Content Sponsored By Transco Lines Inc. (TLI)
Teaming with another driver is one of the most popular paths to earning top-end pay in the trucking industry — but only if you do it right. That’s why we took the time to talk to a husband and wife with decades of team driving under their belts to learn how they did it, all while staying safe and having a little fun in the process.
Married team drivers Karmela and Patrick Brower have been in the trucking industry for a long time — both drivers have been trucking for a combined 63 years. Patrick has about 33 years under his belt while Karmela has an even 30, though she knew way back in eighth grade that she wanted to be a truck driver when she grew up.
But what’s most remarkable about the Browers is how long they’ve driven together as a team — a staggering three decades. The pair spoke to CDLLife over the phone from the road to reflect on their epic team trucking careers.
The Browers told us that they have been driving for Russellville, Arkansas-based Transco Lines Inc (TLI) for two and a half years and are currently working on a dedicated route from Phoenix to Fort Worth. They say that the best thing about TLI is that while the company gives them the freedom to do their jobs without micromanagement, someone from the company is always available with an answer when problems arise.
Karmela says that the biggest hurdle she faces when teaming is actually protecting Patrick’s sleep. She is always aware of keeping the CB radio at a low volume and doing whatever else she can to make sure that her partner gets the rest he needs to drive safely.
Both Karmela and Patrick say that trust is the key to their long and successful stint of team driving. The pair developed their relationship while driving team for four years BEFORE they tied the knot and Karmela said that that’s how she knew that their marriage would last. Patrick says that “100% trust and confidence” in one another has been the key to their success on the road as team drivers. He says that the most important thing is having each other’s back — if the person driving needs help, they’ll wake up the other person and find a solution together.
Another part of their success as truckers has been to focus on Karmela’s passion for photography as a way to connect with one another and keep the drive interesting. Team driving has afforded the pair some remarkable (if occasionally risky) photo opportunities, and Karmela has been recognized for her skill with multiple awards, including first place honors at the Arizona State Fair.
And Karmela’s single-minded determination to get the photo she wants has led to some adventurous detours off their route. Patrick says that he’s watched his wife hop guardrails, hang off cliffs, and even take a tumble on steep terrain to get just the right image. “If she wants a photo, she goes for it,” he said. But he’s proud to be a part of her artistic process. “I was there for 99% of those shots,” he remarked.
Check out some of the stunning images Karmela has captured below.
A major part of the Browers’ success as a team has been their partnership with TLI. Since the company was founded in 1984, they have grown to operate more than 350 power units and 700 trailers, providing award-winning service to their North American clients.
During their decades of operation and growth, TLI has proven that they have the expertise to know how to run teams the right way. They also have the freight to keep teams moving and the pay to keep teams happy — regardless of the spot market. If you’re interested in joining the Browers and TLI in your own team driving success story, you can click here to get started.
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