Driving a truck is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle, and for the men who are out here on the road and their wife is at home “holding down the fort” it’s a challenge to make it work. But there are many women making it work, so I chose three to be featured here this month, and I think they can offer sound advice to other women (and their families) on making the best of what can sometimes be a very tough situation.
Each driver’s family and lifestyle can be different. Some may have young kids at home, some may have kids that are grown or none at all. If the wife has a flexible career or is a stay-at-home mom, she might be able to ride along with her husband, once in a while, which can be nice. All three of these women have a great story to share, about how they met the man of their dreams, who just so happens to drive a truck. Being married to a trucker is the life each of them has chosen, and though it’s not always easy, they are working together to make their marriages successful.
Being around trucking her entire life, Kasey Aslinger’s dad, uncle, grandpa and great grandpa have all been or still are truckers. She always said she would never marry a trucker – a classic case of never say never! When Kasey met Terry Aslinger in 2012, he said he owned a trucking company but had come off the road because his oldest daughter was sick. Fast forward a few years after a wedding and a baby, and Terry began talking about how much he missed being behind the wheel. In 2017 he went back on the road. There are good days, and there are bad days, but this family is in it together, for sure.
Kasey struggles sometimes, when Terry is gone, and it seems that she is in charge of everything. But their time apart makes their time together more precious. They could sit on the couch and watch TV when Terry gets home, but that’s not what the Aslinger’s do – for them, the weekends are adventure time. They get out and do things like go to the zoo, the pumpkin patch, the movies or, in the summer, they go to several truck shows together as a family.
Four years ago, they went to their first truck show and the rest is history. The summers of 2016 and 2017 they went to 17 trucks shows, with four girls in tow – it was crazy and amazing at the same time. On the way to and from these shows they go to water parks, famous restaurants and sightsee along the way. They are making memories. They’ve made some friends in the truck show world that are closer to them than actual family. It’s because of his family that Terry is on the road working so hard.
Battling weight all his life, Terry decided to have a Mini Gastric Bypass surgery. The weight loss has lowered his blood pressure and he no longer has sleep apnea. Kasey had the same surgery a couple months later and, together, they are getting healthy for their four young girls – Ruby, Hollie, Emma and Jolie. Now, they can do things that they couldn’t before, like riding fast roller coasters and lots more fun stuff.
Kasey’s advice to other women in this situation is to focus on your time together, not your time apart. She takes lots of pictures throughout the summer and then puts those photos in a book to keep all the memories together. One day, those books filled with photos will be an awesome reminder of those times.
I met Penny and Shawn Brownfield at the Top Gun Large Car Shootout in 2014 when they were showing their 2013 “Creepin” Peterbilt 389. Penny and I became friends over the years, and I’ve seen how supportive she is of Shawn and what he does. A trucker’s wife is the backbone at home. Penny and Shawn met through a mutual friend in October of 2010, and their whirlwind romance ended in a wedding on February 18, 2011. After nearly eight years, their love story is still going strong.
When they met, Shawn owned a W900 Kenworth. The truck had several mechanical issues, so they both decided, together, to buy a new truck. To get the color and scheme just right, they looked through old truck show videos and pictures for 40 hours. Both are happy with the split two-tone design they picked, using Red Flame Effect on the bottom and Pure white on the top. After meeting Eric Church at a football game, his song called “Creepin” became the inspiration to name their stretched-out rig. The classic-looking Peterbilt is a Clint Moore build, and was featured in his February 2014 article in 10-4.
In the beginning, Penny would ride with Shawn whenever possible. He was hauling oversize at the time, and they did a lot of east coast running. Being independent helps when you are married to an over-the-road driver, but you both have to be committed to making it work. If Shawn can get close to home, but not quite all the way home, Penny will drive 100 miles (or more) so they can be together for the weekend. “You have to take advantage of any time you can get together,” advised Penny.
One day in 2005, while Tiffany was walking home from the store, a car stopped, and this kid got out and asked her for her phone number – and she gave it to him! Their first date was at church. On their second date she went trucking with him, and now Kevin Young says he couldn’t do it without her. After that first ride in the truck, Tiffany would ride along every chance she got.
Kevin has been around trucking from the time he was born. His mom rode with his dad when she was just 17 years old. Kevin was working for his dad when he and Tiffany met, and he continued to do so until 2013. After that, he leased on to Piazza Trucking and began running OTR from California to Houston. Tiffany hadn’t planned on marrying a truck driver, but that is what she did in 2008. She says that now the time apart makes it feel like they are still newlyweds when Kevin gets home.
Their oldest son Justin was in the hospital for two months after being born, but within the second week after getting out of the hospital, he was in a car seat and in the truck with his mom and dad. This little boy, like his dad, is in love with trucks and everything trucking. Kevin was on the road when their second son, Adrian, was born, and had to fly home the next day. Tiffany said, “Kevin makes big sacrifices being a driver to provide for his family.” Sometimes it’s like being a single parent when Kevin is gone, but Tiffany knows that he will be home to take care of them soon.
Kevin recently acquired his own authority, so Tiffany has now added paperwork to her list of duties at home. This is a team effort but being a team doesn’t always mean that you are both drivers – or together. I asked Tiffany about the ways they keep in touch, as the days of the pay-phone are long gone. Being a little younger, they tend to use technologies like Snapchat, texting and video messenger, in addition to talking on the phone, because, as Tiffany put it, “Nothing beats communication!”
It’s never been easy – and it never will be – to be a long-haul trucker’s wife. It takes a special woman and driver to make this crazy situation successful. But, with some effort and a little patience and understanding, on both sides, it can be done. Treasure your time together and be sure to always make the most of it. And remember, you are, and always have been, the “homefront heroes” of the trucking industry!