Native American with close ancestry from two different tribes, Jeff makes a conscious effort to maintain a close, spiritual connection with his heritage. He makes it a point to never allow his job as an over-the-road trucker to become any sort of a lifestyle, as he has embraced an” enjoyment of life” away from the truck. Mr. Barker enjoys traveling with his better half, Debra to their favorite vacation destinations, living their own version of the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle.
Jeff finds Social Media beneficial to the trucking industry and uses Facebook to connect and interact with his friends, family and those within trucking who follow him through his articles, websites, and social media groups.