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Women Truckers: Taking on a Man’s World
Mona VanDuyn • Driving 23 years • Auburndale, Fla.
I am truly amazed at the number of women who have finally stepped up and taken the road by force. When I started, only a few men accepted women drivers in what they called “a man’s world.”
Throughout the years, I have always encouraged other women to become drivers. I tell them that no matter what they face, they should not give up. As a woman driver you need to keep your head held high and not listen to any negative talk. You can do it!
It is a very different lifestyle. It takes some adjusting. I have been in places that, when you went in to shower you felt like you stepped into a mansion. Then again, I have showered at farmhouses where you had to pull a cord and hang it on a nail to keep the water running. (That is when you close your eyes and picture yourself in the rain forest under a waterfall.) You can handle it or not.
When I am out on the road driving, I look around at all of God’s goodness. A sense of peace comes over me. That is when I know it is going to be OK. My friends say, “I do not know how you do it.” I always smile and say, “By the grace of God.”
A special man, Carl, has been in my life for 10 years and truly been my hero. We teamed for a while and I watched him work on the trucks so when I needed to know how to fix something I could. If I get into a place where I need advice on something I can always call him for help and I hope he can do the same with me. When it gets hard, he keeps encouraging me not to give up.
I have many women friends who have been driving longer than I have — Crystal, Mary and Lynda to name a few. We all have thought about other jobs we could do, but we always come back to driving. We love being ladies and we love our trucks. We get together out on the road for dinner and to chat. We call each other to talk girl talk, to pass time or to get advice on a breakdown — “It’s time to get the tools out.”
We laugh about when friends ask us what we want for our birthdays or Christmas and we tell them chrome or chicken lights.
At home, it’s time for fancy dresses, high heels, sweet perfumes, painted-up faces and nails done up. Now we are looking like a million dollars, ready to go out on the town with friends and family. When the fun at home is over, it is time to go back to work and get greasy. Kick off the high heels and get into our jeans, a T-shirt, hair up in a ball cap, change into our boots or tennis shoes. Do not get me wrong; we still look great, smell good and got our nails going on. We just might have some grease smeared on us from working on the truck.