Marc Springer – Trucking's Most Interesting Man

The name Marc Springer conjures images of the overly-confident, often abrasive personality portrayed on the reality TV show, Shipping Wars. This is certainly what I expected when I was asked to interview Marc for Chrome and Steel. Expectations can be deceiving. In this case, they were downright wrong. Marc Springer is about a real as they come, and anything but abrasive. His confidence however, is quite real. It is this confidence that helps make him trucking's most interesting man.

 

At the age of 14 Marc left home chasing a pro-hockey career in Dauphin Manitoba, Canada. To be a professional hockey player was his first goal in life. He tracked down information in newspapers, then wrote to coaches asking to come play hockey for them. This is a huge undertaking for a teenager, the age that most boys are busy chasing girls, not professional careers. He did have some success in Junior Hockey, but eventually realized he wasn't going to make it in the pros. That's when he moved back to Washington and started his first venture in trucking. 

Trucking, ironically, has been a small part of this accomplished man's life. He started driving for the teamsters out of Washington State as a way to make money while following a new dream; a dream of being a commercial scuba diver. As a means to an end, he decided to join the Navy for training as a deep sea and recovery diver. The Navy wouldn't sign him because he had a pin in his ankle. So he went to a surgeon and had the pin removed. Yes, really, he had it removed just to be able to join the Navy. Talk about determination!  Before he could heal enough to be accepted into the Navy, a young lady stole his heart, and his life changed direction. 

Instead of the Navy, Marc and his girlfriend moved to Australia where he became the first American to obtain the F.A.U.I. CMAS Three Star (Federation of Australian Underwater Instructors). At 25 years old he was renowned for his diving expertise. His days were spent traveling Australia and New Zealand, exploring the oceans down under, and teaching other others to scuba dive. His relationship didn't last, but the trip to Australia ended up having a profound effect on Marc. He attributes his time there as the foundation of his confidence. In 1985, when he returned to the states, Marc knew he could do and achieve anything he set his mind to, and has spent the years since then doing just that.

On his way home from Australia, Marc had a stop over in Hawaii, where he ended up staying for a year. Here he started a lucrative scuba business, which lead him to crew a 55-foot sailboat from Hawaii to Los Angeles. From LA he started a lead diving weights business with some Australians he met. This was the start of his on-going career in sales. This combined his love for diving, sales, and trucking. From this venture, Marc and long-time friend Brad Rinker started a metal salvage business. Northwest Metal and Salvage Service is still in business today. Over the years, Brad and Marc have continued to work together on various projects. 

Marc left the business to Brad under mutual agreement, then moved to Alaska for a career in commercial fishing, longlining Cod and crabbing. He eventually landed a job on a crab boat in the Bering Sea out of Dutch Harbor. The owner of the fishing boat failed to keep up with paying his crew, so Marc returned to Hawaii. There he earned his way as a deck hand on a boat fishing for marlin, then doing commercial hand-line fishing for Yellow Fin. While fishing is always was enjoyable, there wasn't as much money in hand-line fishing as crabbing. 

Marc, ever looking for a new adventure, and the lure of big money, moved back to Seattle after obtaining his Captain's License with the promise of being First Mate on a crab boat; a significant step above deck hand. Upon his arrival to Seattle he found the boat was actually not sea ready. It was actually still being built. He agreed to stay and help finish building the boat, entered another relationship, and had a beautiful little girl named Jesse. A month after Jesse's birth, Marc received a job offer as a chief engineer for a Salmon tender in Bristol Bay, back in Alaska. It took him 3 months being cut off from everyone he loved while up in Alaska to realize he needed to return to his little girl and be a part of her life. 

Returning to Washington he joined a company making high-end cabinetry. He laughs when telling me this, as it was the only job from which he was ever fired. When I asked him what happened, he explains that he wanted to work too much. The company owners, while extremely successful, didn't quite understand Marc's overwhelming drive to succeed. In his quest for mastery and success, he kept pushing them to work more; more clients, improve their skill, make more money. He literally exhausted them, so they let him go. Normally being fired isn't something you want on a resume', but in this case I think it works in Marc's favor.

Trucking, scuba, fishing, wood-working, sailing... what was the next interesting adventure?  Apparently, it was real estate. As with all his other endeavors, Marc was naturally successful in real estate. He was making over $100,000 a year; however, he was positively miserable!  He he hated being stuck indoors, in an office, all dressed up. Despite his success, it was time for a change.

That's when he got into sales with Harley Davidson. Here Marc was able to ride his bike to work every day, dress casually, and generally enjoyed each day talking with people and making sales. When the economy crashed in 2007, the lack of personal disposable income for many people, made a career in sales difficult. So Marc did what only seemed logical at the time. He returned to the trucking industry. 

This is where most of you may know of him. It was during this time of shipping unusual items across country when Marc was approached to be in the TV show, Shipping Wars. Again, he laughed as he told me the story. He received an email asking if he wanted to be in a reality TV show about trucking. His reply was... well I can't write the actual words here, but let's just say he gave a smart alec, unquestionable no. It backfired. That witty, brash, personality was just what the producers of Shipping Wars wanted. It is that personality that was exploited for ratings, as any show will do. People loved Marc. People hated Marc. But the reality was, people couldn't stop watching Marc!

Marc is thankful for his time on Shipping Wars. It opened a lot of doors and contacts for him; doors that eventually lead to a sales and spokes person position with Diesel Spec, Inc. He now spends his time traveling to various shops and companies across the country as a Diesel Spec, Inc sales rep. His Shipping Wars fame is a foot in the door, an ice-breaker that makes it easy to talk with shop owners. But his laid back, can do attitude is what seals the deal. He jokes that he literally gets paid to go hang out with people, and he loves it!

 

Marc Springer with Angelica Larsson and Reno Ward

Marc Springer with Christian Fournier, President of Diesel Spec Inc

On the humanitarian side, Marc has recently become involved with helping the Special Olympics. He says he was invited to attend last year, and went not really knowing what expect. What he found was some of the most pure human beings he has ever met. For a man who has traveled the world, this is no small statement. He says these kids have no hate, no fear, no self consciousness. Just genuine people with big hearts. The whole experience made a huge impression on him and he plans to continue to support fund raising to help provide the special Olympic tradition. Marc plans to return to Nova Scotia again this year to join the Special Olympics convoy, and states he looks forwards to seeing all their smiling faces again.

What is in the future for this interesting man?  He couldn't give a lot of details, but he's working on a movie project based out of the North West Territories and Northern Alberta, Canada. So add film producer and perhaps movie star to an already impressive repertoire. 

Right now, in his off time Marc enjoys fly fishing and spending time in the wilderness. He has a love for nature that grows with each passing year. Recently, he spent a week at the Alagnak River Lodge in Bristol Bay, Canada doing some fly fishing. He even ties his own ties!  

The man is always chasing a dream, and reaching it!  The current dream is to spend part of the year living off grid and enjoying the peaceful life of the of Alaskan and Canadian wilderness. And while there, lend his outdoors expertise working as a guide for like-minded individuals who wish to explore the great outdoors. When not working Marc loves to spend his time with his long time friend and love Geri. They enjoy cooking and traveling together and making plans for future adventures. He says she keeps him in line!

Not a bad life for Trucking's Most Interesting Man!  Because of all he has experienced, Marc is a positive role model for anyone who has a dream. His experiences prove that you don't have to stay pigeon-holed in a single career. Enjoy life, live it to the fullest. Be confident and that confidence will take you further than you ever thought possible. Enjoy life my friends.

 

on 31 August 2017