Minnesota couple hits the road for lifetime of adventure
Trucking isn’t a job; it’s an adventure. Taking you places that you may only have dreamed about.
Nobody knows this better than the Transprt America driving team of Scott and Peggy Braam of Crystal, Minnesota.
Peggy and Scott haven’t always been a team, nor have they always been truck drivers. In fact, they both started their careers in very different areas before joining the trucking industry.
“I was a farm boy from Mankato, Minnesota,” Scott, age 58, says. “And after four years serving in the Navy, I took an office job working with computers. I did network administration and programming for 24 years before I decided to take my career in a different direction.”
“I was never comfortable in an office,” he explains. “I just came to realize that I grew up working outside and driving farm equipment, so going into truck driving felt right.”
For Peggy, her dreams of seeing the country pushed her to make a career change.
“After graduating from North High in Minneapolis, I worked in a factory assembling circuit boards for many years,” Peggy, age 60, adds. “I was a dislocated worker for some time before deciding to go to trade school.”
“Ever since I was a little girl, I remember liking trucks. And at times, I dreamed about being a truck driver,” Peggy says. “I’ve always wanted to drive and see the country – and then one day, I realized, you can actually get paid to do that!”
So how did Scott and Peggy eventually meet?
As it turns out, fate would eventually lead Scott and Peggy to the same classroom at the Dakota County Technical College located in Rosemount, Minnesota, in 2003, where they would learn about truck driving.
“I thought he was kind of cute,” Peggy laughs.
It was after one of those classes that Peggy got up the nerve to ask Scott about his plans after he earned his CDL.
“She even asked me about team driving during that first conversation!” says Scott.
Conversations over coffee eventually led to some dates, and several months later, Peggy and Scott got married. They started driving as a team for Transport America, the first and only trucking company that they’ve ever driven for in January 2004.
“I think that husband-wife pairs can make some of the best driving teams,” Peggy says. “We already know each other, and we can lean on each other for support.”
“We get the perfect amount of quality time,” she says. “We’ll go out to restaurants on the road, fuel up, and switch spots.”
Peggy and Scott have been traveling all around the country for Transport America, finding their favorite places and living their dream together.
“Driving a truck has its ups and downs, but there’s so much out there. If you ever find yourself in Texas, be sure to go to the Saltgrass Steak House in College Station,” Scott says. “I’d never have known that it was out there if I didn’t drive a truck.”
“I’d never been out east until we started driving,” Peggy says. “I love Pennsylvania – the hills and trees are gorgeous. But driving through Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in the summer is my favorite.”
“If we didn’t drive, I would never have been able to see a palm tree or mists on the mountains out west,” she adds. “We get to see a different sunrise every day.”
Exploring the country together from the front seat of their truck has allowed Scott and Peggy to live the exciting life they had dreamed about.
“It’s not like doing the same thing each day at an office job. You’re never in the same place,” Scott says.
“Last fall, I worked at the Transport America support center for a few weeks after I broke my arm,” Peggy recalls. “I didn’t mind the paperwork, but that time was enough to show me that driving a truck is where I belong.”
“You’ll never be 100% happy with any job,” Scott says. “But the thing is, driving a truck isn’t a job – it’s a way of life.”
So what advice would Scott and Peggy give to other couples thinking about embarking on their own adventure as truck drivers?
First, “Be patient and plan,” Peggy says. “Look at your route and watch the weather.”
“We’re very lucky to be at Transport America,” Scott says. “They let you route yourself and pull over when driving is unsafe – no questions asked.”
“Driving in bad weather doesn’t bother me, but Transport America has treated us with respect when we do shut down to avoid dangerous driving conditions,” he adds.
“Our dispatcher has been great,” Scott adds. “She answers any question we have, but otherwise, she’ll let us do what works for us.”
Second, Scott advises, “Put your heart into it. Don’t sit around.”
“As a team, we realized very early on that to make a decent living at truck driving, you need to keep the wheels moving, that’s why we usually go out for two to three months at a time, and then come back home for a few weeks to take care of all of the stuff that anyone needs to do.”
“When we’re out on the road and we want to see something, we stop and we just Uber it,” adds Peggy. “We just want to soak it all in.”
Third, Scott and Peggy recommend driving with Transport America over a different trucking company.
“You really can’t go wrong with Transport America,” Scott says. “Especially when it comes to its hazmat endorsement.”
“The laws that cover carrying substances like paint, fire extinguishers, and engine oil can be complex,” Scott explains. “But there’s always someone in at Transport America to support you with working through the regulations.”
“You’re never alone,” he adds.
Transport America also gives Peggy and Scott the freedom to travel when they want, and how they want.
“Transport America gives us flexibility in how long we’re out on the road and when we’d like to visit home,” Peggy says
“We always get the bug to get back to traveling after two to three weeks at home, and Transport America understands that,” Scott adds.
“At the end of the day, our mortgage payment keeps us going like anyone else,” Scott says. “But driving a truck is in our blood – it’s our way of life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.