Valerie and David Lopez are a team at work and in life. The team drivers are owner operators leased to Roadrunner Transportation, and they know a thing or two about love. After all, they’ve been married for 25 years.
The Lopezes started teaming just one year ago. David has had a CDL trucking job for 10 years. Valerie worked for Los Angeles County for 23 years and put in time as a stay-at-home mom before joining David in the ranks of those with CDL trucking jobs.
“I love teaming,” Valerie says today. “Our kids are grown, so there was no need for me to stay at home anymore.”
Life on the road together has solidified Valerie and David’s bond. “We have a different connection now,” Valerie says. “Our relationship is 100 percent better. Before, David would be on the road and I would be home worried about him. The separation between us while he was on the road added to the stress.”
Before teaming with David, Valerie rode along with him for one year to get a taste of the trucking life.
It gave her an opportunity to see and understand what he experienced on the job. Trying to find parking, getting sick on the road, witnessing horrible accidents, it all opened Valerie’s eyes and brought the Lopezes closer together.
“We’re growing together all the time,” David says. “Valerie makes me laugh. We get to see each other and do things together now that we weren’t able to do before. Everything about working together is great.”
When they have the chance, the Lopezes take the time to go for walks, try their luck at a nearby casino, explore natural attractions and do whatever they can to keep the spark alive. Sharing experiences is part of what makes trucking together special for them.
“I’m not out here to work, work, work,” David says. “I’m out here to make the best of it, enjoy it and at the same time pay the bills.”
Teaming together has worked out well financially for the Lopezes and improved their communication at the same time.
“I love it out here,” Valerie says. “The time you get to spend alone and talk without background noise makes a big difference. With team driving, you don’t have time to argue. Seeing accidents out here on the road is another eye opener. Life can change in a minute. You don’t want to waste time arguing. You just want to enjoy the moment.”
After Valerie tired of sleeping alone every day while David was driving, the Lopezes made a conscious effort to make sure their sleep schedules overlapped for at least four hours every day. It was a simple change that has made a lasting difference in their marriage.
Between them, the Lopezes have three kids, ages 24 to 31.
The couple met at a Los Angeles house party when they were 19 years old. They were married three years later. Marriage hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worthwhile.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Valerie says of teaming with David. “I don’t know if it’s because we’ve been with each other so many years, but it works. If you make it work, it will work.”
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