Husband and Wife Team Logging Millions of Miles for Skyline
Carl and Melinda Johnson have been driving together as a team for Skyline since 2007. In those 11 years, they have each achieved their 1 million miles of safe driving, 10 years of safe driving, and logged over 2.5 million miles together. Skyline is so proud of this dedicated team of professional drivers.
Carlton and Melinda met in Hohenwald, TN, a small town south of Nashville. Carl comes from a family of drivers, two of whom currently drive for Skyline (Fred & Tony York).
“My mom and dad drove truck, all of my uncles do too, so I figured I’d try it out.” Carl laughs and says smiling, “What a mistake”.
Melinda and Carl have been married for 29 years and have been driving together for 17 of those 29 years. Before she began driving, Melinda was a medical records specialist and a nurse for five years. She left because she was getting burned out.
“I was working more than 60-hour weeks and, because I always go above and beyond, I had patients calling me at home, all day and night.”
Carl already had his CDL when he met Melinda. Melinda says Carl’s parents unintentionally encouraged her to start driving. “His parents drove team and I knew if she could do it, I could do it.”
Melinda got her CDL through a truck driving school. When they first started driving as a team, Melinda said it was rough.
“That first year was hard. If I wasn’t ‘quitting’, he was ‘firing’ me. So, I took a year off and drove a school bus. That allowed us to get our bearings. We figured things out and started back driving together and even took our daughter over the road with us for a while.”
Melinda says she likes driving more than Carl. “I like being away, driving has always been fun for me.”
They both agree, however, that traffic is awful and getting worse. Melinda says she wishes other drivers better understood the rules of the road.
“They don’t consider the stopping distance we need. You can’t just cut a truck driver off but (four wheelers) do it all the time. Judge your distance, move over and give us plenty of room.”
Carl has seen a lot of change and regrets that drivers are more about themselves. “When we first started driving, our fellow drivers were more friendly towards each other. Now they’re more into themselves, more isolated.”
I asked Carl and Melinda what they like to do when they’re not driving. Carl asked “When is that?!”
Melinda says whatever the kids want to do. They have two grown children and five grandchildren. “Our daughter and her two children live with us and we have custody of our other 3 grandchildren, so there are nine of us living together.”
Melinda likes it that way. They have a nice home in Hohenwald with six acres and lots of woods in the back with trails for Four Wheeling.
“We all have Four Wheelers, even the three year old has his own. We all ride together whenever we can. In the summers, we go swimming, anything active outdoors.”