Reign and Koyote don’t have your conventional story. About a year into team driving, they couldn’t be happier with their decision to trade in one version of life on the road for another – in a truck.
The traveler life
Reign and Koyote met in the Hawaiian jungle. She was an avid backpacker checking off an adventure on her bucket list. He was a “hippie traveler,” who had been living on the beach where she completed her 11-mile trek.
“We had an instant and magnetic connection,” Reign, 23, said. “It was game over.”
From there, the couple traveled the US. They lived out of their backpacks, worked on farms and called their 2-person tent home.
However, they had dreams of putting down roots. They wanted to own land and get savings together.
“We needed to find something to help us get started down the path we were envisioning,” Reign shared.
Becoming a truck driver
The plan was for Koyote, 34, to get his CDL while Reign stayed home. His dad and uncles were truck drivers. He even had a little experience himself. But, while doing research about grants and which trucking school was right for their lifestyle, Reign was inspired by what she saw.
“We watched videos about all these people – partners, couples, wives, girlfriends, and even solo women drivers – and I was totally blown away,” she said.
Reign continued, “We realized that if we drive together, we’d make double the money, and avoid a lot of the issues the people in the videos talked about, like being away from family and loved ones. I said, ‘I’m all in.’”
Reign and Koyote recently graduated and started working as team drivers with a trucking company.
We caught up with Reign while she was on a break from driving. Koyote was taking his rest in the cab.
She shared her experience about life on the road with Koyote, and some advice for other couples who want to become team drivers.
Convoy: What’s your experience been like so far?
Reign: Learning to operate a truck was empowering, and I am grateful I did it. It wasn’t something that came naturally to me. There was a lot of fear: ‘Am I going to be able to do this, complete school?’
To be able to go through those feeling and reflect back on that – it’s been amazing. I’ve definitely learned a lot and changed a lot during the process.
Convoy: What do you think has changed?
Reign: My self confidence is a lot stronger. I am more open to challenges – to things that may seem impossible. I look back on going through school, and overcoming all those challenges. If I can make it through that, I know I can make it through the next challenge.
I’ve also become more patient. When you’re living in the truck, you have prioritize differently. Sometimes the space is more cluttered than you’d prefer, or you can’t get out for exercise. That would really bother me before. Now, I have the patience to relax. I’ll have an opportunity to go for a run soon enough. Right now, we prioritize being safe, getting the job done and being together.
Convoy: Has anything about becoming a truck driver surprised you?
Reign: Yes! Once you learn it, how easy it is to drive a truck. I think it’s easier to drive a truck than a regular car.
Convoy: What’s it like working with your partner?
Reign: We’ve been together for 4 years. We shared a 2-person tent and worked on farms together. We are used to spending 24 hours together.
But, in the first two months there were tons of trials while we worked on professionalism and our team work. That was challenging. We were adjusting to a new life and figuring out how to work efficiently together. The rest of it is awesome, and now it’s so much fun. We share a lot of the same goals, both professionally and personally, so it’s a lot of fun.
Convoy: What advice would you give to a couple who was thinking about becoming team drivers?
Reign: Be patient and do your research. There are a lot of options for school. Take the time to read reviews, talk to people who work at the company or went through the program. Call the school.
Also, reflect on your time together. Can you spend that much time in a small space, work well together and enjoy life with that person? If you aren’t in harmony and balance, it’s going to affect everything. It’s your work and your living space, so you need to be honest with yourself.
Last, plan as much as you can. We are into health and wellness, so we prioritize grocery shopping and always have fresh produce, so we can make juice. We got this huge cooler we use to store everything.
There’s always a learning curve, but getting an idea for how to prepare food, and keep yourself and your living area clean was helpful. I watched videos and took tips from other couples who shared their experience. I looked at every aspect of our life and planned how we translate it into the truck. That way you can focus on gaining experience driving, and not worrying about some of the basics.
Convoy: What’s something you like about working with your significant other?
Reign: I’m on an adventure with my best friend. We get to see the whole country. We get to be really goofy at times. We find the balance, taking care of our needs, each others needs and the trucks needs, so that we feel good, clear and happy. Overall we love it. It’s a ton of fun.