At Carter Express, we are very proud to have over three times as many women truck drivers as the national average. Not only that, many of our truck driver trainers are women. Hear from the two of them, Vonda and Melissa, about their experience in the transportation industry and their time with Carter Express.
What attracted you to the trucking industry in the first place?
Vonda: A friend of ours drove a truck. I was in manufacturing (welding) before and decided to go back to get my CDL for better pay. Plus not as much drama and politics as there was working in a factory.
Melissa: I’ve always wanted to [be a professional truck driver] since I was a little girl. I was an ambulance driver, but that wasn’t fascinating enough, so I wanted something that suited me more.
What advice do you have for other women interested in truck driving?
Vonda: Give it a chance. It can be a great job. With Carter, the home time is better, and it is sometimes more than what people realize. You can take time off when you need it. If you’re worried about safety as a woman driver – there are aspects of the job where you go to deliver or go to a truck stop, but if you take precautions and are aware of your surroundings, it’s no different than being in any other place. You don’t have to dress or look like a stereotypical truck driver. We’re starting to see more ladies on the road now.
Melissa: You must have the drive. You have to want it. Anybody can do it if they put their head to it – and anyone can succeed. You have to have that little bit of passion to want to do it and do the best you can do in order to stay safe. Just like any career, if you don’t have the passion for it then you won’t give it your best. That’s just the way I look at it.
What myths or misunderstandings do you think people have about truck driving?
Vonda: People don’t understand the “lifestyle” of truck drivers. They think of it as a 5-9 job – don’t realize how much it entails to do the job.
Melissa: People [outside the industry] think it’s easy. They think a truck can stop on a dime. They don’t give enough room to trucks on the road.
What do you enjoy most about training other drivers?
Vonda: When I train, I like to make trainees feel comfortable. I empower them to be able to do a great job. I want other people, men and women, to feel confident that they can do it too – either on teams or as a solo driver. Women on teams should know that they can and should do every part of the job and not rely on the other team member. They can bring in a good income.
Melissa: I love watching someone learn a trade that I take passion in. It’s like watching your kids take their first steps. I’m teaching other people to do the thing that I love the most – and that’s to drive a truck.
What do you like about working for Carter?
Vonda: Carter is easy to work for. You can run what you like to run, whether it’s a certain direction in the country, daytime or nighttime shifts, etc. I’ve worked in a factory, and it was hard to get a day off (plus I had migraines because of the stress that caused me to need more time off). Carter is flexible to create a schedule that is good for us and give us the time off if we need it.
Melissa: Everybody is friendly. We’re more like a family. If you have a problem, you can call anybody, and if they don’t have the answer, they will help you find the answer.
Thank you Vonda and Melissa for sharing your insight. Carter Express is a better company because of you and the other team members who are dedicated to safety, teamwork, and making truck driving a great career choice for both men and women.