The Trucker Spotlight series explores the lives of truckers and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview different truck drivers to understand some life lessons that make them who they are today. We also learn more about their motivations, and the problems that they encounter on the job. We also tackle how Trucker Path’s solutions helped them with what they do. The information that they provide helps inform other people who are looking to delve into the trucking world.
Today we are putting the spotlight on Cindy, who’s been driving for around 12 years. She’s also called The Flatbed Chick on Youtube where she shares her trucking adventures. Let’s get to know more about Cindy and how it’s like being on the road.
What made you decide to be a trucker?
I became a truck driver out of necessity. I was going through a divorce and needed a steady stream of income and a job that paid enough to support myself without any help and I kept reading about how there was no gender gap in trucking they said a woman could make just as much money as a man. I decided to try it for a couple of years until I could find something better at home and as you can see I never found anything, I’ve been here for almost 12 years.
What were some challenges that you faced when you started out trucking?
The hardest part for me was getting used to public showers. I know it sounds crazy but it was almost traumatizing to think that every time I needed a shower I would have to use a public space. The other big thing was getting used to backing that 53’ foot trailer, it was very intimidating.
In the years that you’ve been driving, what are the significant changes that you’ve noticed in the trucking industry?
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is a lot more traffic on the road and it seems like instead of creating more parking for trucks they are closing rest areas and making it harder to find parking. Don’t even get me started on hours of service, they don’t want to ever leave that alone and I’m sure they will continue to change in the future searching for perfection, but we as drivers are a very diverse group and we will never have the same needs. They will never come up with rules that will fit everybody, you may need five hours of sleep and I may need 10.
Any times when you get lonely while driving? How do you deal with it?
Being on the road for weeks at a time by yourself does get very lonely at times but I have friends to talk to and a few years ago I got a dog to ride with me. She’s great companion and brought a lot of joy to my life.
What made you start a Youtube Channel?
I started my channel because I absolutely fell in love with this beautiful country we live in and none of my family or friends seem to be as interested in it as I was, so I thought there has to be people out there like me who would love to see the country. Before I became a truck driver I had only seen about three other surrounding states and I had no idea how much I had missed all those years.
What keeps you busy nowadays? How did the current Covid-19 situation affect your trucking life?
I’m currently pulling a dry van and trying to stay busy. I still love the flatbed and plan on going back in the future but I’m gonna be trying some other things for now. Covid-19 made it difficult to find a job after the contract ended early in Alaska. A lot of the places I called were either not hiring because of Covid-19 or trying to figure out how to do orientation and putting it off for a few weeks.
What are your trucking pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is rude and aggressive drivers who seem to not value the lives of other people. For example, cars that pass me on the right after I’ve gotten into the left lane because there’s a tow truck on the right shoulder.
What are your future career plans? Would you continue to be a trucker? Any plans on being an instructor?
My dream for the past several years has been to get an RV and become a travel blogger or full-time RVer, LOL! I still love seeing the country that is the best part of my job and when I retire from trucking I can’t imagine sitting still. I would still want to travel so I think that would be the perfect place for me. I’ve had people suggest that I become a trainer or an instructor at a CDL school but I’m really not sure I would enjoy that because that means I wouldn’t be able to travel anymore.
What is your favorite feature of the Trucker Path app?
My favorite feature on Trucker Path is truck-stop reporting I really love knowing what the truck-stop is gonna look like when I get there and if it’s usually full at a certain time then I know that I need a back up plan.
Favorite Truck-stop? Truck-stop Food?
My favorite truck-stops are the ones that are usually off the beaten path and I love discovering new places to park and new places to eat.
What are your must haves or the things that you bring with you when on the road
I guess a very popular favorite among truck drivers is also one of my favorites which is baby wipes. I also make sure I have bottled water, soap, and towels just in case. I wouldn’t ever want to be in the truck without my truckers Atlas and a CB either.
What’s your favorite scenic route?
I’m not sure if I really have a favorite scenic route but Highway 20 through Oregon is at the top of my list. I also love Highway 89 and 191 going down through Utah south into Colorado and there are so many beautiful places out there I can’t even think of all of them off the top of my head. Maybe I should start making a list.
What are some tips that you would like to share for aspiring women truckers?
I guess the biggest advice I would have for women that are thinking about getting into this industry is don’t be intimidated by it, if it’s what you truly want to do then follow your heart.