Truck Driivah in Oklahoma oilfield

by Gigi
(Oklahoma)

Donner Summit

Donner Summit

Donner Summit
Oilfield

I am a 38 year old Native American Indian woman truck driver. I have been driving for the past 15 years. I love driving trucks. I raised my daughter in a truck.

I started out on flatbed running 48 and Canada, then went to hauling ore in the mines of Nevada and then moved on to hauling tanker loads and cattle OTR for a company out of Idaho. I was also given the opportunity to dispatch and manage the office.

When I went to work in Idaho I was started at less pay than the male drivers. It remained that way for a long time until I proved myself. I was just glad to have been given the opportunity to get my foot in the door.

I felt cheated when I realized that I was being paid less. I dispatched, drove a truck when shorthanded, did payroll, and fuel taxes.

In doing that job it gave me a great understanding of the trucking industry.

While I drove for the flatbed company in Montana, I learned fast how the dispatchers lied to drivers. I swore I would never be that kind of dispatcher. I was always honest and fair with the drivers when I was a dispatcher.

I lost interest for dispatching when i was told to take away incentives and layover pay from the drivers. I quit my job as a dispatcher and got back into a truck where I was happier.

I am proud to say that it took 3 people to replace me after I left that job.

I worked long hard hours and was away from home a lot which caused my marriage to suffer. After the divorce i needed a new start and wanted to make more money to take care of my daughter and I.

So I came to Oklahoma and hired on with a company hauling water and mud in the oilfields. The hours are long and hard at times but it is all very rewarding.

Of course its common sense not to dress like a skank out here. Throughout my years in trucking, I have seen a few women who just couldn't work around men. They were flirtatious, couldn't handle the job, and were looking for love or sexual gratification from other male drivers.

In my opinion it is a bad decision to have any kind of sexual relations with a man you have to work with. That is where respect for a woman is lost. When I work for a company I look at all the male drivers as family not as a possible boyfriend or fling.

Fraternization always leads to bad feelings and loss of a good job. I have seen companies get sued by females for it. That is part of the reason some companies won't hire women or don't take women seriously and we have to prove ourselves.

And yes the CB is a necessary evil! But you must realize boys will be boys! Some of the time they will let you know whats going on ahead of you or give you directions! Or they will be talking trash or telling them good ole trucker tales!

That's what the power knob on your CB is for, to turn it off if you don't feel like hearing it!

I have met a lot of good people out on the road and in the oilfields many are friends for life. But there are also bad people out there too, that's where intuition pays off.

A woman just has to be patient, willing to take the good with the bad, pull her own weight, never be afraid of getting dirty, be self motivated, and once you have proven your abilities you are in like flynn!

Respect is something that has to be earned in the trucking industry but once you have earned it from the people who matter, it is a great honor.

I am proud to say that I have earned my respect as a woman driver and that I have been hired on at top pay at the last jobs I have worked at.

Trucking is mentally challenging, long hours, and a lot of time alone. As long as you work safe and smart it makes life easier for you and others on the road. Show them men that you can handle the job just as well as them.

There are times when men need help too! We are all human i have seen many men that couldn't handle the job, it all depends on the person.

There are many good women drivers out there.

To all women drivers, keep on trucking and be safe out there! You are all awesome!:)

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Nov 03, 2013
Doing Research About Truckers NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you. I enjoyed your insightful comments, and it helped me to better understand the trucking world and how women can acclimate to it.

Apr 25, 2013
RIGHT ON GIRL!!! NEW
by: Ms.kim

I must say as a female tanker myself, you are right on the money when you talk about how to gain and earn respect in the trucking world, not only is it hard being a woman. I've been driving 8 years and I also worked in the water and mud hauling in western Oklahoma. I now haul gasoline in Tulsa. I know what it's like dealing with some men that hit on you or say something sexual. I just let it go and do my job. Just like you said, if you don't like what you hear, just turn the knob on CB, 10-4 rodnocker!!! YOU GO GIRL!

May 23, 2012
Lady Trucker Doing it Big NEW
by: Hervy

Great job Gigi,

Sounds like you have everything pretty well figured out for yourself. I think what you have written will help a lot of people, especially women who are thinking of driving and those who are driving about how it is best to present themselves as a trucker.

Not only that, you have modeled the attitude and mindset that will carry them well in life beyond trucking.

Even how you continued to work at the company absorbing knowledge despite the unfair treatment teaches an import lesson for those who pays attention.

The lesson: Look at the big picture, maybe it's worth enduring the situation in order to benefit more from it in other ways. Once you gain the knowledge from the ordeal, then make a move

So, just wanted to thank you for sharing. Much more about the post you shared was powerful but I think people will get what they are supposed to get.

One of the most awesome ladies in trucking in my opinion is you.

Happy trucking!

Hervy


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