As usual, Ronald and Margaret-Mary Shellito are early to a pickup location in North Carolina.
That’s because they know the routes like the back of their hand. Plus, Ronald and Margaret-Mary have been driving together for almost four decades and have, by their own account, pioneered a ‘special’ shipment category.
“We just celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary while we were out here driving a couple of weeks ago and we've been driving together for 38 years of those 57 years confined to a truck that's smaller than most people's bathroom,” said Margaret-Mary.
From such a small space, they do well more than put their foot on the gas and drive from point A to point B.
They have breakfast, lunch and dinner, sleep while the other is driving, plan routes, keep an eye on the weather, maintain their truck and complete paperwork, which Ron says, “she’s fantastic at, Margaret-Mary has the most beautiful handwriting.”
“We get along pretty well,” she added. They didn’t always drive together, though.
Ron would drive, and Margaret-Mary worked at Penn State Health in Hershey, Pennsylvania in the critical care unit. Then after their four children went through college, the nest was empty, and Margaret-Mary had an idea.
“I said, the kids are never home, and you already taught me how to drive a tractor-trailer, so why don't we just drive together, and we'll see the country together,” she said.
“We've been every place in North America except Newfoundland, and we've covered every kind of project,” Ron said.
We’ve rescued 25,000 sea turtles from an oil spill, transported parts across the country for an aeronautical research institution, took a gorilla from Buffalo, New York in a blizzard to the Memphis Zoo, and even lead a convoy of trucks carrying medical supplies from the New Jersey Meadowlands into New York City on 9/11, he shared.
“We don’t do mundane things,” Ron said. “Everything we did was special… we had a reputation for doing things that couldn’t be done,” one of them being medical supplies that require temperature regulation. And at the time, we were the only ones who did it, he said.
Ron explained that while he doesn’t always get to choose what shipments to take on nowadays, when he has the chance, he enjoys working with pharmaceutical companies, because they're a cut above, he said. One of them being leading influenza vaccines provider, CSL Seqirus.
“You're dealing with professionals. And I like that because we're professional and there's no monkey business,” Ron said. “We like working for your company particularly.”
Why? Because like this duo, CSL Seqirus embodies superior performance.
“The way you set things up, the facilities that you use for your product, how your facilities are situated, it means a lot to us, and the people who work at those facilities, they're very meticulous about what they do,” Ron said. “Those are the things that we like to work with, especially the people who are like us who take pride in their work.”