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Trucker Desiree Update -“Who is Trucker Desiree?”

Feb
6,
2009
5

For those who have followed “A Day In the Life of a Lady Trucker“, here is an update of Desiree’s recent adventures:

Desiree is an OTR Driver who not only enjoys driving, but enjoys helping cdl students and new CDL drivers overcome obstacles every chance she gets, and she does . . . a lot!  She is an advocate for truck driver training safety, the fair treatment of students by their trainers, women in trucking, and Green Trucking . . . but NOT at the expense of the Owner Operators, which appears to be the case these days.

Desiree will the guest on Allen’s Blog Talk Radio Show on Sunday February 22, 2009 at 6pm EST discussing: “The Harrassment of Women CDL Students and Drivers Within Trucking Companies” and also the Controversial “CARB” ( California Air Resources Board) Topic, which has many,  especially owner operators,  quite disturbed to say the least.

TruckerDesiree ( as she is known ) has become quite popular with many groups as she makes her stand for truckers everywhere.

She is quickly becoming “a voice for many” as she is frequently contacted by magazines, news networks, and organizational groups desiring her input, opinions and support.  Here is a page from her Facebook account which will give you an idea of “Who is Trucker Desiree” and what she wants to accomplish:

Trucker Desiree : California is where I was born & raised.  I am of a Family of Migrant Field Workers who came to California before the Freeways. I grew up at the beaches in Venice, Oxnard, Malibu, Arcata, Trinidad and Carlsbad as a child of the Welfare System.”

“After a life of struggles as a Single Mother, I am now an “Over the Road” Trucker.I fully understand where the miscommunication lies between Activists, Environmentalists & Truckers because I have lived on both sides of the argument and I have an Idea that can help.I am New to Trucking and I quickly learned to not tell people I was from California because of the manner Truckers are looked upon in my home state.”

“Similar to the way I conceal I am Mexican as I travel across the U.S. as a Trucker to areas that Mexicans are also misunderstood. The Geography of my home state isolates population centers from understanding that Industry requires dirty stinking trucks that work 24/7 to move sensitive high dollar freight from the Ports & Agriculture from rural areas of the State.”

“Trucking is a detail oriented job that requires much more than driving skill. Good planning to move freight out of California in Particular, makes this State… the least desired State to work in as a Trucker. Mostly because California targets Truckers without regard to how difficult this job is and what they do for California Industry.”

“California has the worst infrastructure I have seen since I became a Trucker.  No Parking is available to accommodate sleepy drivers, especially in areas where Freight must be shipped from. The transit time to move freight out of the state at the Truck speed of 55 mph thru the traffic centers of Southern California & geographic locations in Central California affect a driver’s ability to NOT violate Federal “Hours of Service”. Therefore, California places Truck Drivers at risk by NOT providing them adequate space to rest, forcing them to continue to drive out of the state in many cases to get to “Friendlier States” where they can sleep safely.”

“Sleeping safely includes Idling because currently no other system in California has other options for drivers to sleep properly & have temperature controls in their cabs. A safe driver is well rested, not roasting or freezing which is the case now because Idling laws do not take into account that Truckers live in their Trucks & must congregate where shippers are located for proper planning to move sensitive California Freight out of the State.”

“Truckers are targets for Hijackers, especially in this economic downturn. Much of the Freight from the Port is extremely High-Dollar that must not stop for at least 200 miles from the time the trailer is sealed at the shipper.”

“Freight moves 24/7 so a driver must be on call to drive 24/7, this is why many trucking companies have Terminals in the Long Beach Port & other Port Areas. Owner-Operators do not have anywhere to go but wherever they can to sit and wait. Both Company Drivers & O/O must idle to rest & be ready at a moment’s notice.

“Many times, arriving at the shipper, the load is not ready. Sometimes I have waited 14 hours, my entire Legal shift for a load at the shipper. I am only paid to drive, nothing else. Legally, I cannot drive. I must be in the sleeper 10 hours to go back on duty, but with no temperature control?  Even if I am in the sleeper in the shippers dock during that 14 hours I cannot have temperature control to sleep properly under California’s current policy. When I am waiting at my company terminal in Long Beach, Pomona, French Camp waiting for a load, sometimes for days on end I have nowhere to go, I live in my truck to move freight.”

“Many O/O in this down turnuing economy do as well. California needs to implement in their Infrastructure plans a “Green” solution for Truckers that everyone can afford, not just targeted at “Mom & Pop” Truckers who have only their Truck in the whole World where they live & work to move California’s Freight out of the State.”

“Shippers, Receivers, Big Trucking Companies who have Terminals in California & the State of California need to combine forces to reduce emissions.The burden on O/O is too great, they are being singled out because they have just that “Old Truck” that is their life’s blood. As a Student Trucker I am appalled to see companies charging drivers to Idle in Freezing Winter Temperatures at a price higher than Diesel per gallon & the turning around and accepting the “Smart Way EPA Award.”

“A true Smart Way would be to require innovation to combine existing technologies in Trucking & provide adequate space for Truckers to park & rest.This includes at Shipper/Receiver facilities, Terminals & areas for O/O. Companies that manufactuer APU units to reduce idling have struggled in our downturned economy. Truckers who have purchased expensive APU units to comply with emissions regulations now have an additional concern that they cannot get warranty or repairs done.”

“Idleaire, the company that is in use at some Travel Plazas, is not a viable option for mass appeal because technology has advanced to the point that their product is quickly becoming obsolete.”

“Currently, Wal-Mart has a no idle policy on at their Distribution Centers.  For Wal-Mart Tractors, a unit is provided in the bobtail parking section that keeps the engine block from freezing in Winter Temperatures. This unit currently does not provide temperature control for the driver, only for the engine. Some Tractors come equipped with bunk heaters, but many Big Trucking Companies buy only the Standard Model for their Fleets that do not have bunk heaters.”

“In California, Temperatures do not fall low enough to jeopardize the engine block, but they do get too cold & too hot for the driver to rest properly without temperature Control. RV’s can plug into electric power, Ships in port can receive shore power, but nothing is available to Truck Drivers to accommodate their comfort for safe driving to move freight from the State of California.”

“My Idea is a unit of similar size which is currently used by Wal-Mart to provide warmth to the engine block.  It is less cumbersome than Idleaire.


It would not pump in foreign air like IdleAire which is an added security risk, because of Hijackers & Criminals who target Truckers and rob them. This unit could run off electricity but could be developed into a solar unit, perhaps wind power as well.”

“The Long Beach “Green Port” Project is the Ideal place to implement such a prototype because of the forward thinking innovation they are currently using to modernize this urban center.  I am concerned when I read the Conference entitled “Faster-Freight, Clearner Air” has no VIP Speakers who are Truckers who live this life.  I only see VIP Speakers who sell Trucks.”  http://www.ffcacalifornia.com

“When I watched the Port of Long Beach Webcast about The Green Port Project,  I heard about Innovations for Ships but not for Trucks that move the freight and fight Southern California Traffic to do it. To solve this problem, Californians need to understand Industry of this State is conducted away from the beach and the beautiful scenery.  Its a dirty, stinky business that must be done. Who wants to put some plasma screens in their mercedes and drive them across the country?   Anyone?”    — TruckerDesiree@gmail.com

https://www.askthetrucker.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-lady-trucker/

http://www.twitter.com/TruckerDesiree

© 2009 – 2018, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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5 Responses to Trucker Desiree Update -“Who is Trucker Desiree?”. - Post a Comment

  1. Starla Du-Bose

    I have just recently read some of “Trucker Desiree’s” blogs, and have several problems. I have been driving 15 years and find her claims outrageous! Sexual harassment- though it does exist regardless of where you work, take control of it! If you can show that you are more capable of doing a job than a man, you won’t have a problem. Next we women have been doing this job far longer than “Trucker Desiree” and have gotten no recognition, yet we don’t complain about it. We simply look at our personal accomplishments and know we are capable. “Trucker Desiree” is NOT the first single mother in trucking! As a single mother it outrages me that someone wants to use this as an accomplishment?? I love my children (two that I have raised on my own), yet I don’t use them to tout any accomplishments on my behalf. Desiree needs to remember, that until recently, women were a rarity in this industry, and in many ways still are. And as far as being from Cali, well, so am I!! And I’ll tell anyone who bothers to ask! Why hide who you are Desiree? You are conflicting your messsage. I never discouraged my students from displaying who they were.

  2. TruckerDesiree

    Starla

    Some of the KEYWORDS in your comment are “Recently”, “Some” & “Claims of Sexual Harassment”

    This student trucker story was not intended to become quite so popular but it was meant to show the “Big Picture” to those who can see past me.

    Ironically a few Professional Drivers do not see the “Big Picture” in this story because they cannot get past looking at me.

    This story is NOT about me, or Sexual Harassment. It is not about Single Mothers OR California.

    It is about a Government Funded Indentured Servitude Operation called the Student Trucker Industry where people of all genders are misled to provide a cheap labor force for a few unscrupulous companies who target recruitment in very direct areas.

    These are areas where unemployment is very high and the long-term of that student trucker is unlikely because of the very same demographic in which the student was recruited.

    This student trucker story is about improper use of government funding for a multiple of issues in trucking that only an investigative person, legal team and organizations would note immediately and understand what I am saying to them in this story.

    Unfortunately, there are “Some” who see only me and cannot see past that.

    Were it not for the online stalking that occurred shortly after I began
    writing the story from someone within the organization called “Women in Trucking”, and the active attempts by Ellen Voie herself to make my story disappear ( removed the thread I started), no one would have ever heard any more from me. I would have never been interviewed further, nor would I have come on Twitter. I am very happy to drive all day and not speak to anyone by phone or communicate to the outside world.

    A little known factoid is that a Hollywood Actor called both my company’s VP of Operations and “Women in Trucking” to let them understand my intention was to go public with this story because I continued to meet Student Females incurring the exact same treatment long after I had emerged from what I experienced. The result of those 2 calls were that he “Got it” and over at “Women in Trucking” they Did Not “Get It”.

    Following those two consecutive calls I was routed into my terminal and a formal investigation document was taken from me for the first time with a trackable HR number , shortly afterterwards that VP of Operations resigned, there are many “Rumors” surrounding this event there has been a number of other items that are not public. There are many good people at my company who had no idea and still have no idea that these practices are taking
    place.

    WIT has conducted an active cover up with not only me, but has “tipped off” to other organizations when entities have sought her out for leadership as they discovered improper conduct occurring in the industry of long haul trucking. This is not a gender specific matter, this is a cover up. I cannot elaborate but they is MORE to come that has not been Exposed on the “Women in Trucking” saga.

    I personally resent people and organizations utilizing religion to sell
    their product when they conduct themselves publicly to the contrary.

    It is common knowledge now that I work for a large Christian Company who does some very UN Christian things to Student Truckers who have little means to fight back and are seemingly targeted for recruitment in areas where this is almost certain.

    In the 3rd installment on the Dan Rather Report “Mind Your Loan Business” which was also born of clues in my student trucker story, a school with a most notorious reputation is featured.

    I spoke to Tom Hansen, formerly of CRST’s Safety Dept. about this schools reputation and he stated to me “Oh, they are the Worst; we stopped taking student from there…” Still, my company does still recruit from there which in turn puts our good trainers at risk and the motoring public.

    The students are at a disadvantage because they are desperate for work in an area with enormous unemployment and looking for a chance to change their situation. 15 years ago when you became a Truck Driver was this the case?

    Are you knowledgeable about how HR Departments operate as a “Debriefing” system and NOT on behalf of Employees?

    Do you understand the system of delaying getting fighting Co-Drivers off trucks which is frequent NOW and in fact led to a murder in Buffalo just a week ago?

    What Organizations like “Women in Trucking” are doing is encouraging Recruitment with a disregard for safety to Women.

    In fact, a Woman who contacted me as a result of the Dan Rather Reports and this Student Trucker Story was recruited to Schneider. She was residing in a Domestic Violence Shelter at the time she was encouraged to become a Truck Driver. The thought was that her Husband who had tried to kill her several times would not be able to find her if she was somewhere different every day.

    The day before her school started her husband located her and again tried to kill her. She attended school with bruises all over her body that were visible up on her neck and face, Still she passed and was recruited to Schneider.

    She was put on a truck with a trainer who had already 5 complaints against him. He was a sexual predator & so was his Wife. Needles to say without more of the gruesome details of which she had to endure she encountered more trauma and is now unemployed with a ruined DAC. Why are Women being targeted for recruitment is there is no personal safety training & more importantly NO SUPPORT SYSTEM from the Company when the Student or Co-Driver wants OFF THE TRUCK RIGHT NOW!!!!!

    She found me like many other Women who have nowhere to turn but LOVE Trucking. She wants to drive but she was starved out and her DAC Ruined.This story is recurrent.

    I still work at the same company and oddly a Woman Manager who I met late into my story asked me a few weeks ago, “Did they (meaning our HR Department) ever call that Casino and ask about “Mag” leaving Drunk with the Truck”? The answer is “NO, they did not”. Did you catch that when you read “Some” of my posts?

    Some of the Ignorance about my story is really a part of the story itself.
    Women who spend more time trying to label each other and categorize when in fact poor recruiting from greed is part of the problem and straight out corruption.

    I’ve had more lives than a cat so trying to figure out what I did wrong is the first fatal error people make when reading “Some” of my posts.

    One especially ignorant person began attacking “Hope Rivenburg” the young Widow of Jason Rivenburg one afternoon and trying to somehow attach her to my student trucker story as if she was a female student trucker who had been victimized!

    When it was brought to this trucker’s attention that she misspoke she proceeded to dig herself in deeper and deeper rather than admit she truly did not have all the facts.

    Still, this Woman proceeded to attack Hope Rivenburg for taking to task the Parking Issue for Truckers called “Jason’s Law” named after her Murdered Husband. All this because she stuck her boot in her mouth and her pride would not permit her to see she only knew “SOME’ of the story.

    This Woman claims to be a Christian… This is precisely why I do not like labels. This particular Woman regularly blocks people on Twitter and then rambles on about how the person she is bashing can come talk to her directly. When Hope Rivenburg attempted to do just that she was unable, as were others who tried to “educate her”.

    Now this same Woman has been recruited by Ellen Voie and others on Twitter yet no Big Trucking Industry people have come to Ellen Voie’s aid. See the “Big Picture”?
    The “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” who come here after the story has closed and I have moved onto other projects are sort of like people who have no children giving out parenting advice.

    Actions speak louder than words OR Labels… This story is not about me..

    TruckerDesiree

  3. Desiree

    I wanted to add also that is post is rather obscure & dated to be 1 year old as of tomorrow.
    You do not indicate you have read my student trucker story in its entirety but say you have visited my blog & then located this random post to say I’m hiding myself?
    I’m all over the internet in many more frequently read posts.
    This one is totally out of context with the implications.
    I started a Fan Page for REAL Women Truckers not long ago & its has folks of all genders in & around trucking.
    Perhaps you might like discuss your reality with others & understand a little better we are not all experiencing the same things.
    15 years ago I didn’t need glasses to read a menu or map… Things Change & Social Media is connecting Truckers like never before.
    Desiree

  4. Allen Smith

    I’ve read your comment a few times, and truthfully, I’m not sure what the point of it is…so I’ll do my best to reply.

    I’ll copy and paste your statements, and answer them individually.

    1) “I have just recently read some of “Trucker Desiree’s” blogs, and have several problems I have been driving 15 years and find her claims outrageous! Sexual harassment- though it does exist regardless of where you work, take control of it! If you can show that you are more capable of doing a job than a man, you won’t have a problem.”

    I’m not sure why you didn’t reply on Desiree’s blog where you are referring to the outrageous claims, however, I am happy to address all of this.

    Most of the CLAIMS are from the many women who have come forward, including writing emails to us describing their experiences.
    Yes, sexual harassment does exist in many other work environment, but what you don’t seem to understand is that the trucking profession is different. There are 2 people in a truck isolated from any other person, sometimes for miles and miles. In other professions you have other people usually in the vicinity. SO the claim of ” take control of it” is not a very well thought out reply when you look at things in this perspective. Sometimes you CANT take control of it.

    2)”If you can show that you are more capable of doing a job than a man, you won’t have a problem. Next we women have been doing this job far longer than “Trucker Desiree” and have gotten no recognition, yet we don’t complain about it. We simply look at our personal accomplishments and know we are capable.”

    This statement tells me that you are only addressing women already in trucking. The part of sexual harassment that occurs most often is THE TRAINING PROCESS of a new CDL graduate. These are the people who are most vulnerable” : Isolated, learning to drive, learning a new lifestyle, trying to cope and do a good job. They are at the mercy of the trainer. This is why we have all been very adamant and passionate about exposing the problems of the training arrangements with which many of the companies go by, both for students and trainers. We even had a blog talk radio show that described solutions on how the industry could be made better and “fix” these problems.
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/truthabouttrucking/2009/12/04/truck-driver-training-solutions

    Another very vulnerable group is the “co-driver” arrangement
    Here is another example if 2 people being isolated and at the mercy of the other person. Again, trucking is not like other jobs…YOU CAN BE ISOLATED!

    There needs to be a BETTER system for both TRAINING and Co-DRIVER arrangements.
    We have many ideas, but you’ll have to listen to the replay if you are truly interested.

    The next part of your statement astounded me because it says that there are many drivers who have not received recognition and they’ve been doing it a lot longer.
    I think you’ve missed the mark here…BIG TIME!
    If you have read Desiree’s story, which I don’t think you have, you will see that she overcame her obstacles in training, but was so moved by it, she wanted to expose the way students were treated, SO THAT IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN TO OTHERS!

    Desiree was writing me and telling ME all that was going on and she was very concerned about how the industry was conducting their training and treating their trainees. CDL Shools and Training advice is a major part of what Allen and I focus on and IT WAS I who requested her to write her story on our blog…IN ORDER TO HELP OTHERS!
    Desiree was already over the trial, THIS WAS TO HELP OTHERS.
    Now, the recognition came from the exposure. The problem was that a few people got so caught up in Desiree, they could not, or would not, see the REASON for the story. This is what I have to say to them.
    FORGET DESIREE…WE HAVE A PROBLEM IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY THAT NEEDS TO BE RESOLVED.

    People get recognition when they do things, when they get things done, and mostly when they want to help others who are in need.
    Allen and I help thousands of people through our articles, blog, radio shows, and ebooks. Desiree has chosen to help people too.
    Her involvement in COUNTLESS different projects( other than sexual harassment) to help others is admirable, and frankly if that bothers you, then I believe the problem is within you, not her.
    You see, this is not bragging or desiring recognition for HER OWN ACCOMPLISHMENTS as you put it, but rather the recognition has come from the intense desire to help others…SHE”S VERY VOCAL and GETS NOTICED. That’s how you get people to realize problems and then get them resolved.

    3) ” “Trucker Desiree” is NOT the first single mother in trucking! As a single mother it outrages me that someone wants to use this as an accomplishment?? I love my children (two that I have raised on my own), yet I don’t use them to tout any accomplishments on my behalf. Desiree needs to remember, that until recently, women were a rarity in this industry, and in many ways still are. And as far as being from Cali, well, so am I!! And I’ll tell anyone who bothers to ask! Why hide who you are Desiree? You are conflicting your message. I never discouraged my students from displaying who they were.”

    This is the most confusing part of all. I NEVER felt like Desiree being a single mother was an accomplishment she bragged about. It may have been mentioned, but to be honest, her ability to bring attention to problems within the trucking industry far outshines the fact that she was a single mother. That’s not to say it isn’t an accomplishment, because it is, and anyone who does that should feel very good and proud about themselves.
    I’m not sure what being from California has to do with it all either and I sure never thought she was hiding herself. My Lord, her pictures are all over, she went public on TV, she’s had numerous news interviews….so where’s the hiding? Did I miss something?

    SO here’s the bottom line.
    I met a women a year and a half a go through an email
    She told me how she felt the trucking industry was taking advantage of students and drivers.
    A- recruiting people who didn’t have a clue what they were getting into because of the lies of the recruiters
    B- Sent in a Training Situation with a stranger who many times was either physically or verbally abusive
    c- Realized that the companies DIDN”T CARE this was going on because they would just recruit more students ( don’t forget, there’s many government paid incentives for them)

    Because ALlen and I were already exposing the many scams of the industry, her story supported and even expanded much of our own research.

    Now, I hope you understand that the problems of the trucking industry should be far more important than Desiree getting recognition. She is just a voice “crying in the wilderness,” and being condemned for her efforts…not just from those who are hurting others, but from her own she’s trying to help.

    Boy, this story sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

    DONNA M SMITH

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