Each week, She Drives profiles a different woman in the trucking industry. The following women are just 10 of the over 50 women we wrote about in 2017. They are women who inspire and teach upcoming truckers, have especially interesting hobbies and work hard to give back to their communities.
Meet these 10 women who inspired us in 2017:
1. Stephanie Klang: Prize-winning driver encourages girls to follow in her footsteps
Klang, a Missouri-based CFI driver, was announced as the 2017 Overdrive’s Most Beautiful winner earlier this year. She said she is thrilled to represent trucking to young girls and women who may have never considered it as a career option. The financial stability and independence she’s enjoyed through her CFI career is a common theme when she speaks to Girl Scouts and other student groups. She wants young girls to see an example of a woman succeeding in what some still consider a man’s world.
2. Ingrid Brown: Diagnosed with melanoma, woman continues driving
Owner-operator Brown, from Mountain City, Tennessee, was determined to keep trucking when she was diagnosed with melanoma cancer in June. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Since receiving her diagnosis and treatment, she tries to spread awareness of melanoma cancer. She wants to help others become aware of it and find out how to prevent it.
3. Amy Rudloff: California log hauler helps fight wildfires
Rudloff, from Northern California, responds to wildfires when they break out in her state by providing emergency logging services. She takes her equipment and drives to the fire site, which she says is an adrenaline rush. Rudloff is also a board member for the Associated California Loggers. She travels yearly with other association members to Washington, D.C. to meet with their state’s congressional members and representatives. She is the first woman the association has sent as part of the board.
4. Dee Sova: After daughter dies, trucker becomes MADD speaker
After Sova’s daughter, Sharmelia Jeffries, was killed by a drunk driver in front of her high school in 2003, Sova channeled her grief into action. She became a speaker for the founding chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), an advocacy group dedicated to ending drunk driving. She traveled to high school throughout California telling them about her daughter and warning them against drunk driving. As a trucker, Sova supports other women in the trucking industry through her Facebook page, “Trucking Divas Rock – The BlogAZine.” She was honored by the Real Women in Trucking Association with one of their Queen of the Road awards.
5. Janeane Skelton: Woman climbs mountains with Jeep in her down time
When she has home time, Skelton stays busy by driving her Jeep Wrangler out on rocky trails and up mountains with a driving club, the Sierra Stompers. The Jeep club goes rock crawling and driving trails in the Sierra Nevadas. They drive up to lakes that are only accessible by Jeep trails or in trucks that are built to handle the trails. Skelton’s favorite trail is the Spooner Summit to Kingsbury Grade in Nevada, a mile-long trail that leads up to Genoa Peak, which offers scenic views.
6. Sharae Moore: Driver also runs trucking apparel business
Moore couldn’t find a shirt saying “I’m a woman, I drive trucks” or anything similar in the truck stops, so she decided to start making her own. She wanted to recognize women in the trucking industry, so she launched her S.H.E. Trucking apparel business. She sells clothing for women, men and children, as well as accessories. Moore creates all of the designs and sometimes partners with artists to bring her visions to life.
7. Cynthia De La Rosa: ‘If a girl wants to do it, she can,’ says woman
De La Rosa left a career in real estate to become a truck driver. She’s an owner-operator for ACME Truck Line hauling specialized oversized loads. De La Rosa said she has never felt like she has been denied an opportunity because she’s a woman. People may sometimes be surprised to find it’s a woman behind the wheel of the truck with the oversized load, she says, but they always give her compliments for her work. “They’ve never tried to put me down for being a girl,” De La Rosa said.
8. Tiffany Rice: Teacher gives up classroom for ‘different perspective’ of trucking
Rice wanted a career change that would let her travel and see the country, so she became a truck driver. Before trucking, she followed her children all the way from nursery school to high school throughout her previous career as a teacher. She says her teaching career has helped her find success as a truck driver. “There’s a lot of planning in trucking. You have to pre-trip and plan your delivery and your pickup and calculate your e-logs,” she said. “There’s a lot of organization skills in it that I have from teaching that plays a part in it as well.”
9. Allison Morris: Road veteran shares insights with other women drivers
Morris become an owner-operator because she wanted to have control over all business decisions. She appreciates the freedom and independence of being an owner-operator, she says. Morris encourages other women to consider trucking as a career. She was recognized as a finalist for the Real Women in Trucking’s Queen of the Road awards. Her favorite part of getting behind the wheel is watching the evening sunsets 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.
10. Cherryl Lannigan: Owner-operator prefers hauling containers for a living
Lannigan, an owner-operator, hauls containers in and out of the Port of Savannah. She says some truckers view hauling containers as more mundane work, but she enjoys it. Lannigan says if you’re doing what you love, and are taking care of your family, then what you pick up and deliver doesn’t matter. “I always wanted to drive trucks ever since I was little. That was my lifelong dream, so everyday when I go to work it’s not just work for me. It’s my passion and I love what I do,” Lannigan said.