Nikki Weaver was 22 years old in college feeling uncertain about what she wanted to do when a friend suggested she consider truck driving. Weaver, who had always loved driving, thought getting paid to travel the country sounded like a sweet gig, and it would give her time to figure out what it was she was meant to do.
More than 18 years and over 1.7 million accident-free miles later, Weaver has realized that trucking is where she was meant to be all along.
“I thought, well, I’m going to do that until I can figure out what I’m supposed to be in this world, what I’m supposed to do,” Weaver said. “As it turns out, that was exactly where I was supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m still doing it now and I love it.”
Weaver, from New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, drives for FedEx Freight and is one of four women, out of 18 people total, appointed to the American Trucking Association’s America’s Road Team. As a member of the Road Team, Weaver wants to help recruit more women into the industry, share the message of safety and spread the word about the importance of health and wellness among truckers.
“That is maybe the highest honor that trucking could place on a driver. I’m very humbled and very excited to be considered and chosen for that position,” Weaver said of the team. “I really look forward to representing us the best I can.”
When Weaver first considered becoming a trucker she’d never met or heard of a woman truck driver. She wasn’t sure if women at the time were even allowed to be truck drivers. Now, women still make up a small percentage of the trucking industry but Weaver says women can absolutely be truckers and find success in the industry.
“I say to women, don’t allow yourself to be defined by the fact that you’re a woman coming into the industry. Be professional. Always represent well. There’s just as much opportunity here for a woman as anyone else,” Weaver said.
Safety and teamwork are two of Weaver’s other key values. She has received FedEx’s 8-Year Safe Driving Award and FedEx’s 2016 Bravo Zulu Award, which recognized Weaver for displaying exemplary teamwork. She placed third in the Twins class at the 2017 Pennsylvania Truck Driving Championship. Weaver also organized and presented in six driver meetings during FedEx’s 2017 Spec Meeting.
“Safety is tied into our image. It’s one thing to be safe, it’s another thing to project the image of safety to those around me, especially on the road. I want people when they are anywhere near my vehicle to feel comfortable,” Weaver said.