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Truck Driver chooses county -- for the 'long haul'

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Sometimes, the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. At least, it wasn't for truck driver Casey Kraisinger. 

He left Public Works in 2009 for better pay, hauling flatbed trailers, tankers, freighters — even hazardous materials – across the southwest. And the pay was better, he says: Sometimes double what he makes now; sometimes more.

"If it had wheels on it, I probably drove it at one time or another."

There were some benefits, mainly government-mandated medical insurance. But no retirement plan, and paid time off came to about half his regular pay while on the road. 

"I was working 70 hours a week or more," he says. "I had no retirement, was living out of motels and truck cabs, and had worked for about 10 different trucking companies."

Some companies paid by the load, some by the mile, and he stayed on the road for more than five years. But the lure of more money had worn thin. 

"Paid time off was half of what I'd make driving, so I actually lost money taking any time off. I cashed it in, instead."

When he heard Public Works was hiring drivers, he came back on with the county in August, and says he has few regrets.

No more 1,000-mile hauls or 18-hour days. No more being docked for taking a day off now and then.

"Some folks might laugh, but I'm telling you there's more to living than just a paycheck," he said. "Retirement started to become important. I'm still adjusting to the change but I think this is going to work out."

He started back driving a dump truck, hauling dirt, sand, gravel, rock out to road crews working on rural roads, and hauling debris back.

His biggest adjustment?

"Getting a full night's sleep, every single night. I'm not use to that — but that's not a complaint."

Collin County's Public Works Department has other jobs open right now, including road and bridge foreman, truck driver, equipment operator and traffic maintenance technician. You can view the entire list of openings – and apply – here.