Semi-truck driver instructor helps his students start a new chapter in life

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FREEPORT (WREX) – One man in Freeport is starting a new career on Monday as a semi-truck driver.

Brian Markel recently graduated from the 160 Driving Academy at Highland Community College, and received his CDL license to become a truck driver.

“I always wanted to be a truck driver, all my life, and I finally decided to do this,” Markel said.

But, his success in getting back to work didn’t come without some help from a very good instructor.

“I start a new job next Monday, working at a great company, Cisco, all because of Joe, teaching me how to drive a truck,” he said.

Joe Grossman was his driving instructor at the driving academy, and Grossman’s students have a 98 percent success rate in passing the exams to get their license.

Grossman’s current and former students say he is patient and calm when teaching them how to drive such a tremendous vehicle.

“I was very scared the first time I got in the truck, and Joe is definitely a very good instructor,” Markel said. “He teaches you all the right things.”

Grossman said it’s all about patience with the students.

“I think a lot of it is patience, you have to have a calm and relaxed environment for them to learn,” he said. “They’re driving a large vehicle that they’ve never been in before, it makes a person nervous to have that much power in their hands.”

Robert Guzzardo said he is in the class to start a new job to take care of his wife and children, but without Grossman’s teaching skills he would not be as confident in himself.

“Without his knowledge and his ability, I wouldn’t feel as confident as I am with my abilities,”  Guzzardo said.

Grossman is helping his students take the drivers in a brand new vehicle and a brand new career.


Semi-Truck Driver Instructor
Lindsey Fafoglia

Lindsey Fafoglia

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