Every driver has a story. And, every driver has their own unique experiences to share. Like Jean Brake, a million-mile US Xpress Dedicated Driver and Driver Trainer.

We hope you find Jean’s Story informative, useful and entertaining. Here are 10 things that define this 15-year US Xpress truck driver.


#1. Jean Brake values safety, because she knows what happens when people don’t.

“I’m really impressed with how well [US Xpress has] put together their safety program.”

Of course, safety programs aren’t worth a thing if drivers don’t put their safety into practice. That’s why US Xpress hires ambitious people like Jean Brake who are passionate about safety and don’t tolerate reckless driving.

As Jean explains, it’s sad to see what happens when people don’t pay attention to safety: “I’ve seen some really sad things, you know, like people getting in accidents…” So, safety isn’t just something you learn in driving school. It’s what keeps people from harm. And Jean understands that, evidenced by her million-plus miles of accident-free driving.


Other drivers agree. Here’s what they have to say about safety at US Xpress:


#2. Jean makes good friends with people at US Xpress including her Fleet Manager.

“In our fleet, we’re real familiar with each other, so we have a really great time, and I’ve made some good friends.”

Successful drivers like Jean understand the importance of connecting with people in the trucking industry. “I’ve never been afraid to call my Fleet Manager when I’m having a problem, or sometimes even having a personal problem.”


#3. She got a college degree, then decided driving was a better option for her.

Jean received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology. From there, she became a paralegal. But she found that job exhausting, so she chose truck driving instead. Now, she loves it. “There’s a lot of fun out here on the road.”


#4. Her friends and family told her not to do it because they feared for her safety.

Loved ones were afraid people would steal from or attack Jean. And while Jean admits the world can be dangerous for women, she also explains how women experience safety risks everywhere. “You can be in your own Walmart shopping center, or you could be at home and get robbed. So, being out here on the road is just like being any other woman. You have to be aware of your environment, and know what’s going on, and make sure you’re safe.”


#5. She helped save a band of horses out of an overturned trailer.

Jean Brake and a group of other drivers helped save a group of horses out of an overturned trailer. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget the screams of those horses…they got out successfully before getting hurt. And I never felt so glad about anything in my life. Because, you know, they’re horses.” The driver of the horse trailer was unharmed.


#6. When Jean Brake became a driver, her daughter was already grown up.

“I was fortunate my daughter was already grown.” But Jean knows it’s not as easy for some other drivers. “There are some people I know with younger children, and it’s hard.” But she also says that it’s easier than ever for parents to reach their children. “Now, you have FaceTime, and you can do things together.” She knows one mother who actually cooks recipes with her daughter over FaceTime! Now more than ever, it’s easier to stay connected with loved ones while you’re on the road.


“In our fleet, we’re real familiar with each other, so we have a really great time, and I’ve made some good friends.”


#7. Like every driver, Jean Brake has some favorite places.

“There are so many places that I’ve been that I think, ‘This is so awesome.’” Jean found it hard to decide! But here are just a few of her favorite places across the country:

  • Louisiana Swamps
  • Louisiana Restaurants
  • Great Smoky Mountains
  • Rocky Mountains
  • The Chesapeake Bay Bridge


#8. Jean is both a Dedicated Driver and Driver Trainer. But that’s not how she started.

“When I started out, I was just Over The Road…I did that for a long time, and then I went on a dedicated account.”

Although some drivers go OTR their entire careers, Jean Brake eventually chose Dedicated. But it took her a while to land the dedicated account, which is how it goes for many Dedicated Drivers.

Most drivers get at least a year or two of experience before going Dedicated.


#9. She loves training student drivers.

Jean Brake enjoys passing down her knowledge. According to her, it’s personally rewarding to see her students “get” it.

For example, she loves when students master backing, because that’s such a hard skill to learn when you first get into trucking. In fact, some experienced drivers still have trouble with it.

“The biggest thrill I get is when I get to see the light come on in somebody’s eye because they feel like, ‘I got it, I got it, I got it!’”

So for Jean, the job isn’t just about pay. It’s also about seeing others succeed. “That’s what I try to do, so they can be good at what they do.”

“The biggest thrill I get is when I get to see the light come on in somebody’s eye because they feel like, ‘I got it, I got it, I got it!’”


#10. Jean had a scary encounter with a bear.

We’re just going to step aside so you can hear it straight from Jean:

“I came up on a bear that was eating something on the road, and I think he thought I was after his roadkill. He didn’t like it, so he came after my truck, and it was there on the window…And I was scared I was going to hit him, but I also know that they can also probably break that window. So, he looked at himself in the mirror, and didn’t like my mirror, and was pushing at it, and at that time, I tooted my air horn, and he stepped back, and I left. I ran right over his roadkill. But I got away from that. But it was kind of scary.”

We’re glad she’s OK!


What are some interesting facts you can tell US about U? Every driver has a story. Share yours in the comments below.