We are very excited to share this post with you and hope that we’ll have more “guest writers” to feature on our blog in the near future.
But first – a little background. We told you about a very active Facebook group started by our Maverick Wives not too long ago. We’ve been able to get to know several spouses and significant others through this avenue and reached out to them to “tell their story” via our blog. When Tina Martin sent her story in – I knew we had to post it! She is very unique in that she rides with her husband full time, so her perspective is certainly one we rarely get to hear. Not of the driver, not of the spouse at home – but of the spouse on the road!
Here is her story on how she and her husband, Jeremy, became Mavericks. And of course a huge thank you to Tina for sending this along.
I still remember the day that my husband sat me down on the couch and told me that he wanted to finally live his dream of becoming a truck-driver. I was terrified. He worked a meaningless job as an equipment operator in a prominent city in North Texas which offered a basic paycheck and he was miserable. We struggled constantly and never had the finances to go on vacation, or even go out on the weekends. Bills came first, and we did what we had to. I was taking six classes at a local community college to obtain a degree in History and I was constantly stressed out. He had previously driven a truck in 2002 in California, and the thrill of it had never left his blood. He already had his Class A CDL so I got to work. I love my husband and knew how miserable he was. I did so much investigative work in the following weeks that I became quite knowledgeable about the trucking industry. My husband knew that he wanted to drive for a flatbed company. He likes the physical exertion.
In June 2011, I had it narrowed down to three companies; Melton, TMC and Maverick Transportation. I talked to drivers on TruckersReport.com from each company and came to the realization that Maverick was absolutely the best the flatbed industry had to offer. I liked what their drivers had to say about Maverick being a “family-oriented” company and I specifically liked the pay rate. That very next day, I sent in his application as I had been doing since we were married in September of 2007. Within a week, Caleb from recruiting had called him and had him hooked. They wanted him to come to Little Rock in July. I was hesitant and scared and it took us a few weeks to make up our minds. The usual questions came to mind, “What if this doesn’t work out?”, “What if I fail the physical?”, and “What if I quit my job and Maverick doesn’t hire me?” Finally, we made the decision to take a leap at a better life. In August of 2011, we ended our lease at our apartment, put all of our belongings in storage, changed our mailing address to a P.O Box and took off for Little Rock, Arkansas. I had just finished school and was actually signed up to go back in August. I called the college and pulled myself out of my last remaining Geology class that would complete my degree. I knew I had to go with my husband. We stayed at an off-site hotel and paid, in advance, for two weeks. I would drive him to the terminal every day and spend the remaining hours researching Maverick and talking to truckers at the local truck stops. He completed training in Little Rock and was sent to Laurinburg, North Carolina for a week of glass training. I stayed behind and spend time with my family in Houston. After he completed glass training, I picked him up from the bus station in Dallas and we drove back to Little Rock to pick up his 2007 Freightliner Columbia. The very first load he was given was to New Jersey. I was scared senseless. I hid in the sleeper while he drove and would fret about traffic and rain. I was sure that this wouldn’t last long.
Two years later and I am still with him. We have upgraded to a 2013 Freightliner Cascadia and I have become ingrained to the life of a trucker’s wife. A normal day for us consists of waking up in the tiny sleeper after sleeping head to toe and checking the Qualcomm for any loads or messages from his fleet manager. We then, get up, strap down the television and gaming system, turn the GPS on, re-check our route plan, tie up the curtains, and he’ll do a pre-trip while I figure out what is for breakfast. We stay out anywhere from 9 to 12 weeks at a time and when we do have “home time”, we choose a random location (depending on if the loads available are headed that way) and we explore museums, good restaurants, and stay in nice hotels or B&B’s. I am an “elite reviewer” on Yelp and leave truck-related reviews for other drivers about parking, CDL discounts and how decent the food was. We cook most of our own food, but when we are headed to places like Laredo, Texas with the amazingly authentic taco trucks, we grab a dozen tamales and put them in the cooler for later. We have been to all but two states and hope to explore Washington and Oregon soon. To stay sane while he drives 10-11 hours a day, we listen to audio books and take breaks in between to guess at who the suspect is. We have a blast together and although I miss baking, cooking and being able to go thrift-shopping and the convenience of having a vehicle ready and available, we have a lot of fun.
This was the best decision that my husband and I ever made. We do not have children and have no commitments to the outside world except for a few family members. We have found our niche in this world and that is traveling the country together in a tiny fiberglass box hauling loads for Maverick Transportation.
Tina & Jeremy Martin during a recent trip to Chicago