by Pride Transport | Apr 10, 2020
This is Anita Cavanaugh. Woman, Driver, Fan of Pride.
We know driving a truck, especially for Pride, can be a good job and it could be the change in life that some people truly need. There is independence, freedom, the open road, and so many other benefits that come with being behind the wheel of a truck. However, there is one problem, for a long time, too long really, being a truck driver has been seen as a man’s job.
There are a lot of men driving today and, yes traditionally, men have been thought of as the dominant force behind truck driving but, traditions sometimes run their course and reality steps in. Truck driving is not a job just for men any longer.
In our on-going attempt to bring truck driving into the present day and prepare it for the bright future, we are continuing to introduce to you our proud, strong, happy women behind the wheel.
As is our custom, we’re going right to the source. This is Anita Cavanaugh. She has been driving for a while and she loves the road and the life it offers. So here, in her own words, are the answers to some questions we asked her about life as a woman behind the wheel.
How long have you been a driver?
What made you become a truck driver?
I needed a job. I saw a newspaper ad that said, truck driver needed, pay $1,500 wk. I immediately answered the ad but was not able to get the job because I didn’t have a CDL. Thus, the beginning of my career change.
Have you always driven for Pride?
If not, who have you driven with before?
I started with CRST out of IA. Then I went to Earl L. Henderson, out of IL to lease a truck. US Xpress out of TN, Pasic Transportation out of IL (dedicated Ford freight runs), CR England to lease a truck, Prime out of MO (dedicated Walmart runs) and, finally Pride out of UT. The best in the industry!
How does driving with pride compare to places you’ve driven with before?
They are truthful about everything. The pay, (detention pay, produce pay, per stop pay) the benefits, (health, vision, life insurance) the home-time, really awesome dispatchers, remember your home time and route you home without you having to call and remind them. Most importantly, the equipment. Less downtime. They service their trucks with such great care as to maintain the life of the truck and keep the drivers safe. No old faulty equipment and no leaving you stranded overnight on the highways. They even pay “break down pay” for each day that you are not working due to your truck in the shop needing repairs.Just to name a few things that they provide that other companies make you pay for upfront.
They provide the driver with load locks because it is our responsibility to make sure our loads are not shifting.
They provide chains in the winter, for times when the driver needs to chain up.
They provide the bungee cords to assist in the chain up.
They provide the washer fluid, oil, fuses, and any other things needed to carry on your truck in case of.
The best thing about working for Pride Transport is that the staff is the most amazing people ever. The company treats its drivers very well. And the owner of the company, Jeff England, will talk with you, he is so pleasant. He is available to his drivers without hesitation. An awesome man with an awesome company. With an awesome staff of dedicated workers. I am honored to be a part of the Pride Transportation family.
What are some of the hardest parts of being a driver?
(1) Training. During the training process, you are away from your family for 30 plus days. That can be very hard if you are a family-oriented person.
(2) Parking to rest. There are nearly 2 million semi-trucks in operation in the U.S. There aren't enough spaces for truckers to pull over for the mandatory rest breaks, forcing truckers to stop on the side of the road, ‘off’ or ‘on’ ramps, or worse, like parking in undesirable areas to rest, such as the back of shopping malls or deserted dirt lots.
The truck parking issue hits everyone. Spending two hours searching for and then stopping at a place where trucks aren't wanted or permitted wastes time and money. (Lost wages for the driver and non-productive trips for the company.)
Do you ever feel any resentment or pushback from male drivers?
How do you deal with feelings of being unsafe when you’re driving or parking for the night?
I don’t feel unsafe.
I don’t have feelings of being unsafe. I am safe and secure in the care and keeping of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is with me always. Protecting, shielding me and keeping me safe from all hurt, harm, evil, trouble, and danger of the enemy. And based on the statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor, women drivers are generally safer than men.
Do you feel male drivers are supportive and welcoming?
What do you feel needs to change to get more women interested in being drivers.
More rest areas with restroom facilities might help pique their interest. Nothing needs to change. Women have helped to transform the way in the use of transportation and our contributions have enhanced safety for many years and I pray it will continue.
Recorded by the US Department of Transportation: Lillie Drennan from Texas started a trucking company with her husband in 1928 and became the sole owner of the Drennan Truck Line when she divorced. She got her license in 1929. And in her 24 years of driving. She never had an accident. Mazie Lanham became the 1st woman driver for UPS in 1943..the list can go on and on.
Would you recommend being a driver to women you know?
Not unless they are interested in a career move. Being a trucker is not a job, it’s a very lucrative career opportunity with the potential for growth, without the high education cost or the college degree. It’s a life-changing career move.
Can you share what you think makes driving a good job?
The traveling benefits. You are traveling the United States, going places you have never been to before. Meeting people you have never met before. Doing things that you never dreamed possible. And you have the option to be a local driver. Maybe within your own community, transporting large quantities of freight. Or an owner-operator. Or be an Entrepreneur. Own your truck. Hire a driver. Broker your loads. So many options are available.
What are a few pieces of advice you’d give to females who want to be drivers?
Thanks to a healthy economy, freight demand and new trade agreements, trucking is a great career choice for women, if there are no small children at home. Driving trucks is employment guaranteed.
I strongly advise a career with Pride Transport because I have experienced other companies and no one compares to the family-owned and operated environment of Pride.
They are honest, respectful, and genuinely concerned with the safety, well being and happiness of their drivers. They go above and beyond the trucker’s needs, by providing their drivers with extended comforts, such as new equipment, APU, fridge, tv service. Not to mention the things of importance to the driver such as stabilizing your loads. They provide the load locks.
Truck driving is one of the most important jobs today. If trucks stop moving the country stops. We, the truckers, move America forward.
Anita is right, truck driving is a vital job for this country and for the world. The amount of goods and the variety of goods that are moved across this country by trucks is astounding. She isn’t exaggerating either if trucks stopped rolling this country would stop rolling as well.
We are proud of all our drivers, men and women. We applaud their dedication, we reward their hard work and we feel lucky that we have women like Anita in our Pride family. All our drivers represent the best this business has to offer and we hope women will be inspired by drivers like Anita and think hard about joining our team.