“The LSC instructors took the time to explain and work through different driving situations. The small class size provided more drive time which improved our road skills.”
Liz Hartel along with her husband Alan Hartel are working and thriving graduates of LSC’s truck driving program. They are now owner/operators who do long haul in the aviation industry.
Truck driving was a major career change for Liz. “I had worked in the cosmetology field for 25 years and was looking for a change,” she said. “I had earned my EMT certification and was enrolled in a paramedic program when Alan asked if I would consider truck driving. I looked at the possibilities trucking could offer us from a business (and personal) view and agreed. I completed my training at LSC in 2014, earning my CDL, and started my first job immediately, putting me in the field for five years now.”
Hartel appreciated the one-on-one attention the LSC truck driving program offers. “The small class size provided us with more drive time to improve our skills,” she said. What surprised her about truck driving was the demanding physical aspect and fatigue. “Many people think we just hold a steering wheel all day, but it truly goes beyond that.”
While training at LSC, Hartel appreciated the instructor’s real-world knowledge, which she applies on the road to this day, calling it “priceless.” “The LSC instructors took the time to help us figure out driving situations. On the road, I will come upon something that makes me recall my LSC instructor’s advice, which helps me work it all out.”
Hartel noted that the competitive advantage to a team truck is that it can run 24/7, making them more valuable for the high demand deliveries, most common in aviation. She explained the pay can be really good, too, especially for a husband and wife team, as the income stays in one home.
“Our best day, that is every day! Because we spend them together on the road, living and working as a team,” said Hartel. She noted there can be challenges to working as a team, including finding alone time. “It’s something everyone needs,” she explained. “Our new big bunk truck, with a full kitchen, shower/bathroom combo, and large bed, has improved our quality of living and the ability to separate in comfort. For shopping, one will do the shopping and the other half stays back at the truck. And forget winning or losing and agreement (LOL) we just try not to have any. On our down time, we take mini vacations, renting cars and Airbnb’s, enjoying the sights of this great country.”
Expect the unexpected! Hartel offers some advice for individuals considering a long-haul truck driving career. “You need patience and a thick skin out on the road. Be prepared for both busy times as well as slow and frustrating ones,“ she said. “Keeping focused and staying fit and healthy will give you a major advantage over the typical driver. For us, we get out and explore new places and experience new adventures together. Alan and I keep humor a big part of our everyday lives and just roll with things,” she said. “It makes life more enjoyable.”