We often have the chance to interview a truck driving duo of two men, but rarely do we have the opportunity to get the insight of a female driving team. We recently conducted a phone interview with PAM Transport team driver Stephenie Cross. Stephenie and her co-driver Tina graduated from truck driving school in March of this year and have been driving over the road with PAM Transport since.
Let's dive right in and see what Stephenie had to say about life on the road with PAM Transport!
Q: Why did you get into truck driving?
A: To see the countryside and make some good money.
Q: What were you doing before you decided to become a truck driver?
A: I was a manager at Home Depot.
Q: What’s the coolest place you guys have traveled to so far?
A: San Diego!
Q: How do you like PAM Transport?
A: I like it pretty well. They're keeping me busy.
Q: How many miles a week are you guys averaging?
A: Anywhere from about 3,000 to 4,000 a week.
Q: How do you like the team aspect of PAM Transport?
A: I like it! my co-driver's doing good and we're working really well together.
Q: What do you like most about team driving?
A: The fact that we can keep the truck moving and I can make money while I'm sleeping! It's kind of a double-edged sword though, because you don't get a lot of downtime.
Q: What are some of the pros and cons of team driving?
A: A con is trying to sleep while the truck is moving. But you eventually get used to the way your co-driver drives and you can sleep better. That's pretty much the only thing though, trying to get sleep while your partner's driving.
Q: Do you have any tips on sleeping well over the road?
A: Sleep with ear plugs and close the curtains. That's about the only thing that's helped us out.
Q: Do you prefer driving the daytime or nighttime shift and how do you decide who will drive which?
A: My co-driver likes driving during the day and I like driving at night so we just trade off. It was easy to decide and works well for us since we each have our preferences.
Q: Did you have any difficulties adjusting to the small space you have to share with your co-driver?
A: No...we make do. It's not too hard, we just move stuff around and organize the truck as best as we can.
Q: Do you have any tips for keeping your energy up on the road?
A: I don't have any problems staying awake, really. I take breaks from driving probably every 2 or 3 hours. I get coffee and walk into a truck stop. It's pretty much about staying active and keeping your mind going.
Q: Do you find it hard to stay healthy on the road?
A: Yeah, ha, that's another thing -- the tendency to eat bad food. You eventually get tired of fast food.
Q: So what do you do to try and keep somewhat healthy on the road?
A: We try to choose healthier items like chicken, sandwiches, and salads. Stuff like that.
Q: What about making pitstops at Walmart to pick up healthier options that you can keep in your truck?
A: Yeah, we're going to buy a fridge next week so we can keep cottage cheese, fruits, veggies, and stuff like that in the truck with us.
Q: What and how much do you recommend that students bring with them when they go over the road with their company trainer?
A: Well, the trainer will have the truck set up already so everything you need is on the truck, as far as tools of the trade, so to speak. I had a hard time getting home time even after I came home from my trainer truck. They were trying to send me out and I didn't have any of the tools I needed on my truck to be able to actually do the job. As far as how much clothing -- about 2 weeks' worth when you're on your own, but with a trainer you probably only need about one week's worth.
Q: What do you want to do with your truck driving career in the future?
A: I'm planning on staying with PAM Transport. As far as if I want to remain actually driving, I'm not sure. I haven't really explored all those options yet.
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