Truckin’ From Tennessee

Trucking for women

Trucking for womenInterview with Women Trucker- Sharon Lewinson From Tennessee

Trucking has always been portrayed as a male’s world and yet, today, we are proud enough to see women truckers behind the wheels. Some may find it strange, some may not encourage them, and however, they are not going to stop. They are hard, tough people with the same stamina and power of men.

We are honored to interview Sharon Lewiston, who has been into this industry since 1975. She is a sweet and polite person, standing as the inspiration for the other women truckers out there and encouraging more and more women to join her league.

Trucking is surely a man’s created world and fitting into it would be difficult. However, this would constitute the initial stage. If you stay adamant about pursuing your career as a trucker, then this is the way lady.

Q. Sharon; thanks for talking with us. How does it feel to be trucker?

Flora, you know the feeling is simply amazing. You feel the world is in your control, you own a big rig and you have the power to drive. Initially, I was awe-struck with the beauty and the nature when I drive by the highway. A feel within me creeps and ask me to halt for a while, until I fill my camera with every possible pictures. The feel slowly drifted. And today, I’m proud of what I’m, a trucker, trading time.

Q. How many years you have been trucking?

I have been trucking since 1975 August 4th and till date I sense, there is more to explore and that keeps me going behind the wheels.

Q. How do you take out time for your family?

Being a trucker, you need to be really sharp and flexible when it comes to work. When I started pursuing my career as a trucker, I was never able to give time to my family. Its not that they every complained, yet, I know they wanted me to be home at least for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Trucking can keep you so busy that you really have no time to update people about your whereabouts. All is that, you, gears and your steering wheel, day and night. However, once you are set, moving along with the flow, you will see things falling in place. Trust me, that is the best feel.

Q. What made you choose trucking as a profession?

Trucking was never in my mind when we talk about profession. My husband and I started trucking in the mid 1960s and worked very hard to make a living.However, in the year 1970, Harry expired. His death was sudden, leaving me shattered. Life has to move, isn’t it? And I took trucking as my profession and today, I’m here.

Q. Is it safe to be truck driver?

Well, is there any profession providing you the security to stay up anytime of the day or night? No, there is no such industry and trucking is no different. However, that does not mean trucking is going to be hard on you. You need to learn how to tackle your surroundings, learn self-defense and other aspect that can help you in molding yourself. You decide for yourself, rather than generalizing the industry.

Q. Any day regretted for being a part of this industry.

Never! We all know the hardship trucking carries as it is published all over the web, but never did I regret choosing trucking as my profession. I did accompany my husband each time he was on schedule, and soon I enjoyed driving a truck myself.

Q. What are the obstacles you face as a women trucker?

Obstacles were many, innumerable. But who can stop the happening? From understanding shared with co workers to happy-to-help feel mould me into a better person, with each rejection coming my way.

Q. Gearing with the technology makes any difference in your trucking schedule.

Well, when I started trucking, there were no mobile phones. I remember having a radio in my truck, listening to it for hours. And today, I’m a gadget freak. To name some, I have music player, GPS and one position locator. Recently, I included a flat screen television. And of course, a Smartphone in tow.

Q. What do you dislike the most about trucking?

Staying away from home week after week, even when it’s a federal holiday is something I personally dislike. Moreover, I assume, every other trucker are thinking the same. Another thing I hate about the industry is to wait. I hate the thought that I need to wait in my dock till my truck is loaded. And this applies from the customer’s location as well. Ultimately, you’re getting punched in the wallet as your time is wasted.

Q. How do you overcome the hurdles and challenges in trucking?

Hurdles are many, you learn from your mistakes and the scenarios. Trucking is a challenging industry and thus you are not only overcoming your mistakes, you are learning to handle things in life.

Q. What’s so rewarding in the industry?

Well, there is a real sense of accomplishment with trucking. You pick the load, you deliver it and someone gets everything.  That is the only reward you receive other than your paid check, of course.

Q. What are the misconceptions people have about the industry you are working?

That trucking is all about fun and adventure; you will get to “SEE THE WORLD”. While you are to see many countries while you are on road, many of the things you want to see aren’t on the beaten path. In other words, you need to plan a trip to see them or you will never get to see them. And some of us actually forget we are on roll, no matter how much exciting it gets initially.

Q. Do you pay your obligations on time? Which is the method you prefer?

Obligations are many; taxes are included in the list. As I drive rigs weigh more than 55,000 pounds, I pay my taxes on time online every season. My daughter is too persistent on paying dues online. Who has time to run to IRS, submit form and by the end of the day, your return is rejected. Why? One minor error ruins it. Online filing is much better. Calculations are done automatically, errors are checked and I receive my schedule 1 copy in minutes even without any hassle to count on. I would thank to make it easy for truckers like me.

Q. What advice would you give to other women who want to enter the industry?

When you are entering the industry, ensure you have a secure plan for the money you earn. If you are skilled and fast learner, you are a game for the trucking industry. You might go little crazy after earning what a trucker can earn and it is very important to understand the management of money.

Additionally, if you have a problem with your weight, well, driving a truck is only going to make it worse. You would gain weigh eventually. So count on that. And of course, the will power. Keep strong, you will be strong behind the wheels. You want it, so grab it. Provide the world that you are not weak.

Q. Sharon, thank you so much. This has been very informative. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?

Yes, I would like to wish all the truckers out there a safe and happy journey to their destination. If you are in a mess, don’t forget to ask for help. You may not be treated right, but you will be helped. Yes, things have changed with time, young drivers don’t really know to fix their issues as everything is electronic, and it is very important to learn the principles of your truck before you haul.

And, finally, I would like appreciate and thank one and all in adding value to the industry and I’m happy that you are proud of what you are doing. Thank you, Flora.

So trucker, be safe, drive safe and ensure you are on safe grounds. salutes and honors each and every women trucker out there to stick around trucking and mastering the art of driving heavy rigs.