Intermodal drivers Jodi and Cheryl may have followed different paths in life but both reached the same destination: J.B. Hunt.
Jodi first discovered an interest in trucking after a trip across the country and a visit to the library. “I always wanted to live in California… I lived there for three months. I drove all the way there and back, that was the best part!” she said. “I went to the library to research different jobs that let you travel and found a children’s book about trucking. It had an ad for a local truck driving school.”
Jodi attended the nearby driving school and excelled to the top of her class. “I took to it naturally,” she said. She went on to spend a number of years over the road and after having her son, she was ready for a local trucking job that got her home daily. She made her way into J.B. Hunt Intermodal and 19 years later, she’s still at J.B. Hunt and on the same Intermodal account. “People wanna know when I’m going to retire. Never! Five more years until my two million miles,” Jodi said with excitement.
Cheryl decided to pursue truck driving later in life and joined J.B. Hunt almost two years ago. When she retired from a management position at the United States Post Office, she was ready for a local truck driving job where she could work at her own pace and not manage others. Cheryl convinced a truck driver friend to let her ride along one day. She became convinced that she needed to learn the ropes and make driving her next career choice.
When the two drivers first met, Cheryl was rather intimidated by Jodi. “I had been driving for only three months and she was a veteran driver with 20 years. She has a very strong presence,” she said. Cheryl’s anxiety soon passed as Jodi took the new driver under her wing and trained her on delivery routes and customer locations. “She told me if I had any questions or concerns, she’s only a phone call away,” Cheryl explained.
Being the only active women drivers out of almost 40 drivers at their Intermodal account, the two have leaned on each other during challenging times on the road. “Jodi has been someone I can count on,” Cheryl said. “A friendship with Jodi is knowing that there’s another woman who has your back.” “Cheryl has a teenage boy… I know it’s difficult to be a mom and be at every event you want to be at,” Jodi added. “We are Facebook friends, that’s what makes it official!”
This past December, as a military Veteran, Cheryl was offered the opportunity to participate in Wreaths Across America and drive a leg of the route that was destined for Arlington National Cemetery. She found herself relying on Jodi for support. “She helped me stay cool, calm and collected during Wreaths Across America. She was on the phone talking with me and encouraged me to keep going,” she said.
With Jodi’s reassurance, Cheryl conquered any setbacks that arose and transported the wreaths to their next location. “I was really proud of her. She was really nervous about it. She could call me whenever she needed anything. She could lean on me,” Jodi said. “She went and enjoyed herself, she was proud of herself for doing it and we were proud of her for doing it.”
Jodi and Cheryl are eager for more women to take advantage of the various local CDL jobs at J.B. Hunt and become a part of its driving force. “The more women we get involved, the better we are as a company,” Jodi said.
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Interested in working with a company that offers a variety of driving opportunities? Call 1-877-791-9458 to discuss over the road, regional and local truck driving jobs or contract opportunities with J.B. Hunt or fill out a short form online.