27 years old and already a veteran behind the wheel
Pamela Lucas, Paoli, Ind., Driving for 7 years
I remember during the summer when I was 12 years old, sitting on the square in town watching the big rigs rolling by. I’d always raise my hand and ask for a honk from the horn. And boy, when they honked it was like thrill waves rolling through my blood.
I was so impressed by the size of the truck, knowing that there’s a guy or a gal driving something that was just so huge and so pretty. My uncle was a driver, and knowing that the truck was taking goods all over the U.S., I would think to myself, ‘That’s what I’m going to be when I grow up.’
I lived in Paoli, Ind. I grew up in a poor family. We didn’t have much of anything, but we had a lot of love. I got married in 1997 at the age of 17. In 1999 my husband got his CDL and so did I. I was scared out of my wits the first time I drove. When I looked in the mirror and saw that big trailer behind me, I wondered how I was going to drive this thing down the road. But I did it and I got comfortable behind the wheel.
I rode with my husband as a passenger over the road during the week and drove in state on my own on the weekends. When my husband got a blood clot in his leg that took him off the road for a while, I had no choice but to drive solo over the road. It was intimidating — I wasn’t sure about what I could and couldn’t do — but after a while I enjoyed it.
Now my husband and I drive separate rigs for Allstar Transportation, running between the West Coast and central Missouri. The company is wonderful about running us together, so we do get to see each other on the road. And we’ve doubled our profits with both of us running solo.
The road has been my path to a successful life. I have a house almost paid for and a nice vehicle — not to mention a wonderful husband. God has blessed me in my life. I’m able to take care of my mom and dad when they need financial help. I feel blessed that I have a CDL, and I’m proud to be a professional female driver. At 27 I don’t meet many other solo women drivers my age, so it can be a hard road sometimes. But I’m doing it and I’m proud of who and what I’ve become. And most of all, I’m proud to be an American truck driver.