While Trevor Valdez may not be the sort of person who’d claim he can move mountains, in reality he isn’t all that far off from having such an ability – at least, while he works.
An operator of heavy machinery from the town of Knapp, in our home state of Wisconsin, he’s an experienced hand in the earth-moving industry for large infrastructure projects, often in the metro area of Minneapolis, in neighbouring Minnesota.
The work of demolition, road engineering and literally doing the ‘groundwork’ for large-scale environmental projects is something that’s in Trevor’s blood. “I’m inspired to do what I do because I grew up doing what I do now,” he tells us.
Naturally we’re curious what he means by that. Did he work around construction sites as a youth? “I got started running equipment because my dad had always done it,” he clarifies.
It turns out Trevor has been around heavy plant most of his life. And not just in the world of construction. “Growing up in a farming background, I caught on quickly,” he says.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Trevor is now using machines to do what he calls the “dirt work” for highways, bridges “and much more”.
Like most hard-working people on the frontline of industry, Trevor understands the issues he must face, but he gets on with the job regardless.
“Sometimes things can be difficult,” he confesses. “The crazy hours; the stressful race against the clock. But when the days are done, I always feel proud of my work.”
While there is satisfaction in a job well done, Trevor also understands the need to strive for a good work-life balance. But like so many of us, sometimes finding that balance can be a struggle.
“I’ve always had work as my top priority,” he admits. “Sometimes I forget there’s more to life than work!”
Despite this, Trevor doesn’t regret the hard graft, day in and day out. It’s a part of who he is, and the spirit that built America – an outlook Trevor understands instinctively.
“I feel like I’m pulling my weight [like all] working class people,” he says proudly. “As soon as I started in my profession, I knew [this job] was right for me.
“I feel like I’m going above and beyond.”
Advice for others getting into the industry
When it comes to people who might want to get into his line of work, Trevor’s response is firm. It feels weighted with the experience that his years in the industry have provided. “Ask questions,” he says.
“I was afraid to speak my mind when I was just starting out […] There’s no shame in asking questions. It’s one of the best ways to learn.”
It’s obvious this is advice Trevor has had to follow himself, and it’s hard not to disagree – it’s a truth we can all understand.
After a pause, Trevor realises he has more to say:
“Something I always hear and preach is that you can always get better. Things are constantly changing. This only creates new opportunities to learn.”
Truly words for all hard-working and ambitious individuals to live by.
The boots that get the job done
When it comes to work footwear, Trevor prioritises comfort as well as safety. This makes sense when you consider that he must work around heavy, dangerous machinery while also being on his feet for long stretches of time.
He’s found the perfect match in our American Heritage 6” Tobacco Safety Toe. This moc toe work boot comes with a heavy-duty steel toe, an electrical and slip-resistant MAXWear wedge outsole, and oil-resistant leather upper.
Yet despite acting like sure-footed armor for the feet, they provide comfortable all-day wear, and look great to boot (pun intended).
For Trevor, the choice was a no-brainer. “I wear Thorogood boots for work because they’re easier on my feet and my back, and they make getting on and off equipment easier.
“There was no uncomfortable long break-in period with these boots, which is a huge bonus.”
Of course, we’re over the moon to know the quality, careful design and strong construction of our boots matter and meet the expectations of a man that needs reliable workwear. But there’s another reason. Trevor divulges this as an afterthought:
“I tried them on for the first time once I found out they were made in Wisconsin, and I fell in love with how they fit right away.”
Thorogood’s long history of boot making is embedded in the history of both Wisconsin and the nation. We take pride in helping the working men and women of America forge their futures with their own hands, and that means first standing strong on your own two feet.
Thanks, Trevor, for trusting our footwear. We hope our boots will continue to help you build the communities you serve, well into the future.