One of our long-standing drivers, Ritch Thiessen, based out of our Baden Terminal, has been surrounded by trucking since he was a young boy. Growing up with his parents owning a trucking company, he was keen to be in the passenger seat, learning the value of transportation and the fundamentals of being safety conscious. “I didn’t choose trucking,” he explained, “trucking chose me, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Being so heavily influenced by truck driving, Ritch wasn’t surprised when he heard a knock at the door one night. Vernon Erb and his then young son, Wendell Erb, had come for dinner to discuss with his parents how they could work together to help deliver goods with The Erb Group’s new but quickly growing client base. In the 1970s, just after Vernon received his PCV license, he and Wendell were looking for someone to help distribute meat from Burns Meats Ltd., Canada Packers Ltd. This was the start of his family’s long-standing work relationship with the Erb family and a piece of Ritch’s story in becoming part of The Erb Group’s driver workforce.
Flexibility of Positions
Ritch recently transitioned from being a long-term International Cross Border Truck Driver to a Local Driver with a route from Leamington to Windsor. Ritch liked the cross-border long-haul lifestyle because he could make extra money, travel, and choose the length of his routes, but his needs changed as time passed. “I don’t like sitting for 11 hours a day. Doing local runs, I work four days a week, and I could do up to 15 stops a day,” Ritch explained. With all the moving around during local routes, the first few days were more physical than he expected, but Ritch can now fall asleep effortlessly and in his own bed every night. The benefits include more than just a good night’s sleep. After swapping into this new position within the company, he mentions, “if the fast pace of local driving doesn’t work out, I still have the option to go back to long hauls without risking job security.”
Throughout his time at The Erb Group and finding new trucking experiences and opportunities, Ritch bonded with Wayne Baechler, a close friend and mentor within the company. When Ritch was looking to expand his expertise, Wayne was the first person to offer him a recommendation and reference; he was also the person who helped Ritch re-enter the roster at The Erb Group. Ritch returned to the company because he wanted to prove that he could do better and allow himself more opportunities to grow professionally. “Wayne gave me a chance where other people wouldn’t,” he explained, “and I’ve heard this before from other drivers. Once you work for Erb, there is no comparison. It’s a large company but operates as a family-owned business.”
Still settling into his new local role, Ritch plans to play out his passion for trucking with us until retirement. In addition to being behind the steering wheel, there is so much more to the job than just driving, like knowing your product, reefer, and temperature settings; however, it only makes the job more rewarding after a successful day of deliveries. Learning new things isn’t easy, “you’re going to have good days and bad days no matter where you work,” Ritch explained, but patience is key to being in it for the long haul. If you’re looking for a career that will fuel your desire for driving, take the turn into a position in transportation.
Interested in driving for the Erb Group of Companies? Check out our updated job postings here. Please note that we request one year of driving experience; however, once you have reached the 10–12-month mark, we encourage you to contact our recruiting team to start learning about the application process. Email us at email@example.com when you are ready to make some cool moves.