Business owner turned trucker talks teaming with husband

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Updated Feb 20, 2019
Phil and Vivian SpencerPhil and Vivian Spencer

Covenant driver Vivian Spencer has worked with her husband, Phil, for decades, so she knows a thing or two about how to balance a marriage and a professional partnership.

Before they became truck drivers, the two ran a successful cleaning business for 13 years. That experience taught them how to work closely together and play to one another’s strengths, but it was also a physically demanding job. They wanted something that would be easier, and they turned to trucking. They went to driving school together and were hired by Covenant straight out of school.

The Spencers, from Sapulpa, Oklahoma, have driven for Covenant since 2003 and currently run a dedicated route. They are both members of the fleet’s 40 Club, meaning they have each driven one million miles without a chargeable accident.

When it comes to working efficiently together, Vivian says they have a divide and conquer approach.

Phil and Vivian have been driving team since 2003.Phil and Vivian have been driving team since 2003.

‘We have a routine that we’ve done the entire time that we’ve been driving. I’m a pretty good bookkeeper so I keep track of a lot of stuff, and he’s pretty good with his hands so he fixes a lot of stuff. Sort of divide and conquer,” Vivian said. 

They’ve been married for 40 years, but there was still an adjustment period when they became truckers despite their previous business. Vivian says it took them about six to seven months to adjust to working together in such an enclosed space.

“You have to get used to the job because it’s not something that everybody can do. You have to remember that the problems that you face are not because of the person you’re with,” Vivian said. 

To cope with frustrations that may crop up as a team Vivian says you have to remember that it’s not your partner that’s frustrating you, but rather it’s the job. Planning ahead will help save you both stress.

“Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan ahead. Use every avenue that you have to plan ahead. That will save you from getting into predicaments that you weren’t necessarily anticipating,” Vivian said.

Trucking has let Vivian and Phil experience things together they may not have otherwise been able to. Vivian saw the ocean for the first time from a truck and she’s seen shooting stars so bright they lit up the sky. They’ve been able to build friendships during their travels and have friends from Florida to California.

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“That’s pretty fun when you get to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise. I feel like God places us where we need to be, when we need to be there. So I think that’s the reason for us to stay at it because this is what we’re supposed to be doing,” Vivian said.