James And Shan Find A Home At Skelton Truck Lines

Steve Pollock
June 2022

COLUMBUS, OH…. Hauling products that save lives was the largest motivating factor for Professional Truck Drivers James Garriott and Shan Leonard to decide to go to work for Skelton Truck Lines.  “We like knowing that the products we haul make a difference in people’s lives and sometimes even save someone’s life,” said James.  “We also like the fact that each load is unique, and each day is something different.”  Shan told us, “Once a child was scheduled for a heart transplant in Canada and bad weather set in, so the helicopter couldn’t deliver the heart.  Skelton was called and got the job done – that’s amazing! We like being a part of something like that.”

Shan continued, “We once picked up urine and blood samples of Olympians in Salt Lake City and delivered them to San Francisco where they were flown to Switzerland.  We also delivered the Moderna vaccine during the Covid Pandemic, which was pretty cool.”

James enlisted in the Infantry in 2001, and was in Military Intelligence for the last 8 years of his enlistment, which ended in 2017.  James and Shan reside in Alabama and met in 2016 in Washington state, where Shan lived all her life and where James was stationed with the military.   James began driving truck in 2018, and Shan began in 2019 and the couple began team driving shortly thereafter.

James and Shan did flatbed work, switching to reefer and hauling produce before joining Skelton 8 months ago.  The team runs everywhere and stay out for 6 weeks at a time before taking 2 weeks off.  They love Skelton’s new Peterbilt Platinum Edition tractors.  The trucks are loaded with leather seats, premium interiors, large sleeper, 3,500 watt invertor, XM Radio, and a refrigerator.  All of Skelton’s trucks also have Moose bumpers and fog lights.  James and Shan appreciate the fact that the trucks are governed to 72 mph.  They said that Skelton’s maintenance department is outstanding. 

James and Shan pull a specialized double reefer, which uses bulkheads within the trailer to create separate temperature zones.  The freight is always light and extremely valuable and for this reason, the trailer is secured, locked, tracked, and equipped with an alarm.  One person must stay with the truck at all times.  James told us, “Some people are not comfortable with this amount of responsibility, but if you are self-motivated and have good situational awareness around you, this is the job for you.  Skelton has our back every day – all day.  Not once have they told us something that wasn’t true.  Once we got hung up in San Francisco and our dispatcher Jennifer took care of us with detention pay for both of us.”

Most of Skelton’s loads are moved and delivered Monday-Friday as most shippers and receivers are closed on weekends.  Team drivers earn $2,100 minimum, each driver, each week, regardless of miles loaded or empty.  Teams average 4,500 miles per week and average $2,500-$2,900 per week, per driver.

Skelton Truck Lines was founded in 1962 by Larry Skelton with a single truck that he drove himself.  Today the fleet has grown to over 150 power units and is operated by the third generation of the Skelton family.  Skelton Truck Lines welcomes company driver teams and owner-operator teams throughout the USA and Canada.  Skelton has a high priority on their drivers and employees health and wellness.  They are especially proud of the fact that 50% of their drivers and employees are women.  They are an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

To learn more about Skelton Truck Lines, contact Jessica Kapasky at 905-895-6688, extension 345 or 800-600-9229.  You can also text Jessica at 705-717-4449, or email: [email protected]