Channel 19

Todd Dills

Salute: Writer trumpets independent truckers

| December 14, 2011

Colleen Kelly Mellor (pictured) is a 30-year veteran of the classroom with near a decade in real estate. Today she’s a writer who keeps a blog dedicated to items of “encouragement in a difficult world” at Her husband was a long-haul household-moves owner-operator with Atlas Van Lines with more than a million accident-free miles before exit from the industry, and Mellor recently drew on that past to sing the praises of long-haul independents as “unsung heroes” of the American highway in this post.

I asked her a little about where her inspiration came from, and here’s what she had to say:

I try to focus the spotlight on folks who do America proud, so to speak, and truckers represent that to me. How’d my interest come about?  Well, my husband was a long-distance driver for 30 years, drove the big 18-wheelers cross-country, carting household cargo. As such, he has plenty of stories….

I began telling my three little grandsons stories we called “Grandpa and the Truck,” and each night they’d clamor for another, so I decided to write them down, adding all the color their Grandpa told me in his accounts. For he’s an Arkansan Boy — born and raised on a cotton field — who became a trucker.

But he’s had a colorful life in many ways.  He was in the Navy (Seabees) for 4 years, then Army National Guard for another 26 years. In addition, he’s been a corrections officer for [around 20]. But his roots are in trucking and he learned most of his life skills in trucking and moving folks across this great land.

Now I’m a writer. That, too, comes on a colorful life experience of [being a teacher for 30 years], which is why I know what kids like, real estate where I made a six-figure salary for 8 years, and then I determined to give it up to write freelance….

So, the Arkansan trucker and the writer came together…been so for 20 years.

Mellor is planning a series of children’s books based on her “Grandpa and the Truck” stories, “as soon as I identify an illustrator,” she says, and she’ll market them via, so keep an eye on the site. “It’s my intent to shine a beam on the trucking industry, long left unsung except for the country songs which my hubby so loves (they kept him awake over many years).”

Looking forward to it, Colleen….

Notice: Overdrive is transitioning to a new comment platform due to technical problems with the former commenting system. The new commenting system is now live. We are currently in the process of moving all of the comments from the old system into the new system. We appreciate your patience in the meantime.


  1. […] Have I got reason to hope?  Well, the nation’s top long-haul trucking e-magazine,, just featured me and my proposed plan in their December issue and even used my picture. I include the link  here. […]

  2. […] December,, the national truckers’ e-magazine, focused on me and my plan regarding thes…(now I knew I was onto […]

  3. […] has been endorsed by yours truly, Women In Trucking. OOIDA gave us a shout-out, too, and Overdrive’s given us two.WomenInTrucking and OOIDA’s edorsement are proudly affixed to the back of […]