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Bobbi standing in front of a DB Schenker truck

Meet Truck Instructor Bobbi: “They told me, women don‘t drive trucks... Well, here I am.”

Bobbi is Orientation Instructor for our new truck drivers at Waxahachie branch in Texas, USA. She is with USA Truck for about eight years. Bobbi knows how to handle a 40-ton truck and has driven more than 750,000 miles in her life. She has the job of her dreams. However, Bobbi had to take some side roads to get there. Let us see how she manages to overcome prejudice and enjoys the beauty of her job. Smiling and breathing may be part of the answer.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do - anything is possible.

Bobbi standing at the back of a DB Schenker truck

Learn more about Bobbi's journey

What is your task? Can you describe a typical working day?
I have the pleasure of being the first face to face interaction the drivers have when coming into the company. I have a class of up to twenty students and can give my insight into the company and my experience in the industry. I have done almost everything USA Truck has and am happy to share my experience. Also, I am the test dummy for some of the new technologies we use. Although my title is orientation instructor, I am still a driver from head to toe. Perhaps, a driver+: driver, teacher, companion.

We heard that you have had a unique career path. Could you talk to us about it?
Before anything else, I have always been a mom first. I love to be able to go to family functions and any event my kids may have going on. It has not been easy but with some of the best direct managers and planners I have worked with during my time as a driver, I did not miss a beat. My younger son has been playing football for the last six years. My direct managers have gotten me through the house during these years if it was only to have a ten-hour break so I could show up to the games. My youngest daughter has been in choir for three years and they got me loads where I could stop for a couple of hours, so I could go to the concert, and afterwards I kept it moving with my load.

Prior to all of that I was in the retail industry as shift supervisor for fourteen years, but I have always been a driver at heart. Whenever we took a trip that involved driving, I was always the driver for my family. Driving is therapy for me. It allows me to clear my mind. I am just enjoying my surroundings - from breathtaking sunsets to snowcapped mountains. It is so peaceful when you can enjoy nature and all its beauty.

Now in 2022, I have transitioned to being an orientation instructor, because I needed to be home more to take care of my mother and my kids Tre’von, TaeShon, the twins Tamir and Tamya and also my grandson Aceton.

Bobbi standing in front of a DB Schenker truck

Why did you take this curvy road? Was it worth it?
At the beginning of my career, people told me that women don’t drive trucks. They could not handle them. So, I worked in retail. In 2012, an old classmate saw my passion for trucks and encouraged me to start afresh with driving. I have been in love with it ever since. Well, this is not simply a job, this is a lifestyle. I love to drive the open road. Yes, as truck drivers we make sacrifices. We are away from home and our families for long periods of time. We don’t make every holiday or every birthday. However, our families love us and understand that we actually do it for them. This job allows me to be able to not only provide a better life for my family, but I can also do what I love and get paid for it. For me, this is the perfect lifestyle.

What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them? What would be your advice to other women entering this industry?
Well, I have a  kind of daily routine challenge. It is when I back into a dock. A simple thing for me but I am always having a small warehouse coming out to watch. I take my time, relax and put it the hole. I get out of my truck with a smile on my face and they always say “Wow, you back in better than a lot of the men that come here”. This is cool. I like my daily mission for equality by showcasing that no matter what gender you are, just go for your dream job. Don’t be intimidated by being in a male dominated industry. Just take your time and enjoy the journey. You can do it just as good as your male counterparts. In everyday driving when men first see me, they come over and try to offer advice. Once they ask how long I have been driving, usually they will say oh ok, you already know that. Even now as an instructor, I had one gentleman try and help me back while doing a backing demo for the class. He had over ten years of experience but had not driven in a year. I took a deep breath and told him I do this every week - I don’t need your help. Once he got in the truck to do his backing, he quickly found out it was a little more difficult than he thought. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do - anything is possible.