Women In Trucking - Alaska Style
by Sharon Bissell Eddy
Alaskan Woman In Trucking
Sharon S. Eddy
Women in Trucking - Alaska
I started trucking in 1999 due to the fact I was
living in Alaska and I didn’t care to be left at
home while my husband went out on the road for 2
and 3 weeks at a time and left me at home in -60 degree temperatures in the interior of Alaska.
So one time when my husband came home, I had
nearly burned the house down and told my husband
that I didn’t like being here alone. With that
statement he enrolled me in truck driving school so I could drive with him.
I loved that so I started my courses and
passed my driving test and have been driving
off and on ever since. This experience gave me a different way to look at life on the road. Every bend in the road and every minute on the road is a living postcard.
I have boxes and boxes of pictures I took while driving. I even hooked up the video
camera on a tripod and video taped some of
our driving on ice pack roads.
I unfortunately have the recollection of our
only wreck on the highway. We were driving
in a three truck convoy on the Cassier Highway
My husband was a seasoned drive with some four million miles under his belt so there was never a concern on my behalf to be afraid to sleep behind his driving.
All this changed as a result of this wreck. After this turning over of our truck, I found it very hard to sleep for some six months after that.
My husband had told me if I wanted to be
safe while I was sleeping that I should sleep
on the drivers side of the bed in the bunk.
So I took his
advise and when we wrecked, I realized then that there was really no safe side of a bunk in the sleeper of a tractor when you are in the middle of a wreck.
I woke up to his voice saying,” I don’t
know where we are going Bob, but we are going
over.” Then all of the sudden I heard the aftermath of leaving the road and miraculously landing gently on our wheels.
God was with us that day. If you had seen where
we landed, you would believe that was true.
My life as a (woman) trucker is a story that can’t
be told in five minutes.
My life has been impacted by that choice I made
to go to school and learn the correct way to drive. One instructor told me something that I learned to be very true. You go to school to learn how to drive by the book, but you will really learn how to drive when you are out there on the road actually driving.
Driving out on the road does give you a lot of power. You can gain the respect you deserve by how you perform out there. Respect out there isn’t something you can demand just by asking for it. It is something you earn.
Like life, driving is full of choices. Choices
you will make that will determine what type of
driver you are going to be.
I will close with this... If you want to drive
a big truck and you are a woman, don’t let anything stand in your way, including yourself
and be wise in the choices you make and you
wont have to tell anyone that you are a good
driver, they will already know it.
Reputation will speak for you.
Sharon S Eddy
Tok, Alaska Wasilla Alaska
Women in Trucking Member