Adam Brackin, father of three, drives a flatbed truck for Steelman Transportation. No stranger to life on the road, Adam has been driving for 14 years. Eight of those years were spent in the Marine Corp, hauling explosives, fuel, and guns in Iraq. In 2012 he got out of the military and began driving over the road in the U.S. Thanks, in part, to his experience in the military Adam possesses certifications allowing him to drive 42 different kinds of vehicles. Although he drove over the road for first five years, the last year Adam has been driving a regional route that allows him to be home most weekends.
When he’s not on the road, Adam calls Tulsa, Oklahoma home—the place where his wife, Tammy, and two of his three children live. His girls, ages 6 and 11, were recently joined by a baby brother. His older daughter lives in South Carolina and he gets to see her frequently, though perhaps not as much as he would like. When we caught up with Adam via phone he was near Middleton, Wisconsin delivering a 20- thousand-pound conveyor belt system to a feed mill. Following that delivery, he expected to pick up a load near Madison, Wisconsin and deliver it somewhere in Kansas.
The last year has not been an easy one for Adam. Early in 2018 his stepfather died while Adam was at home. At that time, Adam took several weeks off from driving to care for his family and attend to various responsibilities. Then, not long after his stepfather’s death, his son was born and spent two weeks in the NICU. Altogether, Adam figures he was off the road for about two months during 2018 and during that entire time he credits Steelman for working with him. He is very complimentary of the support he received from owners, Jim Towrey and Brett Sheets.
“They made me take more time off,” he says. “They told me to be with my family.”
The support Adam and his family received made him feel like his well-being and that of his loved ones, were all important to his employers. It’s this understanding of his family’s needs that make Adam feel Steelman is the best place for him.
Staying in touch with his “home team” is very important to Adam. He and his wife, Tammy, stay in touch using Tango and the video call on their Samsung phones, especially in the evening. They also use Facebook to share pictures. Adam even uses video calls to administer discipline to his children when things get out of hand. He believes it is important for him to stay up with what’s going on at home and at his daughter’s school. Although video phone calls can be used for fun and friendly chats, Adam is also grateful the face-to-face contact allows him to speak sternly to his Maddie when he believes she needs it. In this way, Adam stays involved and engaged with his daughter, while also supporting his wife.
Adam’s mischievous nature has led him to develop some very creative ways of staying engaged as a parent, including coming home at unexpected times to deal disciplinary situations related to his daughter. When he is at home, he oversees various household tasks, including seeing that chores are done by his daughter.
While driving over the road may not be for everyone, Adam and his wife, Tammy, make it work. In fact, he’s so enthusiastic he recently ordered a new semi-truck with a large price tag. He’s a big believer in supporting his home team while away and being engaged when he is at home. His experience and insights are helpful to many dads who travel for work. Thanks Adam!