Never in our sixty years of living has a year been this frustrating and yet rewarding.  There have been many changes over the past twelve months, and yet here it is, the end of 2020, and we are still healthy and looking forward to 2021.

We started 2020, as usual, watching the weather and running lots of freight.  This year, we were fortunate to get into a Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas loop that kept us busy for several weeks.  Then we came home to prepare for MATS as we were going to be speakers talking about Expediting.  In the background, we heard a little about people getting sick, and we were hearing a lot about people buying toilet paper.  Within a few days of being home, we were told the Mid America Trucking Show had been canceled, and we knew we were in for a crazy year. 

Instead of going to MATS, we packed our Freightliner Cascadia and went back to work, not knowing we would not be back home for four long months.  In those four months, we learned about wearing masks in public and seeing the sitdown restaurants in the truck stops shut down.  The side benefit was the traffic or should I say the lack of traffic.  Trip planning became interesting as we would arrive at our destination hours early as we were not sitting in traffic jams or waiting in road construction. 

Thankfully our 2019 Freightliner Cascadia is equipped with a 120" custom sleeper, and we have our home away from home.  The restaurants' closing reminded me of how much I do enjoy cooking, and with planning, I can freeze meals to be eaten later.  On a typical week, I cook on Sundays for the coming week.  I place a meal for one in a baggy or container that can be heated and eaten on either Bob's or my schedule.  I have found that if half of what I cook is frozen in individual servings, I do not have to cook as many meals on Sunday.  What a great bonus for us, and I hope we never go back to eating inside except on special occasions.

We are thankful that we are team truck drivers and our jobs have continued on, and we are able to see the ever-changing country outside our office window.  Seeing the same view day after day with nowhere to go would have been very difficult for us.  This year has been busier than most as we travel the country, and as the saying goes, when the freight is hot, run until it slows down.  We have followed the philosophy and have spent very little time at home. 

For the past eight years, we have been one of Freightliner’s Team Run Smart Pros, and that time is coming to an end in 2020.  During our term as Pros, we have worked with and met the most amazing people involved in trucking.  We were able to tour and meet the people that build Freightliners and were able to give feedback on the building of future Freightliners. As Team Run Smart Pros, we were pushed out of our comfort zone during this time and learned we could do a lot more than we thought possible.  Our families are still in awe that as former wallflowers we have blossomed when we became part of the Team. 

While 2020 has been a turbulent year, there are many things to be thankful for.  In closing, we have enjoyed our time as Freightliner Team Run Smart Pros.  We look back at these eight years with pride and thankfulness for all of the opportunities we enjoyed and the ability to share our knowledge with many others.  The Freightliner Team Run Smart program is a fantastic concept of truck drivers as conduits to other truck drivers and back to the engineers. 

We will miss officially working with Freightliner and the other Team Run Smart Pros but we know they will continue to do a fantastic job in the future.

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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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