What happens when a sister with a law degree and a brother with a business degree come to America? They end up as truck drivers of course!
This weekend, reefer owner operators Div and Harman were on our lot training for a switch to flatbed. While they were here we sat down with them to hear the inspiring story of how they became owner operators!
Div and Harman were born in India and moved to England when they were young. In England the two would eventually go on to obtain their degrees. In 2016 they came to America, landing jobs on Wall Street in New York City. Div worked as a compliance and legal director and Harman was a businessman.
The fast-paced corporate lifestyle wasn’t an easy transition, but these two are no strangers to overcoming difficulty. “We love a challenge” Div says, “We often confront our new adventures by saying “why not!?””
When Div and Harry were young their father passed away. Their mother was left to care for two kids all alone. As a result of the hardships and multiple changes in life, they grew very close as a family. Now Div and Harry do everything together, including buying their Harleys!
After a few years of working on Wall Street, they began to yearn for more out of life than what they were experiencing in the corporate world. While considering multiple career options, Harry was the first to conclude that he wanted to go to CDL school and become a truck driver. Once the decision was made, it wasn’t hard to convince Div to join him on this new adventure. In January 2021 they officially became CDL-A licensed truck drivers.
Div and Harman have worked as individual company drivers and team drivers. Driving as a team had some great perks for the inseparable siblings. They were able to spend a significant amount of time together while traveling and making memories.
One such memory occurred at a truck stop. Div thought Harman was sleeping in the back of the truck, so after fueling she left the gas station. When Harry discovered Div had left him, he called her and asked her to come back. Because of where she was, it wasn’t possible to get back to him easily. As a result, Harman ended up walking over a mile to get to the truck. To this day Harman wonders if Div might have left him on purpose because they were in an argument prior to this incident.
On another occasion, they had to deal with every driver’s favorite word, “construction.” As a bonus, they both had the flu as well. Before going to sleep, Harman told Div to stay on I-80 through Wyoming to get to the drop-off. When Harman woke up, they had deviated from the original route by 4 hours because of construction! Through sleepy and flu filled tears he asked why they were on some random route instead of at their destination. Both recalled this story with laughter, but in the moment it was anything but funny. Especially when Harry realized it was his turn to start driving.
The biggest obstacle for them as a team was trying to sleep while the other person was driving. Div said, “It was bad for our health, and that’s too important to compromise on.” They love driving, and they love each other, but driving as a team wasn’t the best option for them.
Never ones to shy away from a challenge, In July 2021 Div and Harman became owner operators! Although multiple people told them it was a bad idea and advised against it, their love for travel and vision for building their own fleet won out in the end. They purchased their red Peterbilt trucks together and the road adventures continued.
Div says her mom is proud of what she has accomplished and supports the decision of both of her kids. Being a strong independent woman seems to run in the family. As business owners and OTR truck drivers, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for either of them though. Harman has a wife he is constantly leaving at home. Div often faces loneliness out on the road. To top it off there’s the added paperwork, truck payments, rising fuel costs, and other stressors.
Despite the difficulties, both are still pleased with the career path they have chosen. Harman says “the whole point of trucking was to build each other up and support one another. We share loads and whenever possible we book loads that have similar routes so we can at least get dinner together.” When asked about how they handle being “competing businesses”, Div joked “Whoever gets the better load has to pay for dinner, so it all evens out in the end.”
Div and Harman recently found their way to DVL Express after driving for companies like J.B. Hunt, Schneider, US Express, and FedEx. They joined because they wanted help with running their businesses and growing their own fleet. Harman says “it felt like we were just a number to those bigger companies. Things were somewhat disorganized. There was no personal interaction. Here it feels like a family. Everything is transparent and we don’t feel like we’re abandoned or on our own.”
Overall, the founding of DVL connects well with the inspiring story of this immigrant brother and sister. Alex Dovgal started DVL as an immigrant owner operator, so Div and Harman have found a company that understands their situation well. Driving a truck is not just a job for these two, it’s a passion. As they grow their companies and build their legacies, they are making the world a better place, and we’re glad to be a part of their journey.
“I want everyone to know that nothing is impossible. You can do it; you just need the right mindset, the right people around you, and belief in yourself. Your hard work will pay off in the end. “-Harman