A Couple In It For The Long Haul

The sky-high price of gasoline has some people considering more fuel-efficient vehicles.

But, as CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports, a retired couple has decided to buy the ultimate in gas-guzzlers.

Like many retirees, Andy and Kay Younger are seeing the country — but theirs is no sightseeing trip.

"We call it seeing it from nine feet up," says Andy.

The former furniture salesman and his accountant wife bought a big rig and they're getting paid to crisscross the country.

"Pretty weird, huh?" Kay says.

"A lot of people thought we were absolutely bonkers, but the best revenge is success," Andy says.

The two signed up with rapid-delivery company Con-Way Now. That can mean driving around the clock, taking turns behind the wheel.

"She's a great driver. She runs this thing like a pro," Andy says.

Long hours, low pay and the high cost of buying a truck have driven many truckers off the road. The industry estimates it's short 20,000 drivers, a number that could top 100,000 within the next 10 years.

That's why Con-Way Now decided to bring in older rookies like the Youngers.

"We're primarily looking for people that are into their second careers. Husband and wife, preferably," says Ed Conaway, CEO and President of Con-Way Now. "Actually, the older you are, the more we like you. There takes real maturity to be out on the road, run these businesses."

More than 10 percent of the company's trucks are driven by empty nesters. Couples can work twice as long and earn twice as much as a solo trucker. Con-Way even works with truck manufacturers on special financing packages so more people like the Youngers can afford their own rigs.

The Youngers told Bowers that they are doing "pretty well" financially and that the job is like a second honeymoon.

"We got married because we love each other, so now we're together all the time, to go places, and see things and spend money when we want to. So, life is good."

So good the Youngers say that this isn't just a passing fancy — they're in it for the long haul.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com