Third generation owner-operator wants her own small fleet

Yvonne Perry and her children, from left to right: Robert Hardwick, Alexus Robson, Yvonne, Ethan Perry in Yvonne’s lap, Ashley Cunningham, Elijah Perry in Ashley’s lap, Angel Robson, and Samantha Cunningham. Perry’s trucking company is named after her children.Yvonne Perry and her children, from left to right: Robert Hardwick, Alexus Robson, Yvonne, Ethan Perry in Yvonne’s lap, Ashley Cunningham, Elijah Perry in Ashley’s lap, Angel Robson, and Samantha Cunningham. Perry’s trucking company is named after her children.

Owner-operator Yvonne Perry was around 7 years old when her grandfather, a truck driver, took her on a run from New Jersey to Georgia. It was on that trip that Perry fell in love with trucking.

“The freedom was just something that stuck with me,” Perry said.

Perry says her grandfather was one of the first African Americans to own a trucking company back in the early 1970s, moving freight from New Jersey down south. Her mother would follow suit by starting her own trucking company in Georgia when Perry was around 9 or 10 years old. Now Perry is looking to continue the family tradition by building her own five-truck fleet.

“I don’t want to be huge where you don’t know the people personally that you’re working with, because I think that’s very important. That’s one of the things I love about Roadrunner,” said Perry, who is leased to Roadrunner Transportation. “They don’t put too many people on each one of their coordinators so their coordinators know the people.”

Perry currently drives a 2016 Volvo 670 and drives team with her daughter, Alexus Robson, hauling general freight. Alexus is the only one of Perry’s seven children to pursue a career as a truck driver. Perry has been trucking for 23 years and operates RA3SEE Trucking, which is named after her children: Robert Hardwick, Alexus, Angel Robson, Ashley Cunningham — thus the 3 after the A, to represent three A names — Samantha Cunningham, Ethan Perry, and Elijah Perry.

Adrian Perry, left, and Yvonne Perry, right.Adrian Perry, left, and Yvonne Perry, right.

While Perry loves life over the road, she admits that it can sometimes be a lonely career. Having her daughter in the truck with her has helped with that, she says, and it’s brought the two women closer. 

“It’s great being with her. This particular career can be very lonely. You spend weeks out on the road then you go home to your husband or your wife, your family, and each time out takes a toll on your relationship,” Perry said. “So it’s definitely very important to have a supportive spouse, which I do. However, I still see that the time out takes a toll. It can be very lonely. Once Alexus and I started driving together, it made doing this job a lot easier.”

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All of the men in Perry’s family have been in trucking, and she, her mom, and her daughter have been the only women to enter the industry. While her husband, Adrian Perry, isn’t in trucking, she says he has been a great supporter of her driving career.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be able to follow my dreams,” Perry said.

Perry plans to buy her second truck next year and start building her fleet. She wants other women to know that while trucking may have its challenges, it’s something they can do if they set their minds to it.

“If you put your mind to something it doesn’t matter what your sex is, you can succeed. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t,” Perry said.