Over the years I’ve written many poems about trucks and the drivers that run them, but a quick review of the majority of my writings reveals that the implication leans toward an understanding that all of the drivers are male (except the one called “Little Old Lady in the Rockin’ Chair”). However, I would like to take this opportunity to honor the women who have chosen to climb up in the driver’s seat and roll the rigs as proudly as their male counterparts. Women have been involved in trucking for as long as trucks have rolled, but they have largely been under-appreciated and unnoticed. I immediately think of my own mom, who started out riding with my dad and then “reluctantly” got her CDL so that she could run second-seat and help him as a team driver. Through the years, though, my mom has driven everything from heavy-haulers and off-road dump trucks to ultra-fancy rooster cruisers that turn the heads of even the most critical of onlookers. She has also taught driving at a truck driving school and has stacked more than her fair share of freight. She has run as a team with my dad and solo, in her own truck, as well. I’m proud to say that I’ve even had the opportunity to run a few team trips with my mom – those are times I will never forget. That woman knows how to drive a truck with a level of professionalism that is hard to find these days. I also think of some of the women drivers who I’ve come to know and admire over the years. Mama Kim, my good friend and one of the truest old school truckers you’ll ever meet, could make your head spin with her knowledge of “the way it was” in the early days. I love getting deep in conversation with Kim as we take trips down memory lane to remember the nostalgic elements of the trucking lifestyle. Thanks, Kim! And then there are the women who I’ve never met, but who I know represent the industry with pride since I’ve seen how they do their jobs with, perhaps, more courtesy than many of us guys do. In any case, I’d like to give a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the women who’ve chosen to drive a truck for a living. But, more than that, they’ve adopted it as a lifestyle and carry themselves in such a manner that we guys could all be inspired by them. With that said, this one’s for the girls.
FOR THE GIRLS
By Trevor Hardwick
She’s got nerves that could challenge, a man of solid steel,
And hands that are calloused, from a firm grip on the wheel.
Her love for what she does, is coursing through her veins,
She’s not opposed to tarping, or throwing straps and chains.
She works hard, for sure, and she loves her family,
And she may not be the only trucker, in her family tree.
But she’s not new, to this life of jammin’ gears,
She’s paid her dues and worn the shoes, of blood, sweat and tears.
She’s from the old school, she remembers bingo plates,
Her memories are laced with times, of better paying freight.
Back when truck stops, had only showers for the men.
When truck stops weren’t called plazas, she remembers when.
She’s a woman of the truest form, a mother and a wife,
She drives because she wants to, it’s her chosen way of life.
She’s heard her share of comments, some ignorant and cruel,
But think of all the trucks that roll, with estrogenic fuel!
Women who roll 18 wheels, are a rare and precious breed,
And for the job you do, with pride, I thank you all, indeed.