Name: Cheryl D. Lannigan
Occupation: Owner Operator
Company: Road Runner
Years driving: 8 yrs.
What do you haul? Containers
1. Why did you get into trucking?
I became a truck driver because it was my lifelong dream. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a big rigger. On many trips to Florida as a kid sitting in the backseat, I was counting and learning the different semi truck makes and models. I was also waving to the truckers to toot the horn. Trucking is my life, passion and I love it so much! I couldn’t imagine not being able to drive my truck every day. I didn’t come from a family of truckers, so I had to go to truck driving school. I passed the written and driving test, and then signed on to drive for different companies. I had to fight my way to where I am today. I couldn’t go over the road with a trainer to get experience because I was a single mom with 3 young children. So, I had to teach myself everything I know about trucking. In my case, experience has been the best teacher. I wouldn’t trade trucking for anything in the world. And being an owner operator is the icing on the cake. I thank God for the opportunity for my husband and myself to own and operate (3) trucks.
2. If you could take one person on the road with you, who would it be, and why?
I would take my mother on the road with me so that she can see the passion and love I have for what I do, and how vital trucking is to our everyday living. I would like for her to experience some of the crazy things that you see on the road that you try to explain to others, but they don’t believe you. There is never a dull moment in trucking. My mother would be able to see how hard I work to take care of my family and the skill it takes for this beautiful trucker to drive a big rig. My mom used to say “Do you have to drive trucks”? And my answer was yes mom; I can handle it this is what I do.
3. What would you tell a young female who is considering a career in truck driving? Feel free to include information about your own experiences as a female entering the industry.
I would tell women that want to get into trucking, that if it’s what you want to do go for it, but you must have a passion for trucking. Trucking has provided a good living for my family and me. Don’t get discouraged or intimidated by the size of the truck and that it has 10 or more gears. Once you learn how to drive a big rig it becomes easier to handle. You can do it if you put your mind to it. But, trucking will make you or break you; it’s either for you or not for you. But you should try it and see if it is for you. Sometimes it’s tough being in a predominately male industry, because there are a lot of male drivers out here that look down on us women drivers and don’t treat us as equals. They don’t think that we should be out here driving and handling the truck, delivering the freight, logging the miles and of course, looking beautiful while doing it better than they can. But, we as women drivers need to encourage other women who want to become truckers, and support them as well as each other in this industry. Many of us women didn’t have fathers and uncles teaching us the ropes of truck driving.
4. What is your definition of a beautiful trucker?
Beauty can be aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable and pleasant. Beauty is not only having a pretty face; it’s about having a mind, soul, and beautiful heart. Beauty should be seen in the appearance of your equipment/truck. I think they should both be in sync.
5. Why should you be chosen as the winner of Overdrive’s Most Beautiful?
I’m a beautiful diesel diva and deserve to be crowned as overdrives most beautiful trucker. Trucking is not just a job for me, but it’s my passion. I’ve been told that I’m beautiful and have a baby face, but it takes more than outward beauty to get behind the wheel and drive a truck. I consider myself to be friendly, courteous, polite, and considerate. I will always lend a helping to hand to my fellow drivers that are in need male or female. My inner and outer beauties exude through my confidence and skill, and my truck is an extension of my beauty. I believe in taking pride in your ride. I want to share my passion for trucking and also motivate other truckers to take pride in being a trucker, as well as having pride in their ride. I will be starting a “Big Rig Truck Club” in Savannah, Ga., where I live. I love trucking, and this is how much I want to show my love and passion.