What About the Sisterhood in Trucking?

by Deb LaBree, on Apr 23, 2024 6:39:27 PM


Over the last few years, I’ve read on social media how the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of trucking is long gone and how much trucking has changed.

Deb-Labree-2023-headshot-300x300If a driver was broke down on the side of the road, another driver would pull over and help that driver fix whatever the problem was. All you needed was some duct tape and zip ties and that would keep the truck running long enough for the driver to get the truck repaired. Now we have trucks that are computerized and company/insurance rules that prohibit drivers from helping one another on the side of the road. It’s all about safety. Our carrier calls it the “sitting duck” rule and if you violate that rule you could have your partnership terminated. 

Yesterday, our truck, a 2022 Volvo VNL 860 threw a code and remote diagnostic tried their best to fix remotely. Instead, things got worse. The good news, we made it to our home dealer, Tri State Truck Center of Joplin, Missouri. The bad news was we needed a new turbo. The good news it was under warranty. The bad news was there was none to be found and it could be weeks before we could get one. 

If you’re an owner operator, you know how volatile the rates are. Freight is gone off the load boards seconds after being posted. Supply chain is having very serious problems. What were we going to do? We had just been off several weeks. We made an investment purchase for our trailer, a lift gate, and we were on the way home from the install when the truck threw the code.


I sat across the desk from Joy, a friend from Tri State and a miracle worker in all things warranty, and I said, “this is going to hurt us this time.” She is my friend and she was there for me. Joy reached out to contacts and AJ, the parts manager, was reaching out to all his contacts to find us a turbo. They kept up the search for us and were trying everything they could think of to find us this part. We couldn’t ask for a better dealer!

We went home and we were out of ideas.

I got on Facebook to post on the Volvo Truck Masters page. I asked if anyone knew where we could get a turbo. Then I waited in hopes of a helpful answer. 

While scrolling my newsfeed, my friend Judy had made a post and I commented about the situation we were in. She immediately sprang into action. She tagged all our friends and people she knew that have Volvos and within minutes, my phone started blowing up. 

The Sisterhood was in action!

Friends called, text, and messaged us for our VIN info along with a part number. Our friends were calling their home dealerships and asking if they could PLEASE help friends in need of this part. I opened the Messenger app to find messages from 2 people on the Volvo Truck Masters page that had leads on turbos and one, as it turned out, was from a Volvo dealership in Mobile, Alabama. Josh from Capital Volvo Truck & Trailer reached out and said their dealership had what we needed. He was gracious and kind. Some parts are hard to get and was offering us one of theirs. 

Meanwhile, my husband Del, was calling another friend, Steve, who had connections in Texas. One thing led to another and before noon, we had a turbo!!

The Sisterhood AND brotherhood is alive and well! 

The trucking community from dealers, to friends that are owners, to others on social media came together to help us. We are so grateful to so many and had no idea how quickly this problem from yesterday would be resolved and be a blessing today. 

This is trucking.

This is the Sisterhood and Brotherhood. 

Trucking is about relationships. We can’t do this alone. Our dealership is a partner in our business. Tri State has kept us running and squeezed us in when we didn’t have an appointment. Our fellow owner operator friends are there to be a voice in the dark, to encourage one another, toss ideas and share business dreams. We celebrate successes and cheer each other on. 

I am very proud to be a part of the best Sisterhood!

A-Woman-Trucker-logoThis article was originally published on Deb LaBree's site, A Woman Trucker. Learn More

Deb LaBree is an independent owner-operator of Castle Transport LLC leased to Landstar.

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