Accidental truckers: Jon and Miriam Brown
Jon and Miriam Brown
Truck: 2012 Volvo VNL300, daycab converted by Showhauler Motorhome Conversions pulling step-deck curtainside and open-deck freight
Leased to: Landstar Ranger, landstar.com
Jon and Miriam Brown, both 36, have more than a decade as a team behind them, starting as company drivers with CRST and moving through a succession of various expedited-niche carriers before landing in May of 2008 with their current fleet, Landstar Ranger.
There, they enjoy what Miriam calls the best “earning potential” they’ve had as a team, given the wide latitude the fleet gives Ranger contractors for picking and choosing freight and marketing their services. “If you like finding your freight” it’s a great place to be, says the self-proclaimed “accidental trucker.”
“You can advertise yourself and build up relationships” with customers, too, she adds. “We love it.”
Such potential has been realized, enabling the Browns to show a team trajectory over their time on the road from running 20,000 miles or more a month to today, when “110,000 miles or so a year,” says Jon, yields the revenue they need. Any enterprise market “rewards professionalism,” he adds, and the Browns have striven for years to exhibit nothing more than that.
“You’ll reap what you sow,” he says. “Number one, we show up with a positive attitude.” The Browns, hauling in this beautiful custom-built 2012 Volvo daycab outfitted by an Indiana motor-home conversion company, the first and only such unit the company had done to actually haul freight, go to great lengths to walk their shippers through securement of the often expensive freight. “We help them work through the issues and make sure they know that when their product is secured they understand that their product will not be damaged,” Jon says.
Customers respect such professionalism, and the benefits come back to the Browns in more ways than one. “They’re more respectful of us and our equipment,” says Miriam.
Good thing: One look at the Browns curtainside combo is enough to see that it’s no ordinary freight hauler. The Volvo VNL300 custom chassis came out of the factory as a daycab, and after the conversion was done it stood at 37 feet in length overall, with a 337-inch wheelbase. The trailer started its life as a 2006 Noonan step deck “we pulled as an open step for years and year,” says Jon. With the new tractor, the team “got it refurbished, painted, did the brakes and axles” and had a company in Franklin, Ky., do the curtainside system, all a little over a year ago.
For the occasional oversize load from a customer, they also keep an open-deck trailer staged near home in Temple, Texas, at a friend’s place in Oklahoma or elsewhere, depending on their schedule. “We can’t run with the curtainside open,” says Jon, given the hard van-style doors on the rear, among other attributes.
All told, the rig itself does a lot for getting repeat customers at this point. They’re not shy about sharing their truck number with any shipper who will listen. Says Miriam, “If you’re satisfied with our service, request truck no. 550193…”
Next up in the Teamwork series: Martin and Carolina Hill, leased to CRST Van Expedited.