Werner Enterprises presented the keys to the fleet’s second Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure truck to over the road company driver Shannon Palmer in a presentation at its Omaha, Nebraska headquarters, Sept. 14.
Palmer has fought breast cancer herself, as well as cervical and uterine cancer, but she says she doesn’t consider herself to be a survivor or fighter.
“I don’t feel like a fighter or survivor. I’ve been next to folks who went through it way worse than I did and I almost felt a little unworthy,” Palmer said about receiving the custom-wrapped 2019 Freightliner Cascadia.
She drives this truck for other breast cancer survivors and for the one’s who didn’t win the fight.
“Being able to share stories or understand what someone is going through is huge, and when I have a complete stranger come up to me and tell me their story it melts my heart,” Palmer said. “It’s a huge honor to be able to represent Werner and represent Susan G. Komen at the same time.”
In addition to driving over the road, Palmer is also a driver trainer and ambassador for Werner. She mentors other female drivers and visits trucking schools to help prepare students for life in the trucking industry.
She says she hesitated to become a driver trainer at first but ultimately did it because she wants to help bring other women into the industry.
“I just felt like it was my job to give back. If someone didn’t take a chance on me then I wouldn’t be where I am. I figured I didn’t have all of the answers but I had a pretty good idea of, if I didn’t have the answer, where to get it,” Palmer said.
As an ambassador, she visits with students and trucking schools and gives them practical advice for how to make it in the trucking industry.
“I’m very proud to represent Werner but I think the most important part of going to the schools is that the schools teach you how to back, how to drive, how to pass your CDL, but nobody explains to the students how to survive out here,” Palmer said. “It’s so different than anything you could ever imagine so I like being able to truly inform the students on what kind of life changes they’re about to make. I want to see drivers succeed.”
When she has home time or down time, Palmer prioritizes spending time with her family. She doesn’t care what they’re doing as long as they’re together, she said.
“Any time I get the chance to get out of the truck and spend time with my family, that’s ideal. I don’t care where I’m at or what I’m doing,” Palmer said. “As long as I’m doing it with them, I don’t mind what I do.”