Thomas Carter

  • Company Name
    Gulf Relay LLC
  • MATS Attendance
    Has been to MATS 10 times
  • Years in the Industry

How did you get started in the Trucking Industry?

I began driving with my father. He had his own truck and wanted someone who could help him. I was on that truck from the time I was 8 years old and was doing logs at 10, unloading trucks and helping him out. I was able to get a chauffeur’s license at 18. I’ve been in the industry for the last 30 years.

What about MATS is most valuable to you?

Everything you can do in this industry, every part of the industry, no matter what your job title... every part of the industry is there. And you can talk with people and everyone is so helpful and so willing, not just to sell you something, but to give you advice. It’s incredible the amount of information that you can learn.

What was some of the best professional advice you ever received?

It was an old time recruiter, who was a truck driver. I told him I was going to MATS next and he said “Just do one thing...Keep your ears open and your mouth closed! Because you will learn SO much you won’t be able to comprehend it all.” But he was right … the first time I went it was just mind boggling how much information I could get. I could talk with DOT, I could talk with vendors, I could talk sales people for the equipment we were buying, I could talk to recruiters at other companies, I could talk to people supplying things for the industry that I had no idea about.

What was something valuable you learned at MATS?

Back in 09’ when the 2010 CSA information came out we knew we had a year to learn it inside and out. DOT was doing one of the seminars on CSA and it was very helpful. I got great information and we knew we were on the right path. That kind of direct access to the DOT can’t be found anywhere else.

What are the reasons you would recommend MATS?

There’s not another show or another place in the country where you can have that much access to not just competitors but government officials and can all be talking about something that effects the business in general in a friendly atmosphere and get your questions answered. It can’t be done anywhere else.