At the age of 53 I didn’t think I would finally be doing what I have always wanted to do, drive an 18-wheeler. As a small child I had always watched for my dad when he would pull into the driveway from his trips and was always glad to help carry his bags in the house. My grandfather, cousin and even my sister all had been drivers. I had dreamed of the day when I would get to drive but my life took a different turn and I went to medical school becoming a Registered Respiratory Therapist for over 30 years, eventually went into management. After 30 years of seeing families going through having to decide if they should leave their loved ones on life support or take them off, it was time for a change. With my boys grown with kids of their own, they no longer needed mom close by and after much research I was now able to achieve my dreams of becoming a truck driver.
I have never been afraid of hard work and began to notice a lot of women began their trucking career later in life just as I had. It was good to know that there was a support system. Anytime I have ever needed help with something someone has always been eager to answer a question or help in any way they could.
I can’t express the pride I feel when I’m going down the road and just looking off in the distance you see trucks crossing over bridges and going around the sides of a mountain somewhere. When driving through the smaller towns I always get looks from the people in cars sitting at traffic lights at least two or three times. Once after pulling into a fuel bay to fuel, I was entering info into my Qualcomm and another trucker was walking across the front of the fuel bay eating, he looked up twice and the second time he looked back away realized he had walked straight into a trash can and almost fell into it. I laughed so hard I didn’t think I was gonna be able to get out of the truck. My CB handle is Lady Driver of which I was given while going through Mississippi. An older trucker had noticed my lights blinking periodically on my trailer and was trying to raise me on my CB, which I had turned down. I heard someone yelling hey lady driver, hey lady driver, so I pulled into a truckstop and after he gave me some tips on assuring my trailer lights were tight on the electrical plug, he said that would be my CB handle from now on so when I came through there again I would know if he was around.
I just signed on with Paschell Truck Lines as an Owner Operator,I am excited about this new opportunity I have been given.
In my off time I like to make handmade jewelry and talk to friends online. Love riding motorcycles and am currently seeing a guy from Pennsylvania that builds bikes for the veterans coming home from overseas. I am so proud of the work and donations he makes.
I feel like I represent an important part of our trucking society, and am very proud to be a part of an elite group that is dedicated to getting the job done.
Submitted by Kim Hefner, owner-operator
Fayetteville, North Carolina