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Helpmates: The Unsung Women In Trucking

We often hear of women who drive, fix, or manage trucks, however, there is a segment that is rarely mentioned, and at times is looked down upon. These are the wives and girlfriends who ride with their partners, but do not drive. Helpmates are a valuable part of trucking. They keep their driver company, assist in a hundred ways on the truck, and sometimes get involved in the trucking industry outside of the truck.

Colemans

Lynn & Rebecca Coleman

Rebecca Coleman met and married Lynn Coleman several years ago, he was an owner operator pulling flatbed with his own authority. Rebecca joined him on the truck as a rider to be with him all of the time, though she had no desire to drive. She had prior trucking company office experience so understood trucking. She helped Lynn with finding loads, tarping, load securement, navigating, and some of the paperwork. Working with Lynn, she helped keep the truck spotless and well maintained. Rebecca says “I really liked helping Lynn and being able to be with him to see the country. I think the best help was in writing down state line mileages so he did not have to take his eyes from the road.” The Colemans have recently retired from the road and now Rebecca helps Lynn with his new work … metal working.

A helpmate that saw a problem and helped find a way to solve it is Kari Fisher, who rides with her flatbed owner-operator husband Lee. Kari, of course, does all the usual things a helpmate does … helps with loading and unloading, the paperwork, navigating and keeping the truck neat. However, a time after she started riding, she kept hearing of truckers who went missing and the difficulties there was in finding them. Working with some others, both helpmates and drivers, Kari founded the Missing Truck Driver Alert Network (MTDAN) on Facebook with over 55,000 members.

Fishers

Lee & Kari Fisher

The Missing Truck Driver Alert Network has a broad contact base throughout the country using text alerts, social media, and contacts with law enforcement. When a driver is reported missing by a company or family member, MTDAN goes to work on verifying details, compiling a flyer, and getting the word out so people may start looking. Many drivers have been found through the Missing Truck Driver Alert Network. While their goal is to quickly find drivers alive and well, sadly that is often not the case.

To report a missing driver, please call 855-MY MTDAN or 855-696-8326 and someone will return your call. Or on your cell phone **MTDAN (**68326).

As we can see, the women who ride are a valuable asset to their drivers, and yes, to the trucking industry as a whole. They deserve recognition for the hard work they do in the truck, and outside of it in many cases, without pay from any company. They are as much part of Women In Trucking as I am and have earned a few notes of music for themselves.

 

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