Know Your Board – June 2020

OOIDA Board Member Dave Jungeblut realized early on that his voice sounded louder when supported by a group effort.

June 2020

Wendy Parker

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Trucking was not Dave Jungeblut’s first career. He credits his life experience before becoming an owner-operator for helping him prepare for his “lifetime” job.

Dave enlisted in the Navy out of high school and spent his time on an aircraft carrier for the better part of three years. After leaving the Navy, Jungeblut returned to Missouri to work at General Motors at the Leeds Assembly Plant in Kansas City.

“I was there a total of 13 years, but the last few years we were laid off as much as we were working,” Dave said.

He didn’t spend his off time hanging out at the house.

“I did side work, kept a dump truck and a Bobcat and would work them both during layoffs,” he said.

Dave bought the dump truck from a friend and mentor who sometimes helped him navigate the jobs. When he got his final notice from the GM plant, he parlayed the side business into a full-time thing, and soon needed more equipment.

By chance, he saw an ad for a 1984 Mack COE that piqued his interest in trucking. The rest, as they say, is history.

After running the numbers by his mentor, Jungeblut’s decision to buy the truck and lease on to a local tanker company began his true trucking career. And he hasn’t looked back.

When did you get your commercial driver’s license?

“I got my chauffeur’s license in my early 20s, not so much as to drive a truck as a fallback, maybe to drive a taxi or as a delivery driver. There was no skills test, or combo vehicles questions. When the CDL was made mandatory in Missouri, I was grandfathered in.”

What kind of freight do you haul?

“I’m currently leased on with Unimark Lowboy. We haul mostly midsize chassis for equipment trucks to be customized at specific businesses or plants.”

Why did you join OOIDA?

“About a year after I got my first truck, the guy I was leased to got into a shady insurance deal. We lost a lot of money and premiums – basically got scammed. I was with Martin Transport, who just happened to be out of Grain Valley. We loaded right across the street from the old OOIDA building. I knew a little bit about them. They had been in the news for the Tennessee lawsuit. I just walked inside one day and joined. Eventually got my insurance there, participated in what I could. I couldn’t imagine an owner-operator who wouldn’t think it was a good idea to have a voice at the statehouse.”

If you could make one significant change in the industry with a snap of your fingers, what would it be?

“I hate to sound like I’m just answering for the benefit of the piece, but I really believe I’d get more people involved in OOIDA. I find it incredible that there are drivers who have been in the business for years who have never heard about OOIDA. People should be involved in making the laws that affect their business. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t

want to.”

What legacy do you hope to leave?

“I hope I’m remembered as someone who got involved and made an effort to have a positive effect on the industry.” LL

Get to know OOIDA Board Member R. Bryan Spoon here.

Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers.