One of the harder things about truck driving is leaving your loved ones behind while you’re out on the road. So why not bring someone with you and team drive! Truckers might choose team driving for a number of different reasons, like the ability to make more money, log more miles, or simply to not feel as alone out there while they’re working. For some drivers, however, teaming up means getting to be on the road with their driving partner – and their partner in life.
TEAM DRIVING BENEFITS
Susan and Lowell Mitchell and Amy and Stoker Walsmith are two of our husband and wife driving teams. They are great examples of why some couples thrive when they team up to drive together. The Mitchells have been driving together for 13 years while the Walsmiths started driving together about a year ago.
Lowell had his sights set on truck driving after the company he was working for in his previous career sold. Susan knew that she would miss him while he was on the road and didn’t want to be separated from him that long. Instead, she decided to leave her lengthy career as a corporate trainer to join him.
“I was 52 at the time and tried to think about what I could do where I could get a job at my age,” says Lowell. “I decided to take a CDL course and become a truck driver. Susan said she didn’t want to be home without me, so becoming a team felt like the natural next step.”
The Mitchells started driving for us at Carter about 11 years ago. Although they’d worked for a couple of other companies, they really wanted a route where they could have more frequent and consistent home time.
“We wanted a regional or dedicated route. Something where we could be home as often as we wanted,” explains Susan. “The other companies we were driving for kept saying that it would happen eventually, but something would always fall through. Once we interviewed with Carter, we just knew they had everything we wanted.”
Their dedicated route takes them from Ohio to San Antonio, Texas, twice a week with home time every weekend. Driving together as a team, they say, allows them to travel faster, get more miles and earn more money than they would as solo drivers.
“One of the big benefits about teaming up with your spouse is that your income all goes into the same account. You’re not splitting it with anyone else,” adds Susan.
The Mitchells say they had a great marriage before they started driving together and it’s only gotten better since they’ve become truckers. They say it takes a lot of patience and communication, but the ability to spend time together on the road has been worth it. When they’re not out driving, Susan and Lowell like to spend time outdoors canoeing, going on motorcycle rides, cycling, and getting together with their adult children.
“Carter makes it possible for us to get home and do all the things we love to do during our off time,” Lowell explains. “They treat us well, know us by name, and have consistently proven that they’re here to support us however we need it.”
The Walsmiths are newer to the trucking industry. Stoker spent a year driving solo before Amy decided to go to driving school, too.
“I had been working for the same company for 25 years and needed a change,” says Amy. “I was talking about becoming a driver for the whole year Stoker was on the road and finally I decided to do it.”
They started team driving for a different company before coming to work for us.
SMALL COMPANY FEEL
“It’s been a whole culture shift,” explains Stoker. “At our last company, we were just a number. Carter has this small company feel where everyone knows who you are and treats you with respect. Not only that, but we’re getting the miles we want and home time on the weekends which we didn’t have before.”
Amy remembers the first time they went to the Carter terminal in Laredo, Texas. The office manager introduced them to everyone while they were there.
“It was really nice to know we had people supporting us. It was a great first impression and it made it clear that teams actually matter at Carter and that we’re a priority for them.”
One of the biggest benefits, they say, about teaming up with your spouse is the fact that you already know your teammate well before you ever get on the road. Not being alone if the truck breaks down or when you need support while you’re tackling situations that might come up are also big plusses.
“You don’t have to worry about personal space,” Amy says. “You can be yourself and not worry about having to entertain a stranger. We have a pretty solid relationship and are able to speak our minds.”
Sleep, she adds, is probably one of the more challenging things about being a team driver. You have to get used to sleeping in a moving vehicle and trusting your partner behind the wheel. She also advises that it may take you some time to figure out when and where to stop for breaks, showers and to stretch your legs.
Stoker and Amy are on a dedicated route that takes them to Laredo and back a couple of times a week, which gets them home at least one night during the week and on the weekends. When they’re not on the road, the couple spends time at their home in Noblesville, Ind., relaxing, working on their house and spending time outdoors.
BECOME A TEAM
Interested in joining Carter as a team driver? You’ll earn up to 64 cents per mile with a minimum of 5,000 miles per week, enjoy weekly home time, paid holidays and vacation, several bonus pay opportunities. Connect with us today to speak to one of our recruiters – don’t forget to ask about our $7,500 sign-on bonus!