“It was a personal accomplishment. I’m one of the four females at J.B. Hunt to hit two million miles,” Intermodal driver Jackie said proudly. “It’s exciting! I like letting women know that if they put their mind to it, they can do it. We only limit ourselves.”
Jackie’s first safe mile at J.B. Hunt began 25 years ago as an over the road team driver with her husband. After a number of years, they decided to move into driving local intermodal as solo drivers. “I was nervous at first on my own, but then I realized, I don’t have to have someone to help me. It’s nice to know that you can do it on your own,” she said. “My biggest obstacle can be from men saying you can’t do that and when you do it, they end up saying that you do it better than some men.”
Reaching two million safe miles was a career milestone Jackie was confident that she’d achieve. “I worked really hard at being a safe driver. I’d keep going from my truck to my car. I like to practice safe driving,” she said. “The Smith System works!”
Jackie is excited to represent safe women drivers at the next Million Mile Celebration at J.B. Hunt corporate and plans on returning when she reaches three million safe miles. “I’m looking forward to seeing Lowell. I’ve been working for J.B. Hunt for 25 years and never been there,” she said. “Three million safe miles is my next goal. Go to work, be safe, go home and start all over again. One day at a time… It’ll be almost 40 years, then time to retire.”
Although Jackie has invested in a lot of road time to reach millions of safe miles, it wasn’t at the expense of her personal time at home with her family. “If I need time off, right away, I can get time off. They are very flexible,” she said. “When the kids were younger, I could do all the fun things moms get to do. I had a Monday through Friday schedule with the weekends off.”
With over 27 years of experience being a truck driver, Jackie offers advice to other women interested in transportation. “Talk to people and learn what to expect from the industry and how they got started and ask as many questions as you can,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to try. It’s okay to make mistakes. You don’t start doing everything right. You learn from your mistakes.”
Jackie continues to see an increase of women choosing viable and fulfilling careers in truck driving. “The more I’m in it, the more women I see in it. It’s pretty cool,” she said.
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Interested in driving with J.B. Hunt and reaching your own million mile milestones? Call 1-877-791-9458 to speak to a placement specialist about over the road, regional or local truck driving jobs or contract opportunities or fill out a short form online.