Featured Intermodal Driver
|Type of driver||Intermodal Driver|
|With Schneider||16 years|
|Hometown||Rock Hill, SC|
|Miles on the road||2 million|
|Can't live without||Cellphone|
Loads of flexibility, whether a company driver or an owner-operator
There’s no such thing as idle hands for longtime Schneider driver Kevin Lawrence. Since high school—when he both played soccer and ran cross country during the same season—Kevin has been a go-getter. However, with so many interests, it took him a while to figure out trucking was the profession for him.
After high school, Kevin was in charge of expediting catering services for the Hershey Motor Lodge & Convention Center, dabbled in real estate and fixed up cars, but it was his mechanical hobby that led him to a new career. “I bought parts from a friend who owned a salvage yard. I asked him to teach me how to drive truck, and he let me deliver loads for him,” recalled Kevin. “This was the 1970s, and back then, you went to the state and self-certified, so that’s how I obtained my CDL.”
Rolling with the Punches
Kevin joined the Schneider team in the mid ’80s as one of the first drivers in the company’s new Carlisle, PA operation. However, after a few years, life changes took him from Carlisle to Florida. He worked for a bulk transport company and made the move to owner-operator in 1992 while with that company.
When the rising fuel costs and lower freight availability hit in the mid ’90s, Kevin seized the opportunity to take a break from driving and opened several sports bars in the Florida cities of Gulf Reef and Pensacola. Sadly, two hurricanes struck those communities within 30 days in 1998 and devastated all three of his businesses.
Kevin was forced to file for bankruptcy and took it as a hint that he should get back into driving. In March 1999 he bought a truck and signed on with Schneider as an owner-operator driving for the Intermodal division.
Life was good for Kevin until his truck was totaled in a no-fault crash in 2011. He endured spinal rehab as a result and was hesitant to get back into the cab, but Schneider asked him to stay on as a company driver in the Intermodal division. He gave it some thought and decided to try it.
Today, Kevin still appreciates the gamut of benefits and opportunities Schneider offers.
“Schneider provides the same level of flexibility I experienced as an owner-operator, which comes in handy when I need to focus on our family business.”
He and his wife own a small discount bakery in Rock Hill, S.C., so if he needs to pop by the store to help out, there’s no issue.
But the bakery business hasn’t kept him from accomplishing major milestones with Schneider. Kevin received his 2 million miles award in spring 2014 and will receive his 15-year award next year.
Truck Driving as a Career
Although his two-sport school days are far behind him, Kevin has great advice for young adults today who are experiencing that same restless feeling as they prepare to start their professional lives.
“Get in the truck and drive around the country,” he said. “See things, make a good income, stay with friends and family when you’re home.”
He also reflects on advice his dad once gave him:
“Find a job that can make it through any economic downturn. In any economic downturn, freight still has to move, and money will still be coming in.”
Words of wisdom from a guy who has been around the block more than a few times—and isn’t slowing down a bit!
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