At Bennett, we believe it’s our patriotic duty to assure success of the US Military and our government. The government is one of our top customers, and we continue to prove how reliable and trustworthy we are through our expertise and service. In order to do this, we recruit and employ stellar owner operator teams who directly contribute to our success daily.
We wanted to take a look inside these teams and find out how they work. How do they lean on each other for success? Maybe even more importantly, how do they keep from driving each other crazy? Here’s what they had to say…
Stanley and Kathy Meisner
The Meisners have been driving for Bennett Motor Express for the past seven or eight years, but their careers started long before that. In his youth, Stanley worked as a mechanic, but didn’t much enjoy working in what he says can be a thankless job. “Because of a few bad apples, people sometimes think of mechanics as crooks, and customers hardly ever say ‘Thank you.’”
Stanley had always had an interest in driving, but thought he would try it out for a year or two when his kids were grown up and out of the house. Fast forward 25 years, and he’s been driving ever since, with Kathy alongside him for 21 years. In fact, when he first started driving, he had a combo license. The final month before the system transitioned to CDLs is when he got his license. “That’s how long ago it was,” he says.
A little less than a decade ago, Kathy and Stanley were hauling jet engines and other specialized loads, but the small company they were driving for kept phasing those loads out. The company had the opportunity to sell the company to the employees, but didn’t. Soon after, quite a few of the employees moved over to drive with Bennett, where the couple does about 80% military hauling.
We asked Stanley how he and Kathy keep from driving each other crazy. “We don’t. Kathy has been driving with me for 21 years. We’ve been in that same box for that long. That’s a challenging life,” he said.
When asked how they overcome challenges, he says, “Well, it seems like we’ve been doing this forever, yet only a few weeks. It’s just the way we are used to doing things. You just accept it. That’s our exercise program. We might get into an argument, then we hug each other and do better next time.”
Bruce and Lois Carlson
The Carlsons met in 1999, started driving together in 2000, and got married in 2002. They actually met in the terminal, kept in touch while Lois was training and Bruce was driving, and the rest was history. They’ve now been at Bennett for 18 years, nearly two decades, doing mostly military hauling in government services.
When asked why they’ve stayed at Bennett all this time, Lois said, “Rick Gann is one of the reasons we’ve stayed so long. Also, most of it is the family values of the company and the open-door policy. Everyone know everyone at Bennett, and we like that.”
Bruce and Lois have truly embraced the team driving lifestyle, and it works just perfectly for them. Lois works during the day, and Bruce at night, with a few hours overlapping in the afternoon where they talk and spend time together. They have a big sleeper with a bathroom and kitchenette, so they’ll stop and make dinner and take their dogs (Autumn, Brandy and Toby) out for a walk.
We asked Lois if she would change anything about her lifestyle and she said, “I’ll tell you what. That curtain just does not slam like a door does.”
However, the team driving lifestyle certainly has its perks for the couple. Their favorite thing about working together is not only spending a great deal of time together, but also having their dogs on the road, and the freedom living on the road brings. “If we want to do something and we aren’t hauling a load, we go do it,” Lois says.
One of their favorite things to do is make a weekend adventure out of their stops on the road. “We love to explore. We’ll get to a destination and rent a car or hop in a taxi and visit antique or flea markets. We love to collect rocks and gems. Reno is probably one of my favorite areas. The people are a lot friendlier than Vegas, although we do love going and seeing shows. I can tell you almost any place to eat and where the good food is.”
They also love going to visit friends in California, Iowa and Washington state. Their friends are drivers as well, so if they are home, the group will get together for the weekend. The couple enjoys going coast to coast, but Louis prefers to run the very southern route more than anything else.
If you want to learn more about what it’s like to drive for our government secure teams, or if you’d just like more information, contact one of our recruiters at 800-367-2249!