Driver Spotlight: Jonathan Roberto's Story
Jonathan Roberto, Lead Driver, enjoys the customer-facing daily interaction that his job requires. His commitment to creating a communicative environment for his team, and his dedication to safe driving practices makes him the ideal candidate for our Driver Spotlight series as part of Driver Appreciation Week.
Could you tell me about your position at Clean Earth?
I began working at Clean Earth 3.5 years ago, starting in December 2018 as a driver’s trainee. I was taught the job from within, learning everything from handling waste to completing paperwork. Within a few months I began driving a small non-CDL vehicle and I’ve been on the road ever since. I attended CDL school earning my CDL license a little over a year ago in July. Since then, I’ve been operating in a CDL Class B truck. My role has developed over time, in fact, a few weeks ago I was promoted to Lead Driver, out of Clean Earth’s Providence, RI service center. In this role, I do a little bit of everything and go where I’m needed. I still complete stops, but now I’m also in the office often to work on permits and paperwork. We have several other drivers here who I, in turn, have trained. They also started as non-CDL drivers and once they got their CDLs they transitioned to a larger truck. Honestly, I love my role and think we have a strong program here in Providence.
What does your day-to-day look like when you’re making stops?
My day starts with doing my pre-trip: I get the truck setup and make sure I’m loaded with supplies. I’ll head out on the road knowing the set number of stops I have that day. Essentially, I transition from stop to stop, picking up waste and printing out paperwork based on what I’m picking up. I safely load and secure the waste in the truck in preparation to drop-off at the facility. I’m typically on the road a good portion of the day, and usually back within 10 hours.
What do you like most about your job?
I really like all the different people I get to meet and interact with – I find that the job is never lonely. I also think I get the best of both worlds; I’m not on my feet all day but I’m also not sitting all day driving. I feel lucky to have a job where I wish there were more hours in the day. There are jobs where people tend to “watch the clock,” but that has never been my experience.
In what ways do you maintain a commitment to safety?
In one sense I’m cautious about germs and I’m almost always wearing gloves. I also believe it’s important to keep any work area clean. Ensuring I’m always in proper PPE when necessary is an easy step I can take to ensure my safety. Lastly, I think paying attention and staying alert is a key to safety. As soon as you stop being cognizant of what’s going on around you, that’s when problems can arise.
How do you encourage others to do their best work and to remain safe?
I share and teach others the safety values I hold myself. As a stickler for cleanliness, I encourage other drivers to take care of themselves and their truck. Whether it’s cleaning the steering wheel or keeping your work area clean. Not everyone is in the same truck every day – it’s important to not leave a mess behind. Constant communication is key, when interacting with my team I am sure to listen and ensure that I understand so that I can provide proper guidance. I believe when you create an enjoyable work environment and build a strong culture within your team, it makes others want to do a better job.