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Podcast: The Journey of an Owner-Operator with Samuel Bissonette

Samuel Bissonnette

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Samuel Bissonnette, a Canadian owner-operator, entered the trucking industry at the young age of twenty and has been dedicated to the trucking lifestyle ever since. With over a decade of frontline experience, Samuel brings a wealth of real life experience. 

In this episode of Freight Nation: A Trucking Podcast, Sam joins host Brent Hutto to share his journey in the trucking industry. They discuss the importance of providing excellent service to brokers and customers and delve into the challenges faced in the current market. 

How it all began 

From a young age, Samuel was fascinated by trucks, often drawing them and dreaming of the day he could drive one. This dream became a reality when he turned 20, the earliest age he could legally start his trucking career. His enthusiasm for trucking was so ingrained that even as a child, he knew that driving trucks was his true calling. This passion drove him to enroll in a trucking school in Canada, where he acquired the skills and qualifications necessary to pursue his dream. 

His first trucking job came about after a serendipitous encounter:  

“I wasn’t supposed to drive that day. I was just going to see a job interview, and the guy told me ‘I’m missing a driver, do you want to make a delivery for us tonight?’ I was like ‘Of course’. He just sent me with a truck alone, and I was like, I was in love. I was in love.” 

Samuel praises the trust of his first employer, saying that although the man didn’t know whether Samuel was a good driver or not, he put his faith in him.  

Advice for aspiring drivers

 Samuel’s experience in the industry has equipped him with valuable insights, which he generously shares with aspiring truckers. He emphasizes three critical pieces of advice for those considering a career in trucking or aiming to become owner-operators: 

1. Commit to the Lifestyle: Samuel stresses that trucking is not just a job but a lifestyle. It requires a significant commitment and a willingness to embrace the challenges that come with it. He advises potential truckers to ensure they are fully prepared for the demands of the job before diving in. 

2. Know Your Numbers: Financial accountability is crucial in the trucking business. Sam advises truckers to thoroughly understand their operating costs and be sure they are accepting profitable freight loads. 

3. Deliver Excellent Service: For Sam, providing exceptional service is the key to success. He believes that building a reputation for reliability and quality can lead to better opportunities and higher rates.   

Companions for the long haul 

One unique aspect of Samuel’s trucking operation is that he travels with his two dogs, Dallas and Denver. At a rest stop in Blacksburg, Virginia, Denver ran off chasing deer. When the dog didn’t come back, Samuel started to get worried.  

“I was giving flyers to the postmaster, talking to all the shelters, talking to everybody on the path and people were starting to really help me.” 
Despite his efforts to find Denver, he had to continue with his job, but later hired a professional pet tracker to help locate him. Sam recounts how he had to drive a long distance from Maryland to help him, and upon arriving at the location, he had difficulty finding the exact spot where Denver was last seen.  

Upon returning to Blacksburg, he received sightings of Denver in the same area he was situated in. With the hope of attracting Denver, Sam barbecued ground beef in his truck in the mountains. After hours of barbecuing, he heard something approaching his truck and saw Denver. He credits this success with the willingness of the local community to help him find the dog, some two weeks after it first ran off! 

To learn more about Samuel and his life as an owner-operator, tune into this episode of Freight Nation: A Trucking Podcast on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform.

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