From CEO to Truck Driver! Incredible Story of an Australian Man’s Road to True Happiness

Greg Ross All Smiles With his Truck | Image Credit: LinkedIn

It’s not easy to change your life around, that too at the age of 60. But Former CEO and now a full time Trucker, Greg Ross did just that. And he is truly ‘going places’.

Greg’s journey from CEO to truck driver is a tale of personal growth and second chances. After his uncle’s funeral, Ross made a life-altering decision that led him down an unexpected path. Leaving behind his high-powered career and embracing the solitude of the road, he found fulfilment and authenticity like never before.

Sharing his inspiring tale with The Guardian, Ross talks about the beginning of his new journey. The transformation began during a plane ride from Auckland to Australia. The event had given him time to rethink his life and he was surprised to acknowledge that he was burnt out.

He shares how John Lennon’s ‘Watching the Wheels’ lyrics “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round”, cam eto his mind. At that moment in his life he made a resolution to change his life. Landing in Perth, he mustered the courage to announce to his children about his decision to quit his job as a CEO. The question that came was expected. What would he do and to that he had replied, “I think I’ll just drive a bloody truck.”

Changing Gears at 60

While his CV lacked truck driving experience, he had driven smaller vehicles in his youth. Motivation won over and despite scepticism, Ross secured a two-week trial with a trucking company. The trial turned into a full-time contract, and for the past 12 years, Ross has been driving colossal road trains, the largest of their kind. Even at 72 years old, he continues to work tirelessly, embracing the challenge and skill required to navigate these behemoths.

Truck driving provided Ross with a newfound sense of autonomy. Unlike his previous roles, where superiors dictated his time, he now controlled his own destiny. After each shift, he simply turned the key and handed over the responsibility to someone else. This freedom allowed him to reconnect with his passion for vehicles, channelling his expertise into making these machines perform at their best.

“If you’re doing a 300 km round trip, the ability to think is wonderful. I like who I am and where I am at,” Ross told The Guardian.

Another unexpected aspect of Ross’s journey was the solitude of the road. In the cabin, he enjoyed classical music, the Rolling Stones, or Leonard Cohen, tailoring his playlist to his mood. Sometimes, he craved silence, relishing the opportunity for introspection during the long drives. The solitude provided the space for Ross to fully embrace his authentic self and appreciate the path he had chosen.

Ross’s journey also led him to love. After attending a Leonard Cohen concert in Perth, he shared his experience on an online forum, capturing the attention of Ann-Kristin, a fellow Cohen admirer. Their connection deepened, culminating in their marriage. Inspired by Ann-Kristin’s observation that he still clung to remnants of his corporate life, Ross decided to grow out his hair as a symbolic release of his old self. This physical change represented his newfound freedom and authenticity.

Having faced thyroid cancer and given a dire prognosis, Ross’s second chance at life played a pivotal role in his decision to embark on this new path. Reflecting on his corporate days, he recognized the overconfidence and obnoxiousness that fuelled his behaviour. Now, he savours each day, maintaining a positive outlook and seizing new experiences with open arms.

To stay fit, Ross took up cycling, determined to drive road trains for several more years. He witnessed others succumbing to age and vowed to make the most of his vitality. Ross’s glass is always half full, ready to be filled with new adventures and possibilities.

Greg Ross’s journey is a testament to the power of embracing authenticity, personal growth, and life’s second chances. Leaving behind his high-powered career, he discovered fulfilment and autonomy as a truck driver. Through solitude, passion, and love, he found the freedom to be his true self and seize every moment with optimism. Ross’s story inspires us to embrace change, pursue our passions, and live life authentically.

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