It did not take us long to realize we had created our own problem as we became recluses inside the truck. Bob would often go a month at a time only speaking to shippers, family, and me and I was even worse as I stayed in the truck when we went to shippers and receivers. We did not read any of the free publications in the truck stops and at that time did not have satellite radio.
We did not stay home long before we were back in trucking, Bob driving in the winter with me by his side, and both of us taking care of our lawn care business in the summer. This lasted for a few years and we knew we had to choose between the two and it was trucking. This time we knew that we had to be a team and we were going to get involved in our business of trucking.
|We see many drivers sitting and staring out the windshield
We attended the Expedite Expo in 2004, met other expediters, and started forming long lasting friendships. The trucking industry was entered at full throttle and we still have not let off the throttle. Truck stops and customer locations are a great place to meet and learn from other drivers. Each time we met another driver we learn something, from how to secure freight easier, great places to stop, tips on good locations, and each time we added to our knowledge and sense of belonging. Sometimes these conversations can go negative on worst load,
worst dispatcher, worst situation, and so on...
We all have these
|Rodney & Mary Dodds, Bob volunteering to help stuff goody bags
stories and I enjoy hearing solutions to the problems or how to avoid these never ending situations.
At time progressed so did out knowledge of the trucking industry and now we were not only asking questions, we were able to answer questions. One of the ways to learn and share information is with online forums. We are involved mainly in two forums; Expeditesonline.com and teamrunsmart.com, both are great places to learn and to share
|Walkers at the Expedite Expo PJ Annual Walk
We listen to radio trucking channels and stay involved with other segments of trucking industry such as bulk tankers, flatbed carriers, dry vans, oversize, and refrigerated trucks. Ways to learn are by picking up the free papers at truck stops such as The Trucker and Movin' Out. The information learned from these publications helps us to stay proactive instead of reactive.
|Jamie Jones, Joanne Ritchie, Suzanne Stempinski, Linda Caffee Photo by David Tanner, Associate Editor, Land Line Magazine
One of the first organizations Bob and I joined was OOIDA. We get the Land Line magazine that helps us keep up with current topics, and when we are in the Kansas City Area we stop in and say "Hello" at the office. Putting a face to a name is another way to feel engaged. Stay involved with OOIDA by signing up for the "Call to Action" emails where we are often asked to contact our congressman. I also joined Women in Trucking as a charter member and interact with the Facebook Page Women in Trucking Association Inc. and have met many amazing women and men through this organization.
Freightliner Team Run Smart is also another web site to learn more about being an owner operator, getting your own authority, reading articles on new and up coming rules, cooking in the truck, and one of my favorites is a series by Attorney Jim Klepper on the many "Gotchas' that happen when we do not know the law.
|Amazing how many people Bob meets when he is working on the outside of the truck
Once the snowball started rolling it grew large quickly and that is what has happened to us each time we said, "Yes" or "Hello". Over time we have found our niche in trucking, enjoy our business, and way of making a living by staying involved. It was up to us to get out of the truck and reach out to other drivers and organizations, as they did not come looking for us.