Salena Lettera and The Daily Rant

When Salena Lettera began truck driving, she wrote newsletters back to her family and friends for them to keep up with her adventures on the road. Then, she discovered blogging, and decided that her stories might be worth sharing with more than just her circle.

Fast forward 11 years to today, and “The Daily Rant” contains a wealth of information and entertainment for any level of driver in the industry, new or veteran.

Whether it's about her day on the road or a significant occurrence or interaction, Salena provides her readers with an honest and open look into the life of a trucker.

We recently reached out to her to get to know her a little bit better. Take a look below:

Meet Salena Lettera

  1. Why did you want to become a truck driver?
    1. "I don’t know that I necessarily wanted to become a truck driver. It just sort of happened."
  2. How’d you get your start in the industry?
    1. "I followed a boy. Classic story, right? When I met Ed, he was a truck driver. When he was in town, we’d go on dates. A few months into dating I took him to my cousin’s wedding in New York where he met my entire Italian family. And he survived. It wasn’t long after that trip that I knew I loved him and wanted to be with him more often. It seemed the only way to do that was to go on the road with him, so I did.
    2. I was a passenger in the truck for two years – learning about the industry, observing him driving, watching him do his logs, taking over the paperwork, learning to adapt my cooking and housekeeping skills to a small, moving space, etc. – then I decided to go to school and get my CDL. Twelve years later, we’re still together, a team in every sense of the word."

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  3. What were you doing before truck driving?   
    1. "Immediately before truck driving I was working in an office. The girls I worked with were great, but the job itself was miserable. Before that, most of my time was spent working in the hospitality industry – I grew up working in our family restaurant and after that, worked in several resort hotels. The family restaurant business was great, and the hospitality industry is always interesting and fun, but I really love driving a truck. I wish I had done it sooner."
  4. Have you trucked through all 48 continental states (or more) yet?
    1. "In my first year on the road I trucked through 49 states - every state in the Lower 48, and a trip to Alaska. I obviously haven’t trucked in Hawaii, but I have been there so I now have the entire United States covered! The trip to Alaska was an exciting experience. After we delivered our load in Anchorage, we took two weeks off to explore the area and do a little sightseeing.
    2. It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit again. I’ve also trucked all over Canada – we’ve seen 11 of the 13 Provinces and Territories - including two trips to Newfoundland, which required a ferry trip across the North Atlantic. That was another amazing trip – taking the truck on a ferry for 8 hours, seeing icebergs floating down through “iceberg alley”, and keeping our eyes peeled for the large population of moose that roamed the island. In fact, we were advised not to drive after sunset because of the moose – you don’t want to hit one of those creatures!"
  5. What’s your favorite state to travel through? Why?
    1. "It’s really hard to pick a favorite state but in general I prefer the eastern side of the country. I love my home state of New York because it’s absolutely beautiful, but I’m also a big fan of West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee.  I’m a four seasons girl, so I love seeing Fall foliage and being in snow is a big plus for me."
  6. Favorite music/podcast to listen to out on the road?
    1. "My favorite podcast is '99% Invisible,' created and hosted by Roman Mars. The stories he finds are amazing, it’s incredibly interesting, and I have learned things from it that I can dazzle my friends and family with. My second favorite is Radiolab. I listen to approximately fifteen podcasts regularly which I’ve written about on my blog here and here.
    2. As for music, I have playlists filled with music that ranges from Frank Sinatra to Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney to Etta James, Snoop Dogg to Louis Prima."

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  7. Most interesting/unique/memorable load you’ve ever hauled? When was it and where to?
    1. "I think the most interesting load we hauled was a navy diver command center we took to the base of the bridge collapse in Minnesota. To be able to be that close to a disaster and be part of the team that helped get them what they needed for rescues was pretty cool.
    2. Our most unique load had to be the millions of bees we took cross country. They don’t just fly there on their own, you know!
    3. And to date, or at least in recent memory, the most memorable load had to be the one we did with our best friends – we ran across the country together – hauling equipment from Newport, Oregon to Woods Hole, MA for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). When we got to the delivery end, we got a personal tour of the submarine James Cameron used to descend to the Mariana Trench - the deepest part of the world’s oceans!"
  8. Your favorite part about trucking?
    1. "Definitely the diversity provided by the travel. Different scenery, different weather, different cityscapes. I like not having a set schedule and I enjoy that we have the freedom to choose where we want to go, how much money we want to make, how much time off we take, etc. It’s the true sense of freedom in the workplace."
  9. What’s your reason for starting your blog?
    1. "I started the blog to keep in touch with family and friends. When I first went on the road, everyone wanted to know where I was, what I was seeing, if I liked it, etc. I initially created a 'newsletter' – just a collection of stories and pictures and information – to let those closest to me know what life on the road was like. I did it as a Word document and just emailed it to everyone.
    2. Then, I discovered blogging and thought I should create one of my own and rather than me sending newsletters, if someone was interested, they could come to me. And they did. Now I have readers from all over the world!"
  10. Does it get tough to stay committed and get posts up every day?
    1. "It is sometimes difficult to come up with content – and those are the days you’ll see pictures of our cat. When we’re home for an extended period of time, it’s not always easy to come up with ideas to blog about, same thing when we’re on a semi-regular run going back and forth to the same place. We like to explore when we’re in new places, and when we do it gives me things to blog about – restaurants we’ve eaten at, bicycle trails we’ve ridden, stores we shop at, places we find close to truck parking, scenic landscapes to photograph, etc.
    2. Because it’s 'The Daily Rant' and I’m going into my 11th year of blogging, it’s become like a game of golf, I guess, where the challenge is really with myself to continue to come up with something to write about each day. Sometimes I get behind because I’m on a run where I don’t have time to create a blog post - I have the idea in my head but haven’t written it out yet – but I always catch up at my first opportunity."
  11. One piece of advice you would offer to new or aspiring truck drivers?
    1. "Enjoy what trucking offers. Every job has its challenges. At every job you’ll have good days and bad. But overall, the opportunity trucking presents is unique.
    2. It’s unlike any job I’ve had and I don’t think I’d trade it for anything else – well, unless someone wants to pay me to write for a living, preferably from a cabin in a snowy locale! If you’re a newbie, stick with it until you really get the hang of the system and learn enough about the industry to become comfortable with the initial challenges it presents.
    3. It’s a serious job - you’re responsible for your safety and the safety of those around you and that has to be your first priority - but if you play your cards right and learn the ropes, you can turn this job into a way to see incredible sights. Ultimately, it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle choice."

Pretty awesome stuff from Salena and "The Daily Rant." Make sure to check in with her regularly as she continues telling her epic trucking journey!

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