Loyal to her 359
“Steady work is what brings in money,” she says. “Instead of waiting for big paying jobs – as long as you keep working each week you’ll be successful.”
Friend Debra Bermond says DeSantis’ commitment makes her business and her reputation flourish.
“I don’t think she sleeps,” says
Bermond, a former DeSantis Trucking driver. “She’s a perfectionist. She wants to be the best at what she does. She gets up at 3 o’clock in the morning and waxes her truck.”
Robert Woods, DeSantis’ dispatcher at Clean Harbor, says she takes a multifaceted approach to her operation and pays close attention to details in paperwork, load security and punctuality.
“She goes very much in depth into the various aspects of being a driver,” Woods says. “She really has a lot of pride with what she’s hauling down the road and wants to make a great impression.”
Woods says DeSantis emphasizes having clean, quality equipment. She’s restored her truck twice since buying it, refurbishing it to look exactly as it did when new.
DeSantis says she will drive Old No. 7 until the end of her career, after which, she says she’ll convert the rig into a camper. “I’m going to put a big sleeper on it and have a camper that’s already paid for. I’ll just go across the country to visit family in New England and just travel – go around and get in truck drivers’ way.” n
1964 Born Jan. 28
1983 Married Dean R. DeSantis Oct. 22
1985 Purchased Old No. 7, a 1985 Peterbilt 359
1987 Acquired own authority
1988 Started D.R. DeSantis Trucking Co.
1993 Sold D.R. DeSantis Trucking Co.
2002 Moved from Massachusetts to Arizona
2003 Leased to Clean Harbor Environmental
2009 Had Old No. 7 restored by Joplin Peterbilt
WATCH Theresa DeSantis at OverdriveOnline.com.
THE CLEANLINESS of her truck has prompted people to persuade her to enter truck beauty shows for years, DeSantis says. She finally participated in her first show in June, entering the Great West Truck Show’s Pride & Polish, where she won First place in the First to Show category.
A HIGHWAY PATROL car stopped DeSantis in Nevada in June 1991. The officer told her she wasn’t doing anything wrong, but he needed to check her license because he didn’t think she was old enough to drive a truck. She was 27 at the time.