Larry Hinex describes himself as “a pretty simplistic guy,” driving for Prime with a goal of earning enough money to help his daughter, Jakeisha, who is in college pursuing a degree in a law-related field. Larry also has two sons, Larry and R.J., who are out on their own. He was born and raised in Oklahoma City. The day we spoke with him he was driving a flatbed truck loaded with water pipes somewhere in southern Texas.
Larry has been driving for Prime for nearly two years—his first experience as an over-the-road driver. He claims his Uncle Rick was his inspiration for truck driving. When he was a boy, his uncle took Larry and his dad along with him on a trip to Dallas. He recalls watching his uncle on that trip and thinking how “cool” he was talking on the CB and handling his rig. From that time on, he says, he had a secret desire to drive a truck. Finally, years later, with encouragement from a friend he overcame his fears and pursued his dream.
You might not expect someone who was once a personal trainer to choose driving an 18-wheeler as an occupation, but Larry says it’s possible to stay physically fit and he works hard to have a healthy lifestyle while on the road. Sometimes this means exercise he does by himself at a truck stop. Other times, it means parking near a gym or fitness club and taking advantage of the various machines and activities offered there. In fact, Larry reports finding his “sanity” and “peace of mind” in the gym. He acknowledges that even though he loves driving, it can sometimes be a lonely job. This is why he believes it’s so important for a driver to take care of himself physically, mentally, spiritually and relationally.
Maintaining a good relationship with his kids is also important to Larry. He’s home for a week about once a month. When he’s home, Larry enjoys hanging out with his kids watching a movie, going to the beach, or traveling to see things. One of his favorite memories occurred when his children were young and his daughter hooked a 70 lb. catfish near the Panama Canal. He still laughs thinking about that event. “Being former Navy,” he says, “I’m used to living in a lot of places. I don’t know how to sit down.”
When he’s on the road Larry frequently uses social media to help him to stay connected with his family. Even though his kids are grown and out on their own, he wants to be supportive of them. He sees cell phones, FaceTime, texting and Facebook Messenger as being critical to staying in touch with all of them.
When asked how he tries to be a good dad over the road, Larry responded, “Stay engaged. Stay Engaged. Stay engaged.” He also gave the following suggestions for maintaining overall well-being.
1) Find your peace while on the road. Do your best to stay physically fit. Make time to work out at your truck or in the gym if at all possible.
2) Read books. Larry recommends reading the Bible, among others.
3) Listen to YouTube. There are lots of interesting things to learn about.
4) When possible, attend a “Truck Driver Church.”
5) Hold yourself accountable to the goals you set for yourself and the kind of man you want to be.