Women in Trucking Spotlight: Victoria Henry

Dillon Transportation's Women In Trucking Spotlight interview this week was with Mrs. Victoria Henry. She has been a driver with Dillon for over 7 years, but has many more years of truck driving experience and wisdom under her belt. She is just as competent and capable of driving as any man. Here is some of her story:

How long have you been in the trucking industry? What got you started in trucking? I have been driving a truck since 1997.  I became a truck driver when the sewing factory I worked for closed and took its operation overseas.  One quarter of the town was out of work and the state declared an economic emergency for Coleman Oklahoma.  All former employees were made eligible to be trained in a new career with state assistance.  My job counselor recommended trucking and assured me if I chose trucking I would always have work.  I went to a truck driving school and was the only woman in the class.  When I completed my training I had a class A CDL with endorsements and a job.

What are some of the "perks" of being a woman in the trucking industry?  Some of the perks to being a truck driver are job security, meeting new people, traveling to new places and having new experiences.

Are there any challenges you have faced, and how did you navigate those?  As a woman in trucking there are definitely some challenges. Personal safety is a concern. A woman should always be aware of her surroundings and park in the best well lit areas available. Keep doors locked, carry a flashlight and a phone. I also found restrooms at warehouses to be a challenge and usually have someone watch the door while using the men’s restroom as that was the only available restroom.

What advice do you have to offer for other women already in the trucking industry or interested in joining? I think respect was hard won for women in trucking and because of the strong women that came before me things have certainly improved.  I believe how you conduct yourself and showing knowledge of your job goes a long way to earning respect. I firmly believe that any woman in trucking should be knowledgeable and capable of all aspects of the job. That doesn’t mean that a situation won’t arise when you need assistance. At times everyone will need help. However, a woman driver should be competent and confident in her skills.

What has your truck driving career looked like? I have been a long-haul team driver and a regional solo driver as well as a solo local driver. I have operated both standard and automatics as well as day cab and conventional trucks. I have pulled 53’ dry vans, doubles, refrigerated and pneumatic tankers.  Each job required learning different techniques and it is important to be aware and open to learning and adapting to the requirements of each job.

How has driving here at Dillon impacted you? I have been a team driver with my husband at Dillon for seven years and I would recommend this job to anyone! I love working here and have met and befriended more women in the trucking industry working at Dillon than any other company I’ve worked with before.  From drivers to the office most trucking companies employ men.  Here at Dillon I’ve seen women drivers, women in the shop, and women in the office. I feel fully supported as an employee.  Working here has been a great experience and I am very happy here at Dillon.