As is so often the case with a long-term successful business, it takes two to make it happen – many times with a Mr. Outside (the face of the company) and a Mr. Inside (the nuts and bolts grinder). In the case of Rethwisch Transport, the insider “Mr.” is actually a “Mrs.”; she being Bill Rethwisch’s wife, Sayra.
In addition to mothering their four children, Sayra handles most of the paperwork, which can be overwhelming for an operation with 12 trucks and 13 drivers.
Did we mention she also has a full-time day job working for the town’s water department?
“It’s been a challenge, having more and more trucks,” she admitted. “I work full time for the city, then in the evening I am in the office here. It puts more on my plate than everybody else’s.”
Getting a good night’s sleep is a must, correct?
“Well…no,” she said matter-of-factly. “Our shop is right here at our house, so a lot of times I’ll hear trucks in the middle of the night. Sleeping is not a frequent occurrence. Or getting a full night’s sleep, I should say. We run 24 hours pretty much, so we’re getting calls all through the night.”
Sayra (pronounced Sarah) was named for her grandmother. The unusual spelling came about when she was born. Her relatives had the surname of Sayre, so they switched the ‘e’ for another ‘a.’
The Rethwisch family dynamo explained that she looks forward to the Shell Rotella SuperRigs Show each year because it is when they make a getaway out of it.
“It’s kinda like a family thing; it’s how we do our vacations,” she said. “We go to all the shows as a family. We have a motorhome, and we’ll take someone to drive the truck. We’ve met a lot of fantastic people that we consider family now.”
The Rethwisch’s two older children are not involved with the business, but their 10-year-old son Luke is, big time.
“He’s 100% about trucks,” Sayra said, laughing. “He’s always out in the shop. He washes trucks, and he can change the oil. If you ask him, he’s the shop manager.”
What about getting behind the wheel herself?
“I don’t drive the trucks,” she noted. “I would like to, because our two young boys are around the shop. I’d like to be able to know how to move stuff if I had to. But we’re so busy that I have not had the opportunity. At one point I considered going to get my CDL, but thought, ‘Ummm, no.’ ”