Humans of Real Trucking - Lisa and Tennessee
Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 18:44 pm
For the last 15 years, Lisa has been living the trucker life. Although female drivers are in the minority, she “feels like a queen. I love trucking. I’m not just a lady, I can do stuff on that truck without someone there to help me. But you definitely have to be strong to do this. This is a male-oriented job. Sometimes you have to get up under that trailer and crank up 40, 000lbs. I love the empowerment.
Some truckers even come to ask me for advice. I like that. When other trucks pass me on the road and they see that it’s a woman behind the wheel, I get a lot of waves and hellos and honks. There is a bit of respect there. “
Raised in Columbus, OH, Lisa enrolled in a program to help women break into male-dominated industries and be successful. Women make up only 6.2 percent of all truck drivers as of 2017-- the ATA reports. There have been challenges, of course. With all that sleeping on the road, she misses
“that wake up, go to the shower and get up, go to the bathroom routine,” and swears she “would give my whole next paycheck for a bathtub and some wine and some candles. Still, she keeps on rolling with “the regular rigamarole of truck driving.”
Despite the inconveniences, Lisa has found real peace of mind. “I am not so stressed about the little things. Driving a truck - the only drama I get is from the book that I am listening too. Even if I get stuck at a shipper, my dispatcher is all over the broker so the most drama I get is from the music that I'm listening to. “
The transient nature of life on the road brings a revolving cast of new characters into one’s life and sometimes, unexpected blessings. “I like to take a break when the sun sets and when the sun goes up.
About two years ago, I was in Tennessee. And this particular rest area had separate truck and car parking. I saw a car stopping at every truck and I’m thinking, you know, that it was a lot lizard.
So the lady gets to me (I’m standing up in the truck) and she asks, ‘hey do you want a companion?’ Now I am kind of standing there, drinking a cup of coffee, watching the sunset, all puzzled, thinking, ‘What?’
And the lady says, ‘No, do you want a dog?’ I’m still standing over the engine wondering if I heard her right. And out popped this dog - with tons of energy and running all over the place. The lady gave her to me for free. That is how I got Tennessee. “
Lisa and Tennessee have traveled everywhere together. They stayed on the road all during Covid-19 and she noted that “people were so afraid of coronavirus that they lost their respect for others. I think they thought that truckers were carrying the virus but truckers are always quarantining. We drive for 10 hours a day and sleep for another 10 hours. I am at a shipper for 30 minutes and they think that WE are bringing them the virus? As long as I am in the truck, eating right and taking my vitamins, I’m okay. I’m quarantined.
Despite the drawbacks, Lisa encourages other women to “go for it. Trucking frees you up and gives you a second to finish a whole thought. How many times have you started to think about something interesting, and then you stop that thought because life is going on around you? Out here on the road, turn off that music and really open up. Dive deep into the things that you said you would come back to. You really have to take care of yourself. I listen to spiritual and inspiring books and tapes and really dive deep in for myself.
After you got the kids out of the house, let’s go! Trust that you did a good job with your kids and of course, they've got your number if they need you. Driving is really good. For any lady that can spend some time with herself and can occupy her own time….this is the perfect job. I have absolutely grown as a person from being on the road. “