When Jerome Johnson climbs up into the cab of DB Schenker’s Golden Truck, he feels like he’s sitting on top of the world and part of something much bigger than himself. That could be because Jerome was selected from a group of potential candidates to helm an effort that will give DB Schenker a more prominent spot on the map when it comes to domestic trucking.
Jerome started working for DB Schenker in 2006 after learning about the opportunity from a relative who worked there. He signed on as a warehouse employee at the Wichita, Kan., location, which had recently opened and was handling the logistics and transportation for an aircraft parts maker.
“Parts came in from all over the world, and we would open the boxes, count the parts, receive them, and then store them until they were ready to be sent out,” said Jerome, who received on-the-job training for those and other responsibilities. “When I got here, I didn’t know much about warehousing or logistics.”
Jerome would later become the facility’s parts coordinator, a role that he continues to fulfill today. Today he is a full-time driver. In this most important role, his responsibilities are to safely pick up, transport and deliver our customers freight.
Jerome got involved with the Golden Truck campaign after being nominated for the position. He made a trip to DB Schenker’s global headquarters in Essen, Germany and, as part of a contest had his picture taken with the European Golden Truck.
Not long after that, Jerome learned that he was selected to drive the Golden Truck across the U.S. The trip would require a commercial driver’s license (CDLA), and the logistics provider was willing to send Jerome to school to earn that certification.
Already acquainted with the driver of the European Golden Truck, Jan van Ierland, Jerome jumped at the chance to participate in the U.S. Golden Truck campaign. “Initially, I thought I’d just be riding along with Jan,” says Jerome. “Come to find out, I was actually going to be the one driving the Golden Truck across the country.”
The trip will start on one coast and end on the other, with the specific path being set once the threat of COVID has passed and the planned interactions are deemed safe for all involved. Weather will also factor into the equation, but when the timing is right Jerome looks forward to bringing the Golden Truck to such notable national landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon, to name a few.
Reflecting on his 15-year-long career with DB Schenker, Jerome says he enjoys the opportunities for advancement and to take part in special campaigns like the Golden Truck and trips to his employer’s global headquarters.
Jerome is also part of DB Schenker’s Ambassador Program, through which employees work together to help make the world a better place. As part of a charitable group in Guatemala, for example, Jerome helped raise money for a heart transplant for a child who had a heart condition.
“DB Schenker may be a large corporation, but it also has a heart,” says Jerome, “so much so that we raised $2-$3 from everyone to help this child get his heart transplant.”
In his current role as the U.S. Golden Truck driver, he’s also had the opportunity to establish a rapport with some of the company’s top executives. “We’re almost on a first-name basis, texting one another about the magnitude of this project and its importance to DB Schenker as a company,” says Jerome, who adds that he’s honored to be a part of this undertaking.
“It’s such an incredible honor,” he explains. “I just keep pinching myself to think that wow, I’m the one who was chosen for this.”