Walter Butts Turns Trucking Dream into Successful Business Venture
After working at a local factory for ten years, Walter Butts decided it was time for something different.
So, in the summer of 2014 he enrolled in the Commercial Truck Driving Program offered at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) in Dublin.
“It was a six to eight-week course and my plan was to get my license, view the world, and get paid for it,” Butts shared.
He thought he would just be a driver but after a few years on the road Butts met two men – Jerry Daniel and Donta Wright – and the course of his life changed.
From Truck Driver to Business Owner
The three men had experience in the trucking industry and decided to go into business together; they formed Seal Team LLC, a trucking company that hauls containers from the Port of Savannah, in 2018.
“The combination of experiences we each had in the trucking industry was a natural fit to form this business together,” Butts said.
“We wanted the ability to control our work experience and income production,” he added, “and to create income producing opportunities for others who wanted to be a part of a small, close knit team.”
They wanted their company to stand for “excellence in everything,” so they named it ‘Seal Team’ in honor of the United States special operations force – the Navy SEALs.
And it didn’t take long for their company to grow. They now have a fleet of 17 trucks.
Maintaining the Fleet
After settling into his new business, Butts saw it would be beneficial to have the knowledge to maintain his company’s growing truck fleet. He found himself back at OFTC, only this time he was working on trucks instead of driving them.
“What I’m learning in OFTC’s diesel program is helping me to provide maintenance and service on our trucks,” Butts shared. Now, Butts has the skills to drive and service his company’s trucks which saves his company money.
“The program has really taught me a lot and OFTC has helped me in many ways,” he added, considering he had no prior experience servicing diesel engines.
Looking back on how the course of his life has changed, Butts believes the “sky is the limit” for anyone who chooses to attend OFTC to gain the skills and education to obtain a good job.
“OFTC is a great school,” he said, “and they can help a person prosper in many ways.”
“Hopefully one day I will have my own shop and maybe I’ll be able to show the skills I’ve learned and help someone else,” Butts said.
Butts is on track to complete the diploma program in diesel equipment in technology in December. To learn more about OFTC’s diesel program or any of the 140+ programs offered, visit the OFTC website, OFTC.edu.