When I started trucking I had a few goals in mind. One of the first (I promised my dad this) was that I was always going to look like a lady, although there are many, many days that I sure don’t sound like one (I can swear like a trucker, no doubt!). The second was that I was going to be as good as my grandfather, and the third was that I would some day be an owner operator. I have got them all for the most part. But there is always room for improvement!
I grew up in a trucking family and ever since I was little I have loved trucks! My dad helped me write a poem in the 3rd grade about a purple peterbilt. I remember being at the ice rink one winter skating with my girlfriends and counting the gears a big tanker truck was downshifting as he came over the viaduct into town. That was more entertaining than skating even if my girlfriends weren’t interested. My dad and uncles still drive truck along with many of my cousins. It’s in my blood and it didn’t surprise many when I got in a truck and couldn’t stop… And trust me, there were a few that said I’d never make it! Once upon a time I was VERY shy!
Anyway, these goals are probably a bit different than what may come from my male counterparts and some women in trucking alike but I had them none the less. Today I want to touch on the “she” part. I have bad days like everyone else. I will never say I don’t. You will catch me in my little green stroker cap and pulled back hair more than once a week. Living in a truck takes away “comforts of home” like running water to bathe with in the morning like normal 40 hr jobbers. We have to run across parking lots 10 acres long some days, just to hit the showers before daylight if we want to have people see us for what we really are. For me, that would be female… I like to look female. Now, don’t get me wrong as I don’t run around in sundresses and fancy little skirts. Since I’m crawling in and out of trailers, on loading docks that are usually around -20 below, and usually have a blob of grease attached somewhere to me, I’m a jeans gal from the word go, but there would be no mistaking me for female.
My shower routine is pretty quick. You could say I’ve honed it over the years. I can be in and out of a shower room in about a half hour. In that time I can shower, shave, put a bit of make up on, brush my teeth, blow dry my hair and curl said hair. In between all of that, I lotion and throw on deodorant.
So my question is this. With your daily fuel you receive a free daily shower. Why do so many people not use this? Like I said above, I have days where I can’t take the time to shower. I know we have days that are spent unloading/loading or sitting in an undesirable place waiting to find out where we need to go from there. This doesn’t mean you can’t be clean or take care of yourself. And what about all the women (I’m sure I’ll piss a few off here) that look more male than female? Don’t you like looking like a woman? Or my thoughts on this are: Do you think you need to act the part to be in the industry since it is male dominated?
My complaint? Truckers frequent truck stops. Now days truck stops are tourist traps (except for the rare real truck stop) most cater to tourists before truckers but that’s another post. Here’s the thing. I walk into truck stops along with all the tourists, and I’m embarrassed by the dirty, sleazy, unkept truckers (both male and female) that give most people the idea “this is what a trucker is”. Example: Last week I saw a guy in night pants and dirty t shirt walking around the truck stop!! Now really, I’m all for comfort, [in your truck] but outside??? In public??? I’m not that. And I hate being schlepped into that category so get some class people!
Here’s a few pointers for living in a truck and looking clean:
- Carry bulk water with you (You can keep it in your side box)
- Wet wipes come in handy
- You can buy hair powder here (It really works) or make your own!
- Carry extra towels and wash cloths with you (I’ve washed my hair on the side of the road before)
- Get a power inverter (You can blow dry/curl hair, cook, clean truck)