It wasn’t long ago that Kevin Luke didn’t know where his next meal would come from. Like so many who have fallen on hard times, Kevin and his wife found themselves homeless after their business was forced to close.
“We lost everything. We were homeless and sleeping in the truck.”
To understand how Kevin went from sleeping in his truck to running his own small fleet, you need to understand the promise he made to his grandfather.
“I became a truck driver when my grandfather was dying from cancer. He was a truck driver for 30 years. As he was dying, he told me… Become a truck driver. It will take care of you. You’ll be able to take care of your kids.”
Kevin promised his grandfather he would become a truck driver and at that point in time was making $8 hour working in a warehouse. He went to truck driving school and was soon making $80,000 a year driving someone else’s truck. When he met his wife, Nina they both shared the desire to become business owners and decided to open a tax franchise.
Kevin left truck driving to run the business until they eventually had to close up shop. Determined to learn from failure, Kevin circled back to truck driving and the promise he’d made his grandfather.
To purchase his first truck, Kevin drove for Uber and Lyft to save the $3000 he needed to buy it. From there, he drove 18-hours a day and put most of the money he made back into the maintenance and upkeep of the truck.
Kevin admits the darkest days were when he and Nina were sleeping in the truck, trying to dig out from losing everything.
“It was so painful, it felt like it was never going to end. Every day you’re trying and trying. It seemed like everything I tried to do, I kept getting set back. What pushed me was my grandfather. I promised him.”
It was at this point that Kevin stumbled upon the NEXT app while searching for loads. He signed up and decided to give it a try.
“Once I did my first load for NEXT, I was hooked.”
The features he came to love most are the ease of use, lots of drop-and-hook and the quick turn options. After using NEXT for only a short time, he was able to greatly decrease his hours and double his income.
“Before, I was driving 18-hour days just to make ends meet and now I’m able to pick up my kids from school and have more money in the bank. To be able to connect with my kids because NEXT gave me the freedom to do that and the money to be comfortable. It gave me a quality of life. I don’t have to do 18-hours anymore. My time is more important because it’s something I can’t get back. You can always make more money, but you can never get the time back.”
After finding success with NEXT, Kevin was able to go from owner operator to starting his own small fleet. He’s been able to hire another driver and has plans to purchase two more trucks over the next year.
More than financial gain, Kevin is thankful for the tough road of challenges he’s faced because it brought him to where he’s supposed to be.
“Trucking is my purpose.”