“When that sheriff’s department calls and they’ve got a tractor-trailer blocking five lanes of interstate, they don’t want to hear that the truck won’t run or that we’re putting on a tire,” Adams says. “They want to know we’re on the way. The man at a red light, broken down in a log truck, needs to get that truck to a repair facility so he can make a living. It’s as important to the small man as it is to the large, right up to the state patrol.”
“I was 53 when I started. I had tried other things out there, but I was getting older all the time, and I got to thinking, ‘I’d like to drive a truck. I think I would be good at it.’ I was tired of being broke. I didn’t have medical insurance. I was tired of going nowhere. I wanted to have a skill.”
There is a quiet success story happening in Texas, and every year brings new achievements for Stevens Transport, which specializes in hauling refrigerated goods for a growing list of Fortune 500 companies. The family-owned company was founded by Steven Aaron in 1980, operating a small fleet of three commercial vehicles and six dedicated owner operators. Aaron turned a profit after only one week in business, and he never looked back.
By the time Sam Shifflett could walk, he knew he wanted to drive. Dump trucks, fire trucks, big rigs — he loved them all. So when he signed on with J.B. Hunt Transport Services in January 1997, he immediately felt at home. There was only one problem — he didn’t want to live on the road.
It was well past dark when the man and the boy finally got the cattle unloaded. The road was empty and the man was tired. The boy had been driving farm trucks around the family ranch for several years. The boy was ready, the man figured. He handed over the keys and climbed into the passenger seat to catch some much-needed shuteye.