Miguel San Miguel
Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Rick Hernandez overcame considerable odds to start his freighting company, Mustang Express, Inc. He relates how he capitalized on his experience as a third-generation truck driver, his sheer will and determination, and his family’s unconditional support in order to build his trucking line into one of El Paso’s foremost minority-owned companies. Growing up in the central and south side of El Paso, Hernandez attended Ysleta High School, graduating in 1978. Immediately after graduation he married his high school sweetheart, Laura, and began a family. Realizing that his job flipping burgers would no longer serve, Hernandez enlisted in the armed forces, serving three years with an additional three years in the active reserves. After his discharge, Hernandez first found work with the Santa Fe Trails Trucking Line, eventually moving on to other transportation businesses as he struggled to make his way up the corporate ladder from casual dockhand and driver to sales and management. Although trucking company executives initially discouraged Hernandez, claiming that his lack of a college degree barred his entry into management and that he “was not sales material,” in 1986 he exploited a rare opportunity to move into the sales arena, eventually becoming a senior account manager. In 2000, Hernandez began working for West Texas Express as an owner-operator, and this experience allowed him a taste of running his own trucking company. In spite of an uphill battle to secure credit, Hernandez managed through his own savings and a loan from his parents to begin Mustang Express. Starting with just one truck, Hernandez’s company now oversees approximately twenty-seven vehicles. Hernandez credits his business success to his company’s policies of team service, company-client communication, and top-of-the-line equipment. In addition, he maintains his personal success has been an outgrowth of his passion for what he does, as well as due to his wife and family’s solid support.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Rick Hernandez by Miguel San Miguel, 2009, "Interview no. 1523," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.