Accidental truckers: Jon and Miriam Brown

| August 13, 2013

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

Landstar-leased owner-operators Jon and Miriam Brown
Landstar-leased owner-operators Jon and Miriam Brown

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.

Some freight hauler: This rig, a 2012 Volvo VNL300 that came out of the factor as a custom-chassis daycab, was put together in 2011 by Show Hauler Motorhome Conversions — the only comparable rig I’ve seen is Hyler Bracey/Cass Flagg’s KW conversion (done by NRC Truck Conversions in the same Indiana town as Showhauler). For more on the truck and trailer, see this post on the Channel 19 blog.
Some freight hauler: The Browns’ rig, a 2012 Volvo VNL300 that came out of the factor as a custom-chassis daycab, was put together in 2011 by Show Hauler Motorhome Conversions. For more on the truck and trailer, see this post on the Channel 19 blog.

“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.

See the i photo gallery below for more photos of the Browns' rig inside and out.
See the photo gallery below for more photos of the Browns’ rig inside and out.

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…”

Picture 10 of 10

Next up in the Teamwork series: Martin and Carolina Hill, leased to CRST Van Expedited.

  • No Reform

    Big Hazard bringing your WIFE to a truckstop these days its pretty scary…most guys have prison tatoos..head to foot and on Face and Shaved head….I wouldnt want MY woman walking alone to the restroom at any truckstop these days. They paint this trucking up as a fun time…like retirees traveling..all carefree….ask any cop…it really ISNT like it seems….and today with the Low Wage Kooks they hire it has gotten worse.

  • No Reform

    As we investigate how Dangerous it might be to bring our unsuspecting Wives along..trucking USA…..we google Trucking Serial Killers…..82,000 hits??? The first one reads…Mobile Torture Chamber……sound like a good industry for your wife???? Not Mine.

  • 52telecaster

    That’s exactly why you run a rig like they have. You go to a truck stop for fuel. That’s it. Stock up on groceries and use RV shops or places that allow rv’s to dump your waste. Sleep in safer places too. Unhook the trailer at your destination and comeback the next mornig instead of sleeping in some dangerous industrial area at night. It looks so much like an rv, i’d doubt they would get turned away at most rv parks without the trailer. I’d be willing to bet Walmart would also think of it just as another rv. I’d leave the fancy paint on the tractor but run a plain jane trailer so I did not have to worry about paint damage when leaving the trailer somewhere. My opinion and $2 won’t get you a cup of coffee. I do like this setup and can see the benefits of not having to worry about good meals and a shower or curling up at night while she drives for a few hours. I trust my wife but you never know about your so-called “team” driver or what he does on his own time which can make for some crazy thoughts running through your head while trying to grab some sleep as he drives down the road with your life in his hands. Scaaaaaaaary!!!

  • No Reform

    Yep I agree….truxtops are really not a place to bring Family…unless you want to get them abducted, raped, beaten, stabbed, robbed. It is a SHAME how this industry has gone down hill into the SEWER.

  • No Reform

    This rig is extremely cool….us ordinary drivers should have running water and a fridge at least…..I go into shave at the truxtop and some guy is always Blowing his nose Into the sink..a real Delight when you are brushing your teeth while snot is oozing into his sink next to you….great place to get disease too…not to mention the Toilet seats..crab infested as they might be….with a little left over crap smeared on the seat….ya know at that point trucking is the BOTTOM of the Barrel industry…..suitable for a Non English Speaker.

  • Kard ikon

    Great story, Love it!!

  • TJ

    This is the only way to travel as a Driver!

  • James Jarmon

    One word sums up why this works, Landstar. Only a hand full of companies can even compete with this crowd. Mercer can, but that’s the only one I know of.

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