Alison Morris, 48, started her trucking career in 2003 with the help of a mentor and for most of that time she’s been an owner-operator. She spent her first two years as a company driver before she bought her own truck and got her own authority.
Morris drives a 1998 Peterbilt 379 and has a step deck trailer, which she uses to haul machinery. She decided to become an owner-operator because she wanted to have control over all business decisions.
“I appreciated the freedom and independence of it,” Morris said.
When she first started trucking, she just wanted to keep her head down. There weren’t as many women in trucking even then, but she says now that women in the industry are getting more exposure, things have really changed and are more comfortable.
“I think it’s being a little more accepted today, being a female out here because now we’re getting more exposure that women are actually out here pumping these pedals and driving these big trucks. You never know who’s out here driving these big trucks,” Morris said.
Morris encourages other women to consider trucking as a viable career choice. If they want to become an owner-operator, she recommends they do a lot of research before diving in.
“I would definitely really do a lot of research on what kind of truck you’re looking for and what kind of freight you’re going to be hauling with it,” she said.
From there, she says, they have to decide if they want to do a lease purchase with a company or not. Morris personally recommends against doing a lease purchase because she doesn’t like the idea of having to make a truck payment to the same company you drive for.
“That’s the main thing I see that seems to be a problem. I really wouldn’t recommend something like that because you have a lot of stories from people on how they can’t make their truck payment or they rely on that company to make the freight to make the truck payment,” Morris said.
Morris wants to see other women make it in the industry and she was recently recognized as a finalist for the Real Women in Trucking’s Queen of the Road awards. She joined RWIT about five years ago because it was a way to connect with other women in the industry.
“It was a way to talk with and help out other women and get the word out to other women that are trying to look at trucking that it is a viable option and there are actually women out here driving trucks,” Morris said.
Morris may spend most of her time in her truck but when she has some downtime she likes to get outside and take her dog Minerva, a golden retriever and Labrador retriever mix, out for a walk or bike ride. Her favorite part of getting to be behind the wheel is watching the evening sunsets from all across the country.
“At the end of a long, hard day, when you see God’s paintwork up in that sky it just makes you feel good,” Morris said.