Disabled Lady Flatbedder - Missing My Truck

by Rikki aka/lil bit aka/Gremlin
(New York)

I was a solo flatbed OTR driver until I fell off the top of my load while throwing my tarp one rainy morning. Landed on the pavement badly and haven't been able to work at all for the past 12 years.

Lord I miss my truck! I loved my job. Wouldn't have given it up for any "one" or any "thing" if I'd have had a choice.

A small number of men, mostly old school, would give me a hard time. I remember when I was first starting out I loaded some equipment once and didn't know how to properly secure it.

I asked a guy that was there securing his load for some pointers. From his reaction you would have thought I had asked him to secure my load for me! And he was offended that I even *looked* at how he secured the load so that I could do the same.

He and is buddy that was helping him hurried through securing the load and they hi-tailed it out of there as fast as they could.

I ran into a few of those kinds of men but for the most part I found most of the men that I was around were very helpful and if any of them noticed one that might have been getting out of line I had instant backup, almost before I even knew I needed it.

I never avoided the bigger truck stops. I, personally, felt safer there than in a smaller one. But I used some of the smaller ones too. I know that when I would walk out to go to or from the truck to the building there were many times that a few of the guys would automatically assume I was a lot lizard.

Talk about shutting them up when I climbed into my flatbed and drove away!

There was also a Security Guard at an OK City Pilot that made the mistake of thinking I was a Lot Lizard until I set him straight. He apologized every time I pulled in there after that. He just had not ever seen a lady flatbedder before as I'm sure a lot of guys hadn't either back then.

So I guess I made allowances for them and didn't let it bother me if they thought the worst of me at first. I always set them straight and didn't have any problems after that.

Except of course for those drivers that would hide behind their radios and holler at me that I should find someone to marry me and get off the road. Funny how none of them would answer me when I asked them if they were ready to marry me and support me in the style I'd like to become accustomed too.

Told them that since they were so silent on the issue after all that I thought I'd just continue working towards my goals myself, thank you very much.

They got their wish though. One cold rainy day while trying to tarp my load I was put out of commission...permanently. Dr told me I'll never work, let alone drive, again.

God I miss My Truck!

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Jan 24, 2013
Shannon's Offer NEW
by: Rikki

It's been 13 years now. And yeah, getting to work outside the home is my biggest problem right now. Finding something that I am interested in and can do from home is a problem. Let me know what it is you do and we'll go from there. You can reach me using yahoo with the user name of cassiereroni . Talk to you soon.

Rikki

Jan 23, 2013
tough not to work NEW
by: Shannon

yup, you ran into the good, the bad and the ugly LOL I'm glad you persevered though, and didn't let any initial negative experiences chase you away from what can be a great career. My hubby is relatively new (almost 3yrs in) to trucking, but he really really loves it. He does miss our girls a lot, but he enjoys the job.

I'm sorry that you haven't been able to work in 12years!! That's a long time - have you explored options that allow you to work from home if it's a physical reason you can't go out into the workforce? If you're interested, I can show you what we do, and if it's not for you, that's no problem :)

Feb 14, 2012
I miss it to NEW
by: Shawn aka yukon

I started driving big rigs when I was 18 spent 20 years on the road the last 15 as owner operator and loved every minute of it . After a wile I found my self missing my wife and my 3 children so I sold my truck and took a job at a local steel mill . That was five years ago and even though I love my family very much there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss my truck and the road. I enjoyed reading about you so keep your chin up there's others out there missing the road to.

Feb 04, 2012
I loved seeing wide eyes... NEW
by: Rikki a/k/a MsGremlin

C.S.

One of the things I found the most entertaining was watching peoples faces when they saw a woman hauling ingots, coils or heavy equipment. Men would be struggling to keep their eyes in their head. Women, most of the time, were ecstatic in their show of support. Honking and hollering with their thumbs up.

I used to love to mess with folks head and I would get all dolled up and put on a nice pretty, very feminine dress and heels. When I climbed out of the cab of my truck all of a sudden everything would be so quite that you could hear a pin drop. The reactions to that were precious.

Some of the best times of my life were on that truck and I'm glad more women are getting into driving.

I just wish the general public could see that truck drivers aren't the villains that they believe us to be.

Feb 04, 2012
Enjoyed this NEW
by: C.S.

Very good read, nice insight into a woman's perspective of being a trucker, when a casual driver like me sees a big rig we immediately think of a burly man behind the wheel but I'm learning that is sometimes not the case.

Jan 28, 2012
Thanks for the shout back. NEW
by: Rikki

Thanks Hervy, for the shout back. Glad to know someone actually read my statement.

You know, I had a real hard time trying to sleep after I left my truck. The bed in my house didn't have that smell of diesel nor did it have the vibrations or the sounds of a truck idoling.

The Transportation Industry has been the fabric of my families souls since the 1860's. My Great-Great Grandfather pulled lumber out of the forests with horse and wagons. My Great-Grandfather delivered supplies from the rail yards to the dairy companies with horse and wagon first then with trucks as they became available.

My Grandfather and Father both became OTR drivers during their time. And even though my father had two sons, I was the one that picked up the family legacy and continued with it until my two sisters realized that this was one job where there was no pay disparity between men and women and got into the act as well. :)

Now our grandchildren are continuing the family legacy. Six documented Generations of haulers!

But I still Miss My Truck! :)

Rikki
aka
lil bit
aka
Gremlin

Jan 27, 2012
Missing the road NEW
by: Hervy

Hello Rikki,

I can tell you have a passion for smelling diesel fuel burn. Thanks for sharing your story with us, it was very interesting.

Also, I believe we lost a good trucker from the industry when you left.

Take care,
Hervy


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