Trucker of the Month
Though he makes the most of his time at home, Clouse still has a few regrets.
“You’ve got to want to do this,” he says of trucking, “because you’re going to miss birthdays. You’re going to miss your kids growing up. You’re going to miss wedding anniversaries. Your wife’s going to miss you.”
But Clouse missed milestones so that he could support his family. He and his wife, Marilyn, have three children, eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way. They host the large family for Christmas every year.
“We always have a full house, and I enjoy every minute of it,” Clouse says.
Family time is easier to come by, in part, due to good financial management. He saves his receipts and turns them into his wife. She is the bookkeeper at Mayo Seed, where the two met 35 years ago. She categorizes his earnings and expenses using QuickBooks software.
“We do a lot of comparing,” she says. Each month, she shows Gerald a graph that tracks how his expenses have changed in each category since the previous year. Clouse uses that system to set goals that help keep his overhead low.
Meticulous record-keeping leads to a more efficient business, he says. Last year, he netted $40,000.
“All that’s over my head,” Clouse says, modestly, “But it sure beats punching a clock.”
1970: Son Todd is born
1972: Married Marilyn Jones
1973: Began driving locally for Mayo Seed Co.
1983: Began driving over-the-road for A.J. Metler Rigging and Hauling
1984: Bought first truck
1986: Leased to Dart Transit
1989: First granddaughter, Phoebe, is born
2000: Contractor of the Month at Dart
2008: Placed third as Truckload Carriers Association’s Independent Contractor of the Year
Gerald Clouse at OverdriveOnline.com.
DO YOU KNOW an exemplary owner-operator with 15 years of trucking experience and an excellent safety record? Write to Lucinda Coulter, Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A HAWAIIAN VACATION was Gerald and Marilyn Clouse’s 25th anniversary gift from their children. Marilyn says it was the most memorable time the couple has ever spent together. Touring Pearl Harbor was the highlight of the trip for the history buffs.
EVERY YEAR, Clouse participates in his granddaughter Phoebe’s elementary school book drive. One year he bought all the books on the teacher’s list and let Phoebe present them to the class. n