CAREER Smart

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In most businesses, the role of a queen bee and a worker bee does not change. You are either the queen bee or the worker bee except when becoming a team truck driver…

Becoming a successful team truck driver is tricky. Becoming successful takes time, effort, as well as patience to learn when to be the queen bee and when to be the worker bee.  What is different is that those positions change constantly depending on the situation. If the team both start their careers at the same time, everything is usually discussed: which load to take, which route to take, how to load the freight, and what time each person will drive. Now throw a married couple in the mix, and it gets complicated.    

In time each partner gains experience, they will find the areas where they excel. One might be good at load securement, talking to shippers and receivers, figuring out routes, paperwork, truck maintenance, etc.  This is where the queen bee and the worker bee come into play, and one person cannot be the queen bee at all times. Each partner needs to learn when to become a helper and let the other lead the way.

Bob and I have been team driving for 15 years, married 41 years, and working together full time for 20 years. We each have our ideas about how things need to be done, and the ideas do not always coincide. One example is when we have to load the truck ourselves and then secure the freight. Bob always goes above and beyond to secure freight and knows how to do this with no freight damage. I think he could secure a crystal pitcher and go across the country, and the pitcher would be fine. Where we run into problems is how to load the freight, and it took me a couple of years before I finally became convinced that I need to follow not lead. When it comes to understanding the bookkeeping side of our business, he is the worker bee and I am the queen bee.

As a Hired Gun for the past fifteen years, we have found that load offers rule our lives and take precedence over everything.  When in the middle of a heated discussion, grocery shopping or out for a walk, when there is a load offer, everything goes on hold till we decide to take the load or pass. If we decide yes to take the load, we each know what we have to do to get ready and who’s turn it is to drive. There is no wasted motion as we get ready to drive what could be 10 miles or 4,000 miles.

To run a smooth and successful business while being a team driver, it takes time and patience to figure out each other’s role.  The best advice I can give is to learn when to step back and let the other team member become the queen bee and respect their decisions.

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Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

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