Trucking with authority and other reasons ‘Why we drive’ — OTR rewind No. 2

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Updated Jan 19, 2021

In today’s edition of Overdrive Radio, we’re taking a run back through another episode of the Over the Road podcast series — hopefully engrossing listening to take you through a long run and perhaps a little diversion from the political rancor of our chaotic time.

This is episode 2 in the OTR series — originally titled “Why We Drive.” Regular readers will know we produced Over the Road in collaboration with PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network, and it was hosted by our own “Long Haul Paul” Marhoefer. In the episode, Paul Marhoefer and producer Lacy Roberts spent time with two operators in Grand Island, Nebraska, owner-operator Jared Sidlo as well as Kenyette Godhigh-Bell, based out of Florida. In April 2019 when the interview was conducted, Godhigh-Bell was right at one year in trucking, pulling a reefer as a company driver with Grand Island Express. The visit with her featured in the podcast also included some time in an owner-operator training course of sorts at Grand Island headquarters — no matter of chance, as it were.

Meet Kenyette Godhigh-Bell, shown here behind the wheel of her 2017 Freightliner Cascadia — you heard that right — Godhigh-Bell is a company driver no more.Meet Kenyette Godhigh-Bell, shown here behind the wheel of her 2017 Freightliner Cascadia — you heard that right — Godhigh-Bell is a company driver no more.

I spoke with Godhigh-Bell this week at something of an inflection point in her trucking history. Less than two years since we talked with her on the anniversary of maiden voyage with Grand Island Express, she was just out with her own authority in a 2017 Freightliner Cascadia near identical to the company truck Marhoefer describes in the episode, minus as yet the “Lady K” insignia on the door.

She purchased the rig from Grand Island Express itself back in April last year, well knowing the maintenance attention it got from that fleet, she said. She then leased with BF Trucking, the small fleet of Wanda Billups out of Plainfield, Illinois, and cut her teeth in truck ownership throughout this past raucous, unpredictable year.

She’s power only at the moment with her authority active for just a couple of months – part of the wave of new authorities since mid-summer I wrote about in this story a month or so ago.

As you listen to this OTR episode, keep Godhigh-Bell’s present in mind as she speaks from the past – I feel like it’s wonderful, simply put, to see a plan come to fruition. You? Take a listen:

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