Chris Garcia – U.S. Marine To Heavy Hauler

Steve Pollock
September 2023

CARLISLE, PA…. Chris Garcia is a Marine Corp Veteran who served from 2001-2014 before medically retiring.  Chris was combat deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as a mechanic and wrecker operator.  He earned his CDL while in the military and in 2016 began working for a large carrier.  While he made good money, Chris had very little home time and the job was repetitive, which Chris found to be monotonous.  He switched to LTL for a year, and in 2018, joined Keen working out of the Port of Baltimore hauling heavy equipment with a two-axle RGN to storage yards, typically 2 loads a day. Chris loved the challenge of heavy haul trucking and wanted to progress and learn new things.  He started pulling 3-axle lowboys for about 6 months and in little over a year, he was moving up to a 3-axle beam trailer and new challenges.

Today Chris is pulling a 4-axle beam trailer with a 4-axle tractor regularly, and as needed can pull loads on as many as 10 axles, using a 2-2-2 trailer configuration.  The Peterbilt 367 is spec’d for Heavy Haul with a 605 hp X15 Cummins, 18 speed transmission, and dual speed rear ends, and like all Keen trucks, his Peterbilt is APU equipped. 

To date, the heaviest load Chris has hauled grossed 200,000 pounds on 10 axles.  He operates primarily in the Northeast, hauling heavy equipment into and out of Eastern Seaboard Ports.  Deliveries are often made to dealers and occasionally direct to jobsites.  Since Keen drivers are often responsible to load and unload the equipment, Chris has also had the opportunity to learn how to operate a variety of heavy equipment.  He states, “Every day is something new and I enjoy the challenges, but you have to keep your head in the game to haul the big stuff.  From the day I joined Keen, I knew that this is the place I wanted to work at.  I enjoy my job and have a great support team behind me.  If I have a question about anything, I can call someone day or night to get an answer. The older senior drivers at Keen (which Chris is now a part of) help to mentor the younger drivers until they are comfortable at what they are doing.  If you have the drive and are willing to learn, you can progress at Keen.  If you don’t want to haul the bigger loads, there is plenty of freight for stepdeck and 2-axle RGN drivers.  We are a band of brothers here – maybe a little bit dysfunctional – LOL – but at the end of the day, we get the job done together.”

Keen hauls heavy equipment exclusively, some of it originating at the manufacturers and going to dealers or ports for overseas shipments.  Some originates at ports going to dealers or storage yards.  Keen operates local fleets from their storage yards/terminals in Carlisle, PA; Savannah, GA; and League City, TX.  Driver Recruiting Manager Warren Russell, a Professional Truck Driver for 20 years, 5 at Keen, stated, “Chris is a rock star driver here at Keen!  He progressed very quickly to high and heavy loads; however, we coach every driver and help them move into bigger loads at their own pace and if they are willing to do so.  We have a five day orientation where you are taught to attach and detach trailers and operate the machinery.  You will start by operating 2-axle stepdecks or RGNs on short loads and progress from there at your own pace.  If you don’t want to move up to the bigger stuff, no problem.  We pay our drivers well and have a very comprehensive benefit package for them, including tractors that are equipped with many extra amenities to make them comfortable.  We also lease owner-operators.  We are looking for drivers and contractors East of I-35.”

Keen Transport was founded in 1968 by Harold Keen and sold by the Keen family in 2012.  In 2017, Keen was purchased by Norwegian shipping line Wallenius Wilhelmson, providing seamless shipping services worldwide for their customers.

As for Chris Garcia, he plans to keep on trucking as long as he can. Chris and his wife Danielle live in Carlisle, PA with their three children: Layla, Chris, and Dominic.  Two year old Dominic loves to hit the air horn on his Dad’s truck.

To learn more about the opportunities at Keen Transport, call Warren Russell at 888-872-5336.  Warren will be glad to talk to you about Keen, one driver to another.