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 Kristy Mathews
, who’s one of the three recently crowned Queens of the Road by Real Women In Trucking
. She’s a 36yr-old, born and raised Minnesotan trucking influencer, who isn’t scared to take on any job. Big or small she’s done it all. Let’s get to know more about Kristy and how it’s like to be Queen of the road.
What made you decide to be a trucker?
I always had a fascination with the big trucks and machinery we used in the family companies. From the 1st time I got to ride in the truck, I knew that’s what i wanted to.
What were some challenges that you faced when you started out trucking?
When I first started driving, I definitely was looked at like I couldn’t do it. I was an 18yr old 90lb woman fresh out of high school, but I showed them I had what it would take.
I’ve been looked at as an underdog and its a daily reminder of all the things I was told I couldn’t do and I’ve prevailed through thick and thin. This is my dream and I’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. Especially if it’s empowering more women to do something they thought they could never do. Positive vibes and strides to the ultimate goal.
In the years that you’ve been driving, what are the significant changes that you’ve noticed in the trucking industry?
Biggest noticeable changes I’ve noticed in the industry is lack of common sense and respect for others. We are all in this together like a family once upon a time and now it’s all about your 15 seconds of fame on bashing others. I hate what its come to and I always try to instill that brotherhood/sisterhood as much as possible. We need that back, we need to have each other’s back.
Any times when you get lonely while driving? How do you deal with it?
I don’t have times of loneliness because I’m an introvert. I love the isolation in my truck and all the time to myself. That’s also how I think of my next big move in life.
What are your trucking pet peeves
I have a lot of trucking peeves but I would like to think of the positives and not get set back by something I can’t change.
Being Queen of the Road, how would you want to change or improve on the current situation of the trucking industry?
If I could change or improve current situations in the industry, it would have to be getting our voices heard across the board from big things like rules regulations and HOS, to increasing truck parking so drivers can have a restful sleep and safe havens.
What keeps you busy nowadays? How did the current Covid-19 situation affect your trucking life?
Work keeps me plenty busy. I work hard so I can play harder. I love taking vacations. It is something I never grew up doing with my family so now I’m living my best life.
Covid-19 hasn’t really affected me all that much. I’ve been to every hot spot delivering medical supplies. If anything, it was humbling in the beginning knowing I’m doing something to help and these loads were needed, but it’s honestly no different than any other day.
What are your future career plans? Would you continue to be a trucker? Any plans on being an instructor?
Looking into my future, it’s my goal to get my non-profit initiative started. Breast cancer screening is a big deal (has deep meaning to me) and I want to be able to help females in the trucking industry get the screenings they need more conveniently, more affordable options for preventative care, mastectomies, and down time since we all know if the wheels aren’t turning you ain’t earning. Also part of it, I’d like to help females wanting to come into the industry with grants to get them schooling they need to succeed, and graduating high school students scholarships to anyone wanting to go into the medical field. I have some big dreams and goals I plan to achieve.
Favorite truck model?
I’d love to own, restore, and drive a 1957 Mack B61 twin stick. If i had time and a lot of extra money, that would be my dream right there.
What are your must haves or the things that you bring with you when on the road?
My best must haves are an atlas, Trucker Path app
, and my phone. I like to keep it simple.
What are some tips that you would like to share for aspiring women truckers?
Women wanting to delve into this industry should not come in with an “I am woman hear me roar” BS attitude. We are all in this together, doing this together. The best way to succeed is to be humble, strong, thick skinned, and help others asking for help.Got a cool story to share? Send us message at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured!
By Aldous Aldwin