Post Date - Nov 10, 2021
Everyone has their story about how they became a truck driver. What’s yours? For Henry Gantner, it was always a dream of his to drive a big rig. Originally from Switzerland, Henry started driving trucks at 18 years old. He drove around Europe for a few years before coming to the United States.
“Driving a big semi-truck in the U.S. was always a dream of mine,” says Henry, who has now been a trucker for 20 years. “I changed my professions a few times over the years, but when I had an opportunity to start driving, I jumped at it.”
Henry started working with us at Roadrunner 13 years ago. His first two years he teamed up with another driver and now he and his wife Susan work together. Susan didn’t have the same journey to her trucking career as her husband. In fact, according to her, she needed a lot of convincing.
“For me, truck driving was purely a financial decision,” she explains. “We live in rural Texas and there aren’t really many opportunities to make a lot of money.”
Henry put together a pros and cons list to show Susan why teaming up together made sense. She promised to give him two years and now they’ve been driving together for 11. They’re one of our most successful teams and a great example to other drivers on how to do things the right way.
The Gantners pride themselves on their professionalism and dedication to safety. They prioritize dressing professionally, establishing personal connections with the people they meet along their route and keeping their rig looking sharp. Together, they’ve hit over 2 million miles of driving without any accidents or tickets. This is a huge accomplishment that not many other drivers will reach during their careers.
“There are a lot of drivers out here that look like they could care less. That might not actually be the case, but it’s important to look the part,” says Henry. “We’re meticulous on keeping our equipment nice and clean, both for how it looks and to keep it running well. We try to be as good as we can and to be proactive when we see something that needs to be done. We think of how we represent Roadrunner out here, not just ourselves.”
Susan agrees. “There are shortages all over the place, especially because of current things happening in the world. If you build great relationships with the people who are going to be putting on new tires or doing maintenance on your truck, they’ll go out of their way to help keep you on the road if they can.”
The Gantners’ route takes them from Dallas to Southern California every week. They have a dedicated run, which allows them to be out for four days and then spend Saturday through Monday at home. Susan and Henry’s two adult children happen to live in California, which is another reason why their route is so convenient. They will sometimes leave a car in the lot down there so they’re able to drive to theirs kids’ houses for the weekend after they drop their trailer off. When they’re not on the road, they’re usually spending time on their 10-acre property in rural Texas, about 2-hours outside of Dallas. They love any kind of outdoor activity, including boating, kayaking, hiking, cycling and working out on the outdoor fitness course Henry built on the back portion of their property. In the wintertime, they also spend a lot of time at their cabin in Oklahoma.
“We do 5,700 miles every week in four days,” adds Henry. “If you get a dedicated run like we have, I believe your income will be better or higher than if you’re traveling all over the place because you get to know your route really well. Roadrunner is a great place to work, especially if you want home time on the weekends. At Roadrunner, they’re not loading anyone on Saturdays or Sundays, so it’s not like you’re missing out on income by taking the weekend off like you might at another company.”
Susan and Henry say that once they’re ready to retire from driving, they still want to find a way to pass on their business knowledge to other drivers.
“Anyone can be a truck driver, but an industry-wide problem is the fact that a lot of drivers don’t know how to be businesspeople,” Henry explains. “We save money on fuel by planning ahead and on food by bringing everything from home. Drivers should also learn how to budget with their paychecks and set aside a maintenance fund. We’d love to share what we’ve learned from building our own successful careers.”
If you’d like more information about joining the Roadrunner family, reach out to us today!