Bounlieng “Bo” Nobouphasavanh’s unique story of becoming a truck driver and a Schneider All-Star, is unlike most other drivers.
As a refugee from the Vietnam War, Bo emigrated by himself from Laos in 1980.
“I was an incredibly scared teenager,” Bo said. “I was moving to the U.S., where I had never been, knew nothing about and didn’t speak the language.”
Bo’s early years in America
To make ends meet, Bo got his first job in the U.S, as a mushroom picker at a farm in Michigan and went to school at night to learn English.
How exactly did Bo end up in Michigan?
“I was given some options,” Bo said. “I pointed to Michigan on the map – it was close to all that water. The guy looked at me like I was crazy. The first winter was very cold, but I love people in the Midwest. They are easy-going and remind me of my friends in Laos.”
Bo enrolled himself in a welding course and found a job in a sheet metal factory. While he was quickly promoted to foreman, Bo didn’t feel fulfilled and felt that he had a different calling.
During a casual conversation one day with a delivery driver, he was introduced to the world of trucking.
A new start as a truck driver
Bo went to truck driving school in Detroit but kept running into obstacles.
“At this time, you kind of had to know someone to be a truck driver, but the problem was I didn’t know anyone,” Bo said. “I was fortunate to come into contact with a Schneider recruiter and was given my first role as a truck driver.”
Bo joined Schneider in 1989 as an Over-the-Road driver and then transitioned to a Regional Intermodal driver. While he loved seeing the U.S. and learning American culture, Bo now thrives on the challenges that intermodal presents.
“You are constantly planning and working to stay on schedule to ensure you make that cut off time,” Bo said. “You experience many variables – from the hectic traffic in Chicago to navigating through the yard for your pick up. Intermodal is tough, but I love it.”
Today, Bo has surpassed 3.3 million safe driving miles at Schneider.