|Type of driver||Team Van Drivers|
|With Schneider||6.5 years|
|Hometown||Apple Valley, CA|
|Miles on the road||1.5 million|
|Can't live without||Each other, nice showers, good coffee|
Perry and Cheryl McGauvran are a team both on and off the road. When Perry McGauvran chose to leave the railroad business to get behind the wheel of a big rig, he was commuting about 200 miles per day and was coming home unhappy. That’s when his wife, Cheryl, who was a high school English teacher at the time, said, “Honey, I’m going to go get my CDL and we’re going to hit the road.”
“Two days after our son’s wedding, that’s exactly what we did,” recalls Cheryl today.
For Perry, it wasn’t a question of whether to drive or not, it was who to drive for.
“My dad had a truck sales lease company growing up…I got my CDL, my brother drove, my dad drove, my grandfather drove. I had my own trucks for awhile – there was plenty of work in the industry.”
Perry researched trucking companies online. “Companies that seemed interested in us would say, ‘Go get trained and then come see us,’” he remembers. “I thought, if a company is investing good training into me, then I’m going to stay with them!” After a family friend told them he thought they would be treated fairly, Perry and Cheryl finalized their decision to drive with Schneider.
That was six and a half years and 1.5 million miles ago. As over-the-road team drivers, they feel like Schneider is a second home. “It’s an excellent match,” notes Cheryl. “We’ve been loyal to a company that we feel has been loyal to us.”
The respect the McGauvrans feel from Schneider as they haul dry good across the country has been an enormous part of their decision to stay put.
“We respect our customers and co-workers and by and large that respect is returned."
Although the job isn’t always easy, knowing Schneider cares about its people and respects drivers’ decisions also make Perry and Cheryl feel valued. “You adapt to whatever your circumstances throw at you, including snow and ice,” says Cheryl. “We’ll do whatever we can to keep on going, but twice I got into icy situations when I sent a message to the company and said it was too icy, I didn’t feel safe and we were going to stop for awhile. It hasn’t happened often, but Schneider respects that.”
The McGauvrans also feel respect in other aspects of the job.
“The smooth operating system, how we get our loads, the updates to continually improve…” Cheryl lists. “Frankly, I don’t know how you can work for a company like this and not want to do your very best because they’re giving you their very best.”
“There’s a mutual commitment to excel.”
As Perry notes, this is very evident in the equipment Schneider invests in. “The equipment is top of the line – going down the road is comfortable and everything works,” says Perry.
The couple is also part of Schneider’s pilot program, testing the viability of automatic transmission trucks. “We drive a 2014 Cascadia equipped to the gills, including an automatic transmission. It saves your leg!” Perry adds.
But they also recognize their value in one another.
“Teamwork defines this relationship – you don’t get a product moved from point A to point B or produced from raw material without it. Schneider is part of the team and we are part of the team. That has been the prevailing attitude and mentality – it’s not individuals that sink or swim, we’re a family.”
“Perry and I function as a team both in our marriage and our job – we work together and it’s the best,” adds Cheryl.
“The fact that my wife and I are together works so well,” says Perry.
The small things often taken for granted are some of the things Cheryl appreciates the most on the road, like the availability of clean showers, something good to eat, well-run operating centers and good coffee. “Pilot is always our staple for good coffee, but other places have stepped up their game,” says Cheryl.
Perry’s favorite thing about the road is being with his wife. “We depend a lot on each other and we’re always there for each other,” says Perry. “That’s why we’re out here and what I would miss the most if we weren’t together on the road.”
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