When Atlas Oil opened its doors in 1985, our owner Sam Simon had a single tanker truck and a dream. Atlas today has grown to have operations across the country. Our driver team includes some of the most talented professionals in the industry. They exemplify safety, technical skill, customer service, and efficiency. We sat down with one of our most senior and well-respected drivers, Alan Adray, to gain insight into what it’s like to drive for the A-Team.
Alan Adray (right) is one of our longest-serving drivers.
How long have you been driving for Atlas?
This November will be my 18th anniversary. I started out in 2003 driving a 2,500-gallon tankwagon and now am in a 7,800-gallon tractor trailer. The only thing I haven't driven at Atlas is one of the branded Ford Raptors.
What sets Atlas apart and has kept you here all this time?
I'd say the respect and the room to grow that management gives you. It's not something you see that much anymore. If I am given a route, I can set it up however I want as long as it gets the job done. I've heard from drivers at other companies that they sometimes feel invisible. That's not the case at Atlas. As a driver I feel like my advice and opinions are always listened to and valued. It's been like this since my first shift back in the day.
Alan enjoys the autonomy of planning his routes.
In the aftermath of extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods, wildfires, blizzards, and heatwaves, Atlas deploys a team of drivers to help the community recovery efforts on the ground. Power outages are extremely common after natural disasters like these, so our team arrives with critically-needed diesel fuel for generators and businesses that are without power. Alan has deployed many times over the years.
Atlas deploys teams of drivers to help areas devastated by extreme weather.
Out of the many deployments you've been on, which one was the most memorable?
Going on deployments, you always feel like you are making a difference. They are all memorable. That's the biggest reason we always have more guys volunteering for them than spots available. That being said, our deployment to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria was definitely the most memorable for me. We operated out of Roosevelt Roads, the former Naval base. The base is close to the town of Ceiba, and we got very close with the local community. One day, we were fueling the kinds of places where it’s critical that they never lose power - hospitals, dialysis clinics, and generators. When we finished, the locals just kept coming and coming to thank us. I'll never forget how genuine them repeatedly saying, "Gracias" to us was. I actually got so close with some of them, that I've been back twice with my family for vacation, and we talk frequently.
Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico was the home base for the Hurricane Maria Deployment.
Does community involvement like this happen often?
Oh, yeah. I actually just got back from 3 weeks in New Orleans as part of the Hurricane Ida deployment. We were fueling a hospital and really got to know the nurses coming before and after their shifts. They learned that one of our other drivers down there with us was missing his son back home. They knew that he and his son shared a love of football, so they collectively chipped in for, and signed a football to give him.
Drivers on deployment form strong bonds in the communities they help.
You can sometimes be away for up to several weeks on Deployment. Is this difficult?
Of course it can be a little challenging, but something we drivers always talk about when we are on the ground is that you have to look at the bigger picture. These communities get absolutely devastated by Mother Nature in the blink of an eye. Being a little tired doesn't compare to having your house and possessions destroyed, or basic utilities like running water and electricity being unavailable. Anything we can do to relieve that stress even a little makes it easy for us to keep going.
Deployment drivers are selfless and stay positive at all times.
Atlas commends Alan and all of our drivers on the front line for their continuous, selfless determination and hard work. We are always looking for talented drivers to join our team. Apply today at atlasoil.com/careers if you can see yourself a part of a team with Alan and our other, award-winning drivers.