Trucking is portrayed as an industry of men counterparts. With the toughness dripping along the tires of every truck, women truckers were not so welcomed in the industry. They were underestimated for all they were, for what they can do. And today, they have proved it all. The leadership emerged in early 1920s with Lillie Elizabeth Drennan took the charge. She just did not inspire women across the globe, but also introduced methods to survive at the time of need. No profession is gender biased, its all how well you are featuring yourself in it.
Name the industry, you will find women mastering it. They have spread their wings high and wide, astonishing the men with their inner power of mastering trucking as a whole. Those heavy rigs are purely integrated with toughness; however, women have learnt to blend with them. Gender discrimination is something trucking does not transpire so well with, and eventually, the roads of America started accepting women drivers.
Tax2290.com had conducted a marathon for women truckers to share their on-road stories, experiences and their uphill battle for life behind the wheels. And this is one of the letter we had received from our regular customer, Mrs. Day. This letter will make you love your friends and the profession you are in.
Rendezvous Trucking- The Beautiful Truth
Jane, the women of thrill and adventure, she was utmost up for anything and everything, any hour on the clock. Though she was in her mid 40s, she had the burning fire in her to relish every moment lived.
And I, totally contrastive in nature. I was contented with what life had to offer me. My 15-year-old son and a full time nanny were my only reason to live. I worked at the restaurant, made a living with the tip and wages. Life seemed contended. I had never called life for a serious encounter.
It started this way.
Jane and I were good friends from school. She was from a wealthy background, with the urge to go and look around the world, face the difficulties and learn new things. One day, out of the blues, Jane came to me at the restaurant. As there were not many customers to attend, I asked Mary to handle the chore for a while.
I took my seat next to her; saw a worried look in her eyes. I grew tensed. I asked her, “Is everything OK, darling? She held my hand and shot the very first question “Hey, have you ever thought about trucking?” I went numb, taken aback with her question. I was not sure what were her plans.
It was all too sudden for me. Actually, I was not sure myself about the question she had asked.
I knew what I had to do. Speak.
I explained my thoughts, told her that trucking is a man thing, and we are better off away from it. I tried to show the beautiful side of our lives, establishing ourselves with some food stall or selling art and earn for living.
Silence. Pin drop silence.
One eye contact, it explained me all.
I lost it.
It was her chance to speak. She disclosed her plans, how she got inspired with the thought that trucking would be the apt for us and we should surely try a hand. It was all adventurous to her and she expected me to be a part of this weirdo venture. Her excitement was high up in the sky and denying her offer was totally not me. She assured me if I did not like it, I can back out. Now can someone on earth make her understand I don’t know how to back out?
All I would do that moment is, buy time to think over.
Finally, that night I thought about it. I was all excited about the venture, something different. And Jane was there to support me. Oh, by the way, was I left with any other option other than accepting the offer? Well, no.
I had to inform my manager on a very short notice about my plans and I was sure, reactions were not so welcoming. He was stunned the way I was when I heard the plan for the first time, but he was left with no option than letting me go. Mr. Sam was not a bad person, after all. With final words, I realized that I was leaving my small world behind. Tears, emotions and excitement with a slight touch of happiness were entwined within, leaving me with the hope for better tomorrow.
Soon, we were on our venture towards trucking school, checked on CDL requirements, graphing our obligations and the three major classes of CDL. Everything was set and we got our CLP (Commercial Learners Permit). In another 14 days, we took our skill test and got the formalities done. In no time, we had our CDL in my hand. I was indeed a proud moment for both of us, and thought were exploded within.
And the day finally arrived, we were on our 53 ft trailer, making deliveries and setting our forte in the male dominant industry. We did not prove that we can handle huge rig, but also earned the place on the road with men. Equivalent.
I never felt any different with men drivers. When I was married to Jack, there were weeks without seeing him and there would be time when his time would be all for me. Safety, working conditions, pay and home time are just a few of the issues concerning all drivers. We were no different.
We sensed the independence, missed contentment and sometimes emergencies. We met millions of crooks, giving us a look when they were checking out who is on the driver’s seat. It was not so usual to see a female driver, controlling an 18 wheeled rig. I, for one, consider it a great testimony to the strength and determination of our country’s women to take the demanding career of truck driving. Yes, it is not the easiest way of life, yet, there is no harm in giving a try. When we were on our venture, we just did not come over our fears; fought for a different lifestyle, tailored our requirements and yet, maintained our feminine qualities.
When we return home after long hauling, people tell us, isn’t trucking boring to you?
We laugh our heart out.
Well, we have the reasons to justify. You know, its not just trucking all the time. We are on road 6 days a week and sometimes 10-20 days at a stretch. Our own set of chores is like a tagged along responsibility. If Jane is behind the wheels, I ensure the lunch and dinner is all set before we halt for the night or vise versa.
We go for a walk, sometime ride our foldable bicycle or simply read our fictional, mystery book we carry on our journey. And if we don’t have anything to do, we would simply sleep, snoring loud.
Though the trucking industry is male dominant, we noticed that women were paid more importance, more respect and better opportunities to explore. Though we started as amateur in this field, we did not take much time to master it and showcase women empowerment.
We experienced shade and shine during our journeys. Truck stops were the place where we usually encounter different things. Once near Indiana, we discovered a truck stop and parked our rig. We decided to call it a night. The truck stop honestly, didn’t look too promising. We were greeted by the most friendly mannered woman, Deb, who was engaged in mopping the floor for the umpteenth time that night. Jane asked her if she mind walking across the mopped floor. You know what she replied, “No honey, I just want to make sure you don’t slide down. Just be careful ok?” She completed with a million dollar smile. It was so refreshing to see someone really concerned about you at wee hours.
Ah, I missed the best point. Trucking gave us the opportunity to meet varied people, and say hello to wonderful people like Deb. Working late and going home in a bad weather is just so warming and fruitful.
Our days were mixed with emotions, work and responsibilities carrying on our shoulders with no real own duties to carry out. Of course, we paid our HVUT on time. We don’t like the penalties. They are too heavy on our pockets. With the growing time, we learnt that we have exposed every unlived in moment, did every adventure we thought before tying knots and learnt the new spectacular spirit of living our lives. This was our best accomplishment, ever.
Thanks to Jane.
Its been almost 35 years since we entered the industry and even today, if someone allows me to drive my old big rig I would risk it for a no. But what fun without Jane? Well, I missed telling you about her. Jane died in a truck accident 5 years back and I’m never over it. I dedicate this letter to her. She thought me how to live life. May be she was ought to.
What trucking thought me; I would treasure it for life.
Thanks for providing me the opportunity to speak my heart out.
Learn The Ropes
Always remember, women truckers are no less than men counterparts. Jane always told me:
- You are a born a women, don’t think you are weak
- You are professionally strong, prove it to the world
- You don’t represent women, you represent the whole trucking company.
We would like to take a moment out and thank Mrs. Day for touching our heart with ardor, her hardship and fruitfully sweep the opportunity to experience anew. Tax2290.com takes a moment in honor and salutes every woman behind the wheels. This initiation would stand hold as a tribute to women and their will power to do something for the nation. We wish and look forward for more women truckers joining the league and paying respect through taxes.