In this episode, Connor and Troy take a look at an important demographic in the trucking industry – women. They sit down with Ellen Voie, president, and CEO of Women in Trucking, as well as Angelique Jones, a member of the Women in Trucking Image team. We also spoke with Ali McTrucks, a journalist in the trucking industry, as well as Beth Jacobs, who previously shared her story as a victim of human trafficking.
Big Rig Banter – Episode 16 Transcript – Women in Trucking
Music – Whether you’re hitting the road or kicking back in the cab, it’s time to take a load off with Big Rig Banter, powered by AllTruckJobs.com, your source for finding the trucking jobs drivers really want. Get ready to shift into gear and let the conversations roll.
Connor: Hello and welcome to the 16th episode of Big Rig Banter, a show about all things commercial driving and transportation related. I’m your co-host Connor Smith.
Troy: And I’m your co-host Troy Diffenderfer.
Connor: And today’s date is June 6, 2018, and this episode is about women in trucking. We’ve got some great interviews coming for you guys today. We have Ellen Voie from Women in Trucking, along with Angelique Jones, part of Women in Trucking’s street team and a hazmat driver. We’ll also have an interview with Allie McTrucks, who covers the trucking industry and will share her perspective on women in trucking as well. We’ll also have an industry spotlight today with Beth Jacobs from Truckers Against Trafficking. To recap on her story in a previous episode, which you can check out; there’ll be a link in the show notes. And she’ll elaborate on her experience in human trafficking and this segment of the industry.
Troy: That’s right Connor, but before we jump into the statistics I think it’s important to remind our listeners that we want them to subscribe to YouTube and iTunes as well as leave reviews if they feel it necessary. That’s something we really appreciate. We want the feedback and we hope to climb up the ranks and actually later in the show, we’re gonna give you some other trucking podcasts to listen to. It’s certainly a community when it comes to the trucking podcast so we wanna give them their due as well and kinda spread the love.
But as I was saying, even as the overall number of active truckers in the U.S. swelled 1.8% year over year to 3.5 million in 2015, the amount of female drivers shrank 10% to actually a 177,000 drivers according to a recent report from the American Trucking Associations. The most recent count has women only constituting 5.1% of truck drivers, the smallest percentage since 2011. However, the average wage of a trucking job is around $42,000 per year, meaning it’s definitely a lucrative gig and it’s something that should attract females as far as the salary. We’ve written a blog you can actually check out that covers the driver shortage and I mention how an influx of female drivers could actually help fix this driver shortage that we talk about all the time. So why aren’t we seeing more women in the trucking industry? Well, we sat down with Ellen Voie, president of The Women in Trucking Organization, as well as Angelique, a driver of 20 years, and a member of the WiT Image Team to shed some light on the issue so let’s take a listen to that interview.
Connor: Alright so we’re here with Ellen Voie, president and CEO of Women in Trucking and Angelique Jones, a commercial driver; ladies thanks so much for coming on the show and talking with us today!
Angelique: You’re very welcome!
Ellen: And thanks for having us!
Connor: Absolutely! So, first of all I just wanna start off and, Ellen, if you could talk a little bit about Women in Trucking’s mission and your organization in general…
Ellen: Sure! Women in Trucking is a non-profit association and we have about 4,000 members mostly in North America, but some around the world. And 19 percent of our members are men because it’s really not for women as much as it’s about women. But, our mission is 3-fold. It’s to introduce women to careers in transportation, and then to look at what are some of the obstacles that might keep women from entering the industry or succeeding, and then the third part is to celebrate successes and to honor the pioneers. So basically we represent, I like to say the women who design the trucks, fill the trucks, sell the trucks, fix the trucks, drive the trucks, own the trucks… We represent all women in the trucking industry, not just drivers and not just management, but everyone.
Connor: Perfect, and so kind of to break into the conversation here and I guess this question could be for Angelique more so at first. What do you think some of the common misconceptions about women in trucking are and could you speak a little bit about that?
Angelique: Yes, well personally I feel like the biggest misconception of women in trucking is that we can’t do the job as well, or we can’t do the driving as well, we can’t do as well as the men do. And then, about the women in trucking industry, the most basic misconception that I feel when I’m talking to people about it is that they feel like it’s all gonna be men-bashing because we don’t. We’re all family, the men and the women. And we’re not like the family that only calls you for Christmas – we’re the family that you can text everyday and call everyday and Facebook us all day and we will stop our day and say ‘hey what’s wrong, what do you need – is there anything I can do?’ ‘Do you need some information, and where can I help you at?’
Ellen: This is Ellen, and Angelique is correct as far as the association. I’m very proud of the fact that almost 20 percent of our members are men because it’s men who believe in our mission and believe that we need more women employed in the trucking industry. So, women make up about 7 percent of the driving population and under 20 percent of women in management. And in the 15 publicly traded trucking companies, half of them have no women in leadership roles and half of them have no women on their boards. So we think we have a long way to go to get some more diversity in trucking.
Connor: Absolutely, and so kind of thinking about trying to attract more women and more diverse truckers to the industry; Angelique, what made you want to get into trucking in the first place?
Angelique: (laughs) Well I wanted to be a truck driver since I was 12! And driving to work with my dad a lot I saw all these gasoline tankers and I just knew I said, “That is what I wanna do!” And my dad said ‘no way no how is any daughter of mine gonna be driving that truck ever ever EVER’ so it’s just my love – it’s part of my heart, it’s my personality… It’s not a job, it’s definitely not.
Troy: And Ellen what started the Women in Trucking Organization, how did that come to fruition?
Ellen: Well I was working for a large carrier in the Midwest and my title was “manager of recruiting and retention programs.” So, they said ‘check out how to attract and retain nontraditional groups,’ such as returning military, Hispanics, seniors, and women. And at the time I was getting my pilot’s license and I belonged to Women in Aviation and it struck me that there wasn’t a Women in Trucking association! So I put together a board of directors and our attorney, he’s been with us since the very beginning. He helped get all the legal work in order and the first year we had 500 members! So we realize that we struck a nerve in the trucking industry and that people really do wanna see more women at all levels.
Connor: Perfect, and so what are some tactics or sort of strategies for bringing more women to the industry; and this is for either of you really…
Angelique: Okay, well I’ll let Miss Ellen go first (laughs)
Ellen: Well, and I want Angelique to talk about the image team as well, but there’s lots of things that we’ve done. First of all, we need to get outside of the trucking industry to let people know about jobs here. So, we do a lot of ride-alongs, we just did a ride-along with Congressman Gallagher from Wisconsin, United States Congressman Gallagher – this weekend and we’ve done ride-alongs with a lot of elected officials and regulators because we want them to get the media to show that there are great jobs in the industry and that women can earn as much as men as far as the driving population, but another thing we’ve done is found out the Boy Scouts have a transportation patch. So we work with the greater Chicago, northern Indiana Girl Scout Legion and developed a curriculum and created a Girl Scout Patch. And Over 1,000 girls have already earned that patch in North America. And in a very short time, in a few weeks, we’ve got a Women in Trucking doll. Her name is Claire and Claire will be available at Amazon or TA Petrol, or Travel USA. But we want to do a series of dolls so the first one will be a truck driver. I’d like to have a technician, maybe a safety director; I’d like to have a series of women in the trucking industry so that young children can play with a doll and say ‘you know what, maybe I can do this someday!’ But really it’s getting the message out, so we try to get our drivers out at tradeshows – Angelique’s helped at events. We try to get our drivers in the news as much as possible. We’ve had drivers in Oprah Magazine and a driver on the Ricky Lakes Show and one on Dr. Oz. So we need to get out to the non-trucking public to let them know that there’s great jobs. But the image team is a great way of doing that, and so Angelique can talk a little bit about that.
Angelique: Yes, that is true! The image team, we basically are like the step moms, and of course Ellen is the mother, but not the older mother but, Ellen is the mother and we’re like the stepmothers so basically we all have communication with each other. Whether it be through telephone or through Facebook or one of the image team members could call me and say ‘hey I’ve got a young lady that’s closer to you than she is to me, and I really need you to talk to her, mentor her, help her out.’ And that’s fine! We all get together and we all use our personalities outside of the image team when we’re in our trucks and on the road, even though I’m local, I’m very long local, but we use our personalities to talk to women about the industry and talk to them about the WiT organization. And me, being the mother of six children, I use my kids so they’re like my walking advertisements because every time someone says ‘hey what does your mom do?’ they say ‘let me show you I can pull her up on Google!’ You know so, they pull me up and then they tell them all about what we do and basically my job does the same thing as Ellen does for us. They have us in several newspapers and on their Instagram and Facebook page – we get a lot of recognition for that. And I’m a certified HAZMAT trainer so we do kind of pull people in that way and just kinda talk do that and do whatever it takes, even with the Facebook page. You have some women on the Facebook page who don’t know us personally, all of us that are on the image team, and we will step in and comment. All of the comments are positive, it’s the more personal comments when one of the image team members comments on someone’s situation or someone’s question on Facebook. Because we want them to know that we take everything they put on there seriously.
Ellen: And the fact that they are drivers – you can relate to drivers because they have a lot more respect for the image team drivers because they know that they understand their, you know, what they go through on a day to day basis…
Angelique: Yes we do! (laughs)
Troy: And speaking of that, are there any distinct challenges for women in trucking? I know in the news we’ve seen in other industries the pay gap when it comes to gender. Is that an issue or are there any other distinct challenges specifically for women within the industry?
Ellen: Well, I’ll let Angelique talk about pay…
Angelique: I can talk about pay, but I will say that it was a challenge… I’ve been at my current company for 16 years, and for 15 years it has been a big challenge. The pay was very different, and I have to add that I am the only woman on the HAZMAT side of the entire company – so that’s #1. But, this year that just passed, I was named the top earner of the entire company. So 15 years and this is my 16th year yes, it was very difficult to deal with different situations and just trying to get out there and do what I do and it finally paid off. I’m not upset about it at all, but there are still some women that are trying to reach where I am, and that’s why I’m here doing what I do.
Ellen: But, Angelique there’s no difference between what men make and what women make, correct?
Angelique: No, the difference is what you do. The difference is what you do and how you do it. So you have a lot of women that come in and a lot them that come under me, you find that they’re a little bit intimidated because it’s a majority of men – especially in my company as well. So the basic thing that I do first before I even see if you know how to shift a gear or know how to put on an acid suit… I wanna know how you feel about this. I wanna know why you’re here in my truck. I wanna know what brought you here because for the first two days I’m building confidence. Before I can make a driver into the type of driver that I am, I have to get their mind ready, and get their emotions ready so that you know no matter what come up against you, you can’t just give up. And you can’t just say ‘oh this person was right, oh this person said this.” You know, it takes time and in order for it to take time you have to keep working at it.
Ellen: The other challenge is, and I’m so proud of Angelique, especially with the HAZMAT, that’s a different dimension of hauling.
Angelique: Oh thank you!
Ellen: But other challenges are the fact that women don’t look at the trucking industry as something they think they can do. So we have to convince them that they can and that they’re capable. A lot of people think that it’s a lot more physically demanding than it really is, and it’s not! It’s not like in the past where drivers might have had to load or unload or you know, things like that. It’s really you keep seeing all the ads that say drop and hook, drop and hook, it means that you’re being paid to drive the truck, not to load the truck. But the equipment is so much nicer than it was 15-20 years ago, and it’s much easier, there’s more technology in the trucks that makes it easier. You know, from pushing the button that lowers the dolly to opening the hood and things like that. So there are lots of things that make the job less physical. And there’s lot of things that make the job less physically demanding for everyone. And carriers really do want to get their drivers home more, so they really try hard to keep the runs regional or even local. So the time away from home isn’t as much as it was in the past.
Angelique: She’s absolutely right about that difference that they feel it’s more demand, and that’s why it’s really important that you put all of your personality into what you’re trying to talk to someone about because, me, I was a single mom with 6 kids and been divorced twice so when someone comes to me and they tell me that ‘I don’t know how you do it because I have two kids…” and I’m like “wow, just two?? Add four and then we can have a conversation!” So after the conversation finishes there’s no more excuses, there’s no more excuses! There’s none!
Connor: That’s amazing, yeah, really good stuff. And, Angelique, I like what you said about preparing their mind for the industry and what’s something that you wish more women knew about trucking to prepare them for a career as a driver?
Angelique: I think that my biggest wish for women to learn about the industry is that it’s not that hard to overcome. Because half of the things that you think are obstacles, they’re really not. So if I could just get as many women as I can to say hey what is the problem, and I ask that question over and over again. Or ‘I thought about being a CDL driver…’ ‘So what’s stopping you?’ You know and then we have to have a conversation because you brought it up. So now it’s like, ‘what’s stopping you?’ And everything they say is just like, it’s never ending, or like ‘well I don’t have the time to go to school’ or ‘you can go to school part time…’ You know, and it’s like ‘well I can’t drive a truck…’ ‘yes you can!’ …Why not I’m driving one? I’ve been driving one for 20 years. ‘Well I have kids…’ ‘Okay, well I have kids too…’ So it’s not that hard to overcome the obstacles and it’s not that hard to be in a predominantly male-based industry as it is as of currently. As hard as they think it is. Because if you present yourself as a driver first, you will never go wrong.
Ellen: And she’s right, and when she talks about training. We actually have a scholarship foundation, it’s a separate organization. The Women in Trucking Association is a dues-based organization where people are members. But we also have the WiT Scholarship foundation which is a charitable organization so when people make a donation to it, they can write it off on their taxes, plus, we give away, oh last year I think we gave away in December $22,000. And the scholarships are for drivers, for technicians, for safety professionals, and also the fourth scholarships are for leadership, and that’s pretty broad. Meaning if you work in the trucking industry and you want to get a higher-level position, we offer scholarships in all those areas. So we really do wanna help. And we also partnered with Expeditor Services to help 150 women either buy their first truck or add to their fleet. So, we’re really trying to help them become owner-operators or small fleet owners as well. So, we have a lot of resources at WiT that will help people become drivers and then owner-operators if that’s what they’re looking for.
Troy: And can you tell us a little more about the WiT mentorship opportunities?
Ellen: Well like Angelique mentioned, our Facebook page. So on the Facebook page, that’s pretty much open to anyone. The admins are actually professional drivers and they’ll keep off predators and things like that because they want it to be a sharing site, they want people to be able to ask questions. But we also have something new, what we call the Engage Platform where you can connect with other professionals in your field and share best practices and things like that. And then finally we do have mentoring, it’s a web-based mentoring match up system. So, we have lots of ways. And the other way we have lots of networking opportunities to help get women behind the wheel, both in the U.S. and Canada, where we bring in female professional drivers and have a big celebration and give them a red shirt and a goodie bag and just honor them. And at this year’s I got to give away a truck that was donated by Aero Truck Sales, so we, a 2014 Volvo VNL and we gave that to a female professional driver. And again, she, a mother of 5 and African American, ex-military, three time cancer survivor, and so we were really honored to help her get a step up in the world and become an owner operator. So lots of resources through WiT, lots of things that we do to encourage and support people to enter this industry.
Connor: Well that’s just fantastic, all the work that you do, all the effort that’s put into it. So it’s been great talking to you both, we’ve been speaking with Ellen Voie president and CEO of Women in Trucking and Angelique Jones, a commercial driver and part of the image team for WiT as well, thank you both so much for taking the time to talk to us today!
Angelique: Oh absolutely, anytime!
Ellen: Well thank you for helping us share the word!
Connor: Alright a special thanks again to Ellen Voie and Angelique Jones for taking the time to talk to us. This was a great conversation and I hope that can start some more conversations in your own trucking companies or, you know, just your circle of friends in general. Hoping to inspire more women to take to trucking. But, one of the things they mentioned, you know, beating these stereotypes that women can’t do the job or that they’re not inclined to succeed at trucking. And that’s just simply not true. They did mention that some of the equipment isn’t always tailored to smaller frames, whether you’re a man or a woman. It can be difficult to deal with older equipment that doesn’t have as much automation or convenient systems. But, that is changing that’s something that the industry is working toward, both to make trucks safer and more efficient. So it’s likely that at least we’ll see a trend in the manufacturing of trucks to make them more efficient, more safe, to make them easier to use in general. But in terms of stereotypes, you know, I think one of the things that Angelique was really talking about was the fact that if you want to do this, and you’re committed to the profession, just go ahead and make it happen for yourself. You can beat that stereotype just by leading as an example of what a woman in trucking can be. And it’s just sort of to not listen to any of the naysayers when it comes to what you want to do with your career. Because at the end of the day it’s whatever makes you happy and fulfilled and can also bring you a solid source of income.
Troy: Yeah, and I think that mentorship program that she talks about and how they are always constantly interacting with other women truckers on Facebook is a great thing. It opens the door, it makes them feel comfortable, and I love that Angelique really stressed the importance of taking new women truckers under their wing and kind of cultivating that relationship and making it more common that women should be in the industry which was awesome to hear.
Connor: Yeah, exactly. So, for one I guess the message there is just if you wanna truck, go for it, don’t take into consideration people who are telling you that you can’t do it because you absolutely can. And next we’ll talk about what do women bring to trucking. And I think one of the main things that you’ll hear, actually in a lot of different industries, is that women bring a different perspective than men when it’s a male dominated field. You know, men are usually very, and I don’t want to stereotype men too much, but a lot of the time they’re very upfront with what they’re saying or their opinions or the way that they do things. And sometimes have difficulty listening or engaging in more nuanced dialogue, so you know, with an industry that’s so bent on safety and communication I think having more women in the industry is definitely a welcomed change. And that’s just one of the ways, but I think what women can bring to trucking additionally is just more support for women in the industry as a whole whether you’re a recruiter or you’re working in logistics or dispatching or whatever, you know having more women truckers to kind of make those connections throughout the industry is a pretty positive thing.
Troy: Yeah and I think when we talk about what women bring to trucking we should also talk about, how can we bring women to trucking, and that’s through promotion and awareness. Things like educating and raising awareness of women’s issues in the industry, promoting career opportunities for women in the industry, and luckily women in trucking do a lot of these things and have put forth the effort. Others include improving conditions for women already working within the industry. I know Angelique mentioned about her salary for a while and how just this year she really started seeing the dividends of all the hard work she’s put in. And also just serve as a resource for women working in the industry. We need more resources like WiT, they can’t be the only group to promote women in the trucking industry. It needs to be supported by every trucking company out there. And we’re starting to see the signs of it, but we definitely want to see more and more of that. It’s definitely encouraging to see certain organizations get behind this movement and of course Big Rig Banter and AllTruckJobs are behind this movement 100 percent.
Connor: Absolutely yeah, so still there are challenges that we have to mention. There’s when we’re talking about sort of whether it’s gender equality in the workplace in general and things like that. You know we’re in the era of the #MeToo movement and you know the awareness generated from that in terms of sexual harassment and sorts of things. Which has been one deterrent for women entering the industry, just if they have to be mentored by a man and they have to ride with them in their truck alone and that can be a stressful situation and not always the most conducive to someone’s career.
Troy: And it’s sad because one unfortunate moment, especially when you’re just starting out can turn them off from the entire career to begin with so that’s so important as soon as women start to get into the industry. Cultivating that relationship and finding a usually female mentor to kind of take under their wing because that crucial first couple weeks on the job is gonna be huge.
Connor: Yeah that’s absolutely right, so again that’s sort of hinting at the mentorship opportunities that you can find through WiT and we will have a link to that in the show notes that you can go check out. And you’ll find all sorts of different resources there, but one of the nice features through the mentorship program is that you can find, there’s a database of people willing to help and help cultivate your career. So definitely check that out if you are considering a career in trucking. But, yeah I think overall some of the other challenges just involve support and having everyone feel and able to do their job safely and efficiently at the end of the day. And several of our interviews we’ve heard the truck doesn’t realize who’s driving it. And at the end of the day that’s what really matters – it’s that you get from A to B safely, and one of the other nice things is that trucking is generally an equal pay profession as well because you get paid by the load and the amount of distance you drive or whatever the configuration is so that’s another attractive thing about this job for women as well is that you don’t need to necessarily jump through these corporate hoops in order to reach a certain pay grade. You just sort of do the labor and that’s kind of the end of it.
Troy: For sure, and it doesn’t matter who’s delivering that load it doesn’t matter if it’s male or female and that’s how every job should be in my opinion. It shouldn’t matter the person doing it as long as it’s getting done.
Connor: Right, and part of generating more awareness is getting women’s perspectives on trucking. And we recently had the chance to sit down and interview Allie McTrucks, a content writer who’s covered the trucking industry for years, to share her perspective on women in trucking so here’s that interview:
Connor: Alright we’re hear today with Allie McTrucks, a content writer and journalist for Aeroflow Industrial. Allie, thanks for coming on the show to discuss women in trucking with us for a little bit.
Allie: Thanks guys I’m excited to be here to throw in my two cents.
Connor: Absolutely, we’re excited to have you! I guess we’ll just start off by asking; What made you want to start covering the trucking industry?
Allie: It was actually a total accident, I was the SEO content manager for a cloud-based software company that did a lot of filing products online for taxes and a lot of those products happened to be for truckers so they could file their 2290 and do taxes. And at the time I was writing for Mary Kay directors and then suddenly overnight I was pulled off of that and put onto a trucking product. My blogging focused on how to get your contour ‘on fleek’ to 5 tips to easily file your 2290 and easily back your rig up.
Connor: Wow, yeah that’s quite a difference!
Troy: So what are some of the common misconceptions about women in trucking? I know you cover the industry and you get to interact with truckers all the time what are some things that are misconstrued?
Allie: Probably that they aren’t wanted. They might feel intimidated. In sort of a ‘male dominated industry’ and it’s only male-dominated due to the numbers. When in reality, truckers don’t care about your gender; they don’t care who you are as long as you’re good at driving. And they’re actually needed to close the trucking shortage. So they are starting to be recruited more and more.
Connor: Absolutely, that’s something we definitely hear a lot with just having our own job board, AllTruckJobs is there’s this shortage, and they’re always looking for new drivers whether it be women or millennials in general. So how do you think we can work to attract young females to the industry to really start closing that shortage gap?
Allie: Just going straight to the source, maybe finding tech schools that offer good trucking training programs. You know, one for example, York Tech in Rock Hill, South Carolina they have a ton of female students and show them ‘hey this is how you can get into trucking, we’ll train you right here in the school that you have available.’ And kind of give them more information on how to build up their career. And then, online marketing is usually my go-to for things, there could be more ads targeted to females directly. But, I feel like there needs to be a new photo-shoot or something out there because every article about women in trucking has the same five stock photos of that one girl in a red vest.
Connor: Absolutely yeah, we run into that a lot too with just marketing our own stuff, I guess there’s just underrepresentation right?
Troy: And I know you talked about the kind of stereotypes and misconceptions, is there any distinct challenges for women in the trucking industry or have you faced any challenges covering the trucking industry?
Allie: I feel like it can be a little difficult to break into. There is not a lot of information on how to get started and it’s like people just go through their training program or trucking school and then learn directly from their trainers. I think it might be helpful for more articles to just basically cover how to get started more out there. And also, trucks are designed for men they’re quite large – for me, I’m 5’1” if I’m in a truck it’s very hard for me to reach everything. And I guess women want to feel safe, and a dark truck stop at night can feel pretty seedy. Or the idea of being alone with just one other male in your truck can be kind of intimidating. But if the trainer you can say ‘hey quit it’ and get a new one.
Connor: Absolutely yeah, those are definitely some concerns that we’ve also heard, just the equipment aspects and the safety aspects. So in covering the industry for as long as you have now have you come across anything that would sort of suggest a sort of pay gap when it comes to gender in the trucking industry?
Allie: Not that I have seen. I know that you’re paid by load or by mile regardless of who you are. Shippers aren’t looking at who’s behind the wheel as long as they’re qualified. There may be a pay gap at the corporate level. But all of my research would suggest that women who are on a board of directors, or are managers, or in upper management roles are receiving pretty equal pay. It seems like the trucking industry is a little bit more progressive than others when it comes to equal pay.
Troy: What do you wish women knew about trucking, or maybe what are some of the resources or events that are out there for women in trucking. Like I’ve said we’ve talked to the Women in Trucking Organization and they had a lot of great resources, I didn’t know if there are any off the top of your head that you can think of that are out there for women looking to get in the industry or women who are already in the industry.
Allie: I was definitely going to say Women in Trucking, they’re a great resource they have tons of articles you can ask them questions and actual women in the trucking industry will answer them and they have conferences all the time. They’re set up at MATS and GATS so you can just easily approach and speak with representatives. And there’s also another one called Real Women in Trucking which is a blog run by an owner-operator, I think her name is Desiree. She runs the Queen of the Road competition where women are encouraged to write in their experiences in the industry to show other women that you can do it. And they also throw an annual cruise for lady truckers every year.
Connor: Oh very cool!
Allie: Also I have to throw Twitter out there, I know that only 7% of women are drivers in the industry, but I feel like a lot of them are on Twitter and they’re easy to message and ask. They are happy to share information and help you out if you need it.
Connor: Well that’s really cool, that’s actually something we were hearing from Ellen Voie and Angelique Jones of WiT, they were saying how there’s a mentorship program out there available if young women want to find other women to learn from and just kind of gain resources that way. So how has covering the trucking industry changed your perspective on women in trucking or just trucking in general?
Allie: It’s opened up a new level of respect and knowledge for me because I didn’t know anything about the industry and it’s just really eye opening to see the hard work and dedication that goes into the job. Both men and women face the challenges of planning their routes, and just the physical work that comes with trucking and just the long days, 11 hours of driving sometimes. And that they just do a lot, there’s a lot of dedication and skill that goes into keeping our nation moving so I have to throw a thank you out there to all the truckers listening.
Troy: Well thank you and again yeah we also thank truckers out there. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Allie: I just feel that when we look through the windshield into the trucking future, we have to more conversation as women become drivers because I think men and women will easily work together to focus on major issues facing the industry. And I think both men and women stood to support the side they support on that, both men and women showed up to days without truckers to fight against violence in the trucking industry. And it just that women are huge untapped resource that we could see flourish and take the industry by storm.
Connor: Absolutely, we couldn’t agree more, it’s all about working together and just getting loads from A to B no matter who you are. So it’s good stuff, right? So we’ve been speaking to Allie McTrucks, a content writer from Aeroflow Industrial covering the trucking industry. Allie, thanks so much for coming on the show we really appreciate your time today!
Allie: Thanks, I had a great time!
Connor: Okay and another special thanks to Allie McTrucks for coming and talking to us about her perspective on women in the industry it was a lot of great information and just always good to hear new perspectives. So if you wanna follow Allie @alliemctrucks on Twitter. Again it’s just another facet of getting more women involved, whether it’s covering the industry or advocating for different aspects of women in trucking, or just being drivers themselves so are a lot of different aspects and facets to this.
Troy: For sure, and now we’re gonna continue a segment we started last month and that is the industry spotlight. We’re gonna talk to someone who’s involved in the industry who may not have necessarily anything to do with the main topic and actually this month it’s a follow-up interview. As many of you remember in our Truckers Against Trafficking episode we talked to Beth Jacobs who shared her experience being trafficked. And many of you were wondering what actually happened to Beth and how she got out of the situation. Our correspondent Lenay Ruhl had the chance to sit down with Beth and again it’s a very sensitive topic so listener discretion is advised.
Lenay: My name is Lenay Ruhl and I’m here today with Beth Jacobs who is not only a survivor of human trafficking but has made it her life’s work to save trafficked victims. Beth works as a field trainer for an organization called Truckers against trafficking, which trains drivers throughout the country on how to identify and report signs of trafficking. Beth was featured on an episode of Big Rig Banter a few months ago and shared part of her personal story with us. Today, she’s going to finish telling that story and update us on current legislation. Beth, thanks for joining us again!
Beth: Well thank you for having me!
Lenay: For those who are tuning in for the first time, can you give a brief overview of what we’re talking about when we use the word ‘trafficking’ and why TAT’s focus on educating truck drivers is so important.
Beth: Yes, you know in our country our federal definition of human trafficking is you’re either under the age of 18 because you don’t have consent, or you’ve been subjected to force, fraud, or coercion. And if you think about that, you know it’s when you think about pimps and traffickers, do they ever tell the truth? Not really… So that’s fraud. So you know anyone who has someone coercing them into prostitution is being trafficked. I mean I don’t want people to think that all prostitution is trafficking, because I don’t. But I do think it crosses over a lot! And it crossed over in my experience too. And so, that’s what we’re talking about today. How easy it is for that to happen to somebody. And how I got sucked in, to let people know I didn’t raise my hand and say ‘pick me please, I wanna be a prostitute what a great career choice!” It didn’t happen like that. This can happen to anybody. I was asking for a ride home with somebody that I already thought I knew, so that kind of made it worse.
Lenay: Yeah, definitely. And so why are truck drivers specifically so important in the education process on this?
Beth: Oh man, I think truck drivers are the eyes and the ears of the road. They can help law enforcement so much. They’re probably gonna see that before law enforcement sees it, you know what I mean? And it’s just part of that because traffickers have tried to bring young girls, they tried to traffic them at truck stops and other places and truck drivers can see that. They can see that and they can make that call, you know? When I was trafficked, people kind of saw what was happening to me and they didn’t know who to call. And I believe, I truly believe, that if they knew who to call, somebody would have helped me. I just know they would’ve and it wouldn’t have happened to me. And I’m sure they could save a lot of other people from happening to them. So that’s why it’s so important to me because it’s like personal!
Lenay: And I know you shared bits and pieces of your personal story the last time you were on the show and described those, I think you said it was 6 years that you were trafficked, but could you tell us again how you first got picked up and then how you finally escaped?
Beth: Okay, so I had moved in with my dad, I lived in a small town in northern Minnesota. There was no work here, my dad had to go to the iron range to find work, well my parent’s marriage didn’t withstand that. So when he came back they separated and my father moved to the city. Well, they played favorites and my sister was the golden child…
Lenay: (laughs) Mine too!
Beth: And she still is! Okay well, I was my dad’s favorite but he wasn’t there anymore. So I asked if I could live with him and they talked about it and said I could as long as I got my GED and got a job. And so I was trying really hard to do that. To get around I had to take a bus from Brooklyn Center to Downtown Minneapolis and then it would take me wherever I wanted to go. I don’t know why you had to do it that way, but you did. You always had to go to Downtown Minneapolis, well right by the bus stop I had to wait at, there was this pool-hall type, bar-place. And one day there was a guy standing out there holding a pool stick — “C’mon baby! C’mon in and shoot a game of pool!” And I was like “oh yeah, they’re not gonna let me in I’m only 16…” “Oh they’ll let you in c’mon!” You know he’s like “I got the table now.” And so I went in with ‘em and they even served me a beer! I couldn’t believe it I was like oh! I thought I was so cool. Here’s grownups treating me like I’m a grown up. And I wasn’t. But at 16 you think you’re invincible you know? So anyway, I would start going in their faithfully, you know every time I went downtown I would stop in there because they let me in. Anyway, I went there on a weekend once and missed the bus, right? So I called my dad – he came and got me but he scolded me all the way home. “I work all week I don’t wanna drive you around all weekend, you’re not being responsible…” He was right. And I said I’m so sorry dad I’ll never do it again I swear. I’ll be responsible I’ll call and find out the bus schedule, please don’t send me back! Because I didn’t want to go back to the little town. And so, he said okay. So the very next day, of course I went downtown again and I just had to go in that pool hall and I was checking my watch though cause I didn’t want to miss the bus. So I went outside and I missed the bus. The bus changed again, the schedule changed again on Sunday and I didn’t know that. It changed Saturday and Sunday and I wasn’t responsible and I didn’t call the bus company and find that out before that day. And I thought, ‘I can’t tell my dad, I just swore to God I’d never do it again yesterday.” It was yesterday! I can’t do that do him, you know I love my dad he’s the only one in the universe that cares about me. And so, one of the guys that I shot pool with before was in the bar. And he, him and his friend actually invited me to a barbeque at their house. I went to a barbeque at this guy named Mico’s house. They talked to me, asked me a bunch of questions, it was Mico and his friend Mo. And um, they brought me home – I asked them if they’d drive me home from the barbeque and they did. Well so I saw Mo in there, I wasn’t as friendly with Mo as I was with Mico. But I asked him ‘hey could you give me a ride home?’ And he was like ‘well I don’t know I have Mico’s car, lemme give him a call.’ So he comes back and he says ‘yep Mico says we could, but he wants to see you so what is gonna happen is you know, I’m gonna take his car, he’s at a party and I’m gonna drive to the party, I’ll stay there and then he’ll take you home.’ And I thought ‘hmm that’s gonna take a long time’ but I liked Mico and I wanted to see him too, so I was like ‘well, how far away is it?’ And he said ‘it’s in Chicago.’ And I said ‘Well where’s that?’ And he said ‘two-hours.’ And I didn’t know, I had never been out of Minnesota I was like ‘hmm okay,’ I didn’t know that Chicago is six to eight hours away. So I’m in the car, he has a couple McDonald’s cups and he’s like ‘you want a drink? We’re going to a party.’ And so I took a drink and the next thing I remember is he’s waking me up right? And it’s dark out. Now, there was no way it should have been dark. I missed that bus at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. And it didn’t get dark in Minnesota at that time until like, I don’t know, 9 or 10. And so I got scared right away, you know. And I said ‘where are we?’ And he said, ‘baby do you know who I am?’ And I said, no and he said ‘I’m a pimp.’ And I just kind of laughed nervously because that’s what I do when I’m nervous. And I said, ‘oh that’s great but I’m not that kind of girl.’ And I tried to open the door and get out and he grabbed me by the hair, pulled me back, and hit me a couple times. And said, ‘ no, bitch I didn’t ask you – this is what it is. You’re gonna get in this truck and sleep with this man and he’s gonna give me the money and we’re gonna go to Chicago.’ I was terrified. You know, he gives me to the truck driver. I cried and asked him to help me which was very stupid – he wasn’t gonna help me, he wanted what he wanted. But anyway, when he was done he gives me back to the trafficker and he told him he wanted some of that money back because I cried too much. And so, he beat me outside. And it was dark out but there were other people there and I know people saw, but I think they didn’t know what to do. And that’s why I do what I do because I wanna tell them what to do. It’s better to make that call and be wrong than not make that call at all. And I believe that if people had that number and were equipped, somebody would have helped me. Maybe all of them would have you know, you never know. But at that time, nobody helped me and so I ended up – when he was done beating me, he told me that if I ever lost any more money for him he was gonna kill me and my daddy. And I got really scared because he knew where my dad lived you know? And like I said before, my dad was the only person who the universe who I felt like loved me. I didn’t think anyone else loved me and so I didn’t want him to get hurt over something I did. And so he puts me in the car and drives me to Chicago and brings me to this hotel, puts me in this room, takes all my clothes, my purse, everything. You know, that’s why I say my situation was like trafficking because I think about girls who were trafficked in Burma for example, and what’s the difference between my case and their case? You know I had to have new name, I didn’t know anybody, they took everything that was familiar away from me. The only difference is I was in America, that’s the only difference. And so my case of human trafficking definitely crossed over with this prostitution thing. But you know my society at that time told me it was my fault, that I picked that. You know, and really all I picked was a ride home. I wanted to get home so I wouldn’t get in trouble and here I was in Chicago. So, it was a horrible experience. I was kept in a room for quite some time, and he would use drugs as punishment to try and get me to comply. There was a girl who would come in and put makeup on my face, you know, to make me look better. And she was like ‘no act like you like it. If you act like you like it you can leave – they’ll let you go outside.’ And then she said, ‘you can choose someone else,’ and she taught me what that meant. You know that I had to get my choosing fee and give it to a different pimp to see if he would accept me. And if he would accept me I would get away from my vicious pimp. You know, and so yeah because we don’t have much time, I was in that life for six years. I had no self-esteem, I felt like nobody wanted me, I had nowhere to go, there were no choices. I had no choices. And I seemed like everybody was out to exploit me, even the police. You know, the police wanted me to do their police party. You know, it was very humiliating because here’s these people who are supposed to be my friends and look what they’re doing to me. And so the police didn’t help me. there was a lady who would come down the track and pray for us. She said, ‘if we didn’t change our ways we’d go to hell,’ and one day I asked her to take me with her. I said, ‘okay I’m ready I’ll go.’ And she was like ‘what?!’ and I said ‘I’ll go with you!’ And she said, ‘I can’t take you with me!’ And I said ‘what do you mean? You come down here and pray for us, and you can’t help me?’ And she said ‘no.’ That made me feel like the churches didn’t care – I just felt like I had nobody and I had no options. And so I just existed, you know? I didn’t think about tomorrow I just lived through the day, you know? Over and over. And I did that for six years. You know, I did small things to try and make my life better. I found what I called a popcorn pimp, or a tennis shoe pimp. I found a pimp that wasn’t such a pimp-pimp. Because I would have been killed, that first pimp would have killed me. I mean he still beat me, don’t get me wrong. But not as much as the first one. So I was able to choose that pimp and I think that’s how I survived the rest of those years. And it’s hard to get out because you have no options, I mean it was scary to get out. Where was I gonna go, what was I gonna do, who would help me? You know I looked around – the police won’t help me, the churches won’t help me, who’s gonna help me? So anyway, all of a sudden there’s this serial killer that’s going around killing prostituted women in Chicago. And so the police told me, ‘watch out for this white van don’t get in.’ Because the police are supposed to be my friends right? And so I went home and told the pimp that and he already knew. Because the pimp I had was from a family. The mother was a reverend and all three boys were pimps and I’m not sure what her daughter did, but yeah. His brother, the middle child, was a very successful pimp, and then there was one that was in the penitentiary the whole six years I was in there so I never met him. But anyway he had a women who was still out there working. And this serial killer guy got her. He didn’t kill her, I mean she lived barely and so she was never the same. You know, and the other two pimps talked about it and said, ‘no we gotta get our women out of here.’ And so they sent me and the other to Minnesota. And the other pimp was very successful and so right when we get there I’m supposed to drop her off at a massage parlor and then I was supposed to pick her up 4 hours later. So I dropped her off and went back to get her and she wasn’t out there waiting. And I’m just a nosey person in general; I had never seen a massage parlor in a strip mall before. And this one was in a strip mall and so I wanted to see what kind of store was next to a massage parlor so I flip on the lights and I couldn’t quite see in the window so I got out of the car like an idiot looked in the window and who pulls up? The police. I’m like ‘oh man!’ So they pull up, ask me what I’m doing there, ran my name, and then they told me I had a warrant for $50. I mean I didn’t even remember what it was for, the only thing I did when I was young was drinking in the park so that’s probably what it was for. And so they take me to jail, I took the car keys. The girl came down to get the car to get the car keys and I said, ‘well did she pay my bond?” And they were like no. And I was like ‘well I’m not giving her the keys then.’ I didn’t want to give up the keys. And I just got mad because I knew he told her not to get me out. It was fifty lousy dollars, as much money as I made for that man and he wasn’t gonna get me out for $50? I hated jail, jail was horrible and he knew that and it was horrible for me and fifty bucks? That wasn’t nothing. So I was angry, and that’s how I got out, you know it takes a lot of courage and I don’t know. I think I got that extra courage because I was angry about that. So when she left the jail I called a regular I had in Chicago and he wired the money, the fifty bucks to a bondsman and they walked over to the jail and they got me out. And I went to where we were staying, her sister’s house actually, and I told the girl I needed my stuff cause I was gonna go out and make my bond money back up. So she gave me some of my stuff and as soon as I said that my eyes just started to cry because I knew I wasn’t going back. And I felt like I made it. I didn’t have any clue what I was gonna do. But, I made it. You know I was still alive. So I decided – that night I remembered going to a hotel. I was trafficked to a dental convention in Minnesota and I remember going to a hotel where they accepted my sister’s paper that’s all I had. I didn’t have any I.D. And so I went there and they let me stay. And so there I was in this hotel – and this is an important part I think. For four long months, four months of my life I would get up in the morning, out to the track from 9 o’clock in the morning to 11, I would prostitute myself only long enough to get food for the day and to pay my hotel fare for the day. And then I would go sit in that room because I didn’t know who would help me. I was embarrassed and I was ashamed. You know, I felt like it was my fault. I ruined my life, you know? And the track runner told me nobody would want me because you know at that barbeque they asked me questions – they asked me about religion and you know, all kinds of stuff and in my family the church that I went to, if you slept with someone outside of marriage you were ruined. Nobody would ever want you. You were done. And so that’s how I felt. And so I sat there and just wasted my life. And finally I got scared they were gonna call the police on me, the hotel. I mean I never had a pimp there, I didn’t bring people there. I was the only one ever there, but one of the maids said she knew what I was doing. She got fired, and another maid told me she got fired because she wanted to call the police on me. And I thought, ‘what?!’ and I got scared and I had to leave there because I didn’t want to go to jail. So I finally ran into a trick who had a property which was the dumbest thing I’d ever done. But I had to rent his property so I ended up paying him rent and sleeping with him. But at least I was away from the hotel. And then I went into that property there was a woman who lived upstairs. And she kind of befriended a little bit and she told me, ‘you know what an unemployment office was.’ She told me where I could go get IDs, she helped me. And she was just a neighbor.
Lenay: And how old were you at this point then?
Beth: Probably 21. You know it took me like a year once I got to Minnesota before I got myself together because I didn’t have any choice I had no way to make money. That was the only way I knew to make money and I had to survive so. And I know you wanted me to say that quickly…
Lenay: No, no that’s good because it really – just to picture you from 16 to age 21 and you know, I’m sitting here thinking about what I was doing during that time in my life and just the way you mature and change and the way you learn things. So just to imagine going through all of that at that time period is, is just amazing to see where you are now. Because being told that you’re worthless and trying to overcome that had to have been a really challenging thing for you to do.
Beth: Yes! And you don’t – I didn’t really think about next week. Ever. Because I couldn’t do that because it’s like what is happening to me is terrible. And I would disassociate all the time. I didn’t think about what was happening to me. When I was with a trick, I would think about something else. You know for years I didn’t grow and I wasn’t nurtured. You know I just existed. People don’t understand that. You know, another part they don’t understand is the prostitution part itself became irrelevant. Like, that’s what I had to do to have somebody love me, and I just wanted somebody to love me. And it was the only way somebody would love me. And I knew it wasn’t probably true, but it was better than not hearing it at all.
Lenay: Yeah, absolutely. Did you ever contact your family at all during that time, or did they know what happened to you, or did you just disappear?
Beth: Well I tried, but from their perspective I’m sure I just disappeared. But, you know, the trafficker always told me that my family didn’t want me and then there was a time I tried to get away and tried to go back home and my mom was supposed to pick me up. Well, instead of my mom being there, the trafficker was there. And the trafficker then told me my mom sold me. And she didn’t like me and so I believed him at that time. So, we had this huge rift between us. I didn’t want to deal with that. And then my dad he was like divorcing my mother – I felt like I should have my mom’s back. He was living with this woman that he cheated on my mom with. It was just messy and I just didn’t want to be in that.
Lenay: Right… Now have you reconnected, I’m assuming you reconnected with your family at some point now?
Lenay: That’s good!
Beth: I have with both of them. My father died, and my mom she’s still here. Actually, I live in that little, small town again because this is where she is and you know, I wanna have a relationship with her before it’s too late.
Lenay: So after, you know, you got out and everything, how did you end up getting involved with TAT and you know, getting a degree and ending up where you are now?
Beth: Okay well, after I got out I found a program. It was a few years later. I mean, I had no one to help me, just that neighbor kind of helped me. So a few years later one of, she wasn’t really my wife-in-law because we were with brothers. But I had a relationship with her years later. she’s the one that came to me and said you know, ‘I found this group it’s kind of cool. You can go to this group, sit down, talk, other people just like us. And it’s confidential.’ Anyway, she convinced me to go and I went and I liked it. It was like, all women who had been through what I’ve been through. And they called it educational/support where we would talk about a topic and then we would talk about how it applied to our lives and I just thought that was great. And so, you know, I stayed there and went there for like a year and I just got into it and they helped me get into college. I decided to study social work because I wanted to give back to people like me. And I was able to graduate with honors, I did pretty good. And I just worked. I mean I got hired out of college with a supervisory position, so I got lucky. I worked at a place called Breaking Free out of St. Paul, Minnesota on and off at that place for over 10 years. I did groups for women and I just loved it! I loved what I was doing and would go around and tell my story, what happened to me and let people know that this can happen to anybody. I even was able to buy a house. I would have never had the tools to buy a house without them. I mean I didn’t know how to fix things, I didn’t know about your finances, none of that, and they helped with that and it was wonderful. And you feel like a real, live person instead of the person that I was out there. I felt like I made it to the other side. I don’t believe that I’m a prostitute. This is not who I am. This is something that was done to me. It’s a verb. I was prostituted; I’m not a prostitute. And so I try to be really careful and never call anybody that. So just thought I’d clarify that since I did it.
Lenay: Is there anything else that you want to put out there because we have a lot of truck drivers listening. Is there anything you’d like to say to them before we wrap this up?
Beth: Yeah, I think you guys are awesome, I think you’re amazing and you’re the heroes and I’m very grateful that you’re listening actually. I just want people to know that this can happen to anyone. I didn’t want this for myself, I wanted a ride home to stay out of trouble, and look what happened. And that’s what it was from. It was from a ride. How many people have asked for a ride home and got it and were safe? A lot. But it does happen. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that’s how it happened to me and it can happen to anyone. So please, warn your loved ones, warn your family. Tell them this is real. We need to stop people from buying people. We can’t buy people. People should not be for sale.
Connor: Alright, so another huge thank you to Beth Jacobs for taking the time to recount her story again with us. It’s just amazing work that Truckers Against Trafficking do, and if you want to get involved with their organization definitely check them out. We’ll have a link to their site in the show notes as well. But, that concludes our industry spotlight for this episode. And if you have any suggestions or would like to be our subject for the industry spotlight in coming episodes, definitely give us a shout out on Twitter or Facebook or just message us directly, and we’d be happy to set something up with you. And so to kind of conclude this episode we have some new announcements that we’d just like to make known to all of our listeners hear. Lenay, who you heard in that last interview, and myself will be at GATS this year in Texas so, we’ve got a lot of great stuff coming for you guys for that. We’re gonna be down there running some contests, we’ll have a lounge situation you can come by and chill, lots of freebies. So definitely come visit us when we’re down there and, you know, you may have your own little spotlight in a coming episode as well. We’re gonna be doing on the spot interviews and things like that so definitely give us a visit and who knows? You could be part of Big Rig Banter yourself, and that would just be fun wouldn’t it? But again if you guys enjoyed this episode and previous episodes, please feel free to subscribe to our iTunes and our YouTube channel to stay up to date on all of the new content that we’re going to be posting and all of the GATS updates we’re gonna be giving you guys.
Troy: And again, if there’s truckers out there still looking for a job or trucking companies still looking to fill their rigs, make sure to check out AllTruckJobs.com. You can schedule a demo if you’re a company, and we’d love to have you on our team. We provide some great services as well as some great content for truckers looking for careers.
Connor: Absolutely, so we usually like to finish things off with a fun topic section just to keep it light and fun. So summer’s coming up and it’s getting warmer out, and it got us thinking what would be the best vacation spots for truckers? What kind of destinations can break up the monotony of driving across the country so often and what haven’t you seen that might be interesting to visit? So Troy, what do you think your ideal destination would be if you were a trucker looking to get away for a couple weeks?
Troy: Well I think the obvious ones are the Floridas and the Californias, those beachside cities. But I’m gonna go a little different. I’m gonna choose Bangor, Maine. And that is a place in Maine that’s a quiet little town. And I think the last thing as a trucker you want to see are cars and people on the road and luckily Bangor, Maine’s a small enough town that you can find yourself off a little dirt road, find yourself a cabin out there and just enjoy some peace and quiet without the sounds of the highway. And I think that’s what a lot of truckers are looking for. Yeah, the beach is great especially in the summer, but I think just having some peace and quiet is also very cool. And Bangor is a big enough city that there’s definitely a lot to do, but there’s not going to be so many people that you’re constantly surrounded by crowds. So if I was a trucker, I’d want a place that’s a little quieter, a place that I can just go and relax. Enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the wilderness and not have to see the macadam and the blacktop all the time. But Connor, where would you choose?
Connor: Well it depends where I lived originally as a trucker and if I was driving through different types of locations where I might want to check out. But, you know I think I’m just going to give a plug to our hometown here, Lancaster, Pennsylvania because there’s plenty to do here where we are and you can get away into the nature if you need to. You can come visit Amish country and get low-tech in terms of trucking and maybe just some of the bigger machinery around. I mean, we do have tractors and combines moving about pretty frequently here but, yeah you can find just about anything. If you’re looking for kind of a city feel, Lancaster city is great. It’s not too big like a New York or anything, but we’ve got some great restaurants, great bars and things like that. And great hiking trails if you just want to get out into nature again. And it’s only about 2 hours drive from Maryland beach if you need to get some sun and sand into your life. So yeah, come on by and give us a visit here and again, I would definitely just plug here because it’s one of the only places I can vouch for personally. But otherwise, try to pick somewhere a little cooler, and I think Maine is a good idea because it’s probably a little chillier out there in terms of latitude. But, if you guys have any destinations that you’re currently planning, any vacations that you’re gonna go on this summer, let us know and why it’s your favorite as a trucker.
Troy: Awesome, Connor! And now it’s time for our final topic. I think it’s time to spread the love for some of our fellow trucking podcasters. So why don’t we name some of our few, Connor and give our listeners something to listen to after they finish our episode of course.
Connor: Of course! So my first pick for one of our favorite podcasts is Ask The Trucker Live with Allen Smith. It’s a great podcast if you’re getting into the industry or you’ve been in it a long time. He covers everything from driver health, careers, regulations, and important issues much like we do on the show, but he has experience in the industry himself driving. So it’s a really valuable perspective to listen to. He’s got lots of episodes and it’s cool that it’s live as well which is something we can’t necessarily do here on Big Rig Banter yet, but you know when he has people call in they’re like other interviews in that capacity. So that’s my first pick. Troy what do you got?
Troy: Yeah, my pick is definitely Trucker Dump. If that name sounds familiar or the voice on the podcast sounds familiar that’s because it’s Todd McCann who’s been guest on our show multiple times. Todd’s a great guy and he runs a great podcast. He does topics like “Stupid Rules that Truckers Tolerate,” and “Coping with Rookie Truckers,” and it’s just a great podcast to listen to, especially for those in the industry. Todd, we always enjoy you on the show and we hope you guys check out Trucker Dump for sure. But Connor, give us another one.
Connor: Definitely, so my second pick is Talk CDL Trucking Podcast. This is a podcast that’s been going on for quite some time as well. They’ve got lots of people following them on Facebook and I always like listening to this one just because the hosts have a good report with one another. It sounds very natural and it’s always kind of fun to listen to how they banter back and forth, and they cover a lot of the same issues, you know, regulations and just different safety aspects of the job and just career advice and things like that. So definitely Talk CDL is another one that we definitely enjoy listening to.
Troy: Yeah and our final one we’re gonna shed some light on is How to Be a Truck Driver 101. And that’s hosted by Big Ken who has many years experience in the rig. And this is more focused towards beginner truck drivers, but what I like about this is he focuses on a very specific topic on each episode. That includes 1099’s vs W2’s as a company driver. Or things like Setting Up an ELD as an Owner Operator. And I think this is great for those just getting into the industry. You can kind of pick and choose which episodes you want to listen to, and Ken does a really good job at highlighting some of the major issues that truckers will face just getting into the industry.
Connor: So there you have it, those are our 4 picks for some of our favorite trucking podcasts. If you guys have other podcasts that you think we should check out as well, comment them either on Facebook or Twitter. Send us a message, whatever you want to do, but we’d love to hear from you guys. And so that’s all about all we’ve got for this episode. Thanks for listening and like I said, definitely come check us out at GATS when we’re there. It’s going to be a fun time for everybody. We have a lot of great giveaways, contests, that sort of things. And again, if you like this podcast please leave us a good review. It really helps to grow the following and just sort of get Big Rig Banter out to more people. Subscribe and all the links and things we mentioned today will be in the show notes, you can check those out. And so next our episode is gonna be on guns and trucking, everything you kind of need to know about carrying guns from one state to the next as a trucker; whether or not that’s even possible. And the legal aspects as well as some of the challenges. So episode 17 is gonna be all about guns and trucking, but for now we hope you enjoyed this episode and thanks for listening. I’m your cohost, Connor Smith.
Troy: And I’m your cohost, Troy Diffenderfer.
Connor: And this has been Big Rig Banter.
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