Desiree Wood

Desiree Wood

Truckers get paid by the mile. “Downtime” hurts. Desiree Wood loves delivering things people need. Medical supplies. Perrier.  Rolls of newsprint (“I never thought about where paper comes from or where it gets made”). But then: the loading and unloading. Hauling sugar 50 miles should be an “easy” $300. “I ended up being there for six hours,” she said. “Unpaid.” Wood is “a rolling stone” who loves driving through the desert in her white Kenworth T-680, listening to audiobooks. Just 6.6 percent of truck drivers are women. Which means being trained mostly by men in unsupervised settings. Sexual harassment is barely brought up in orientation, said Wood. But it happens. “Here’s a scenario: You are sitting in the passenger seat and your trainer is sitting in the driver’s seat. He pulls his penis out and says, ‘Do you want to suck my dick? I’ll pass you.’” Such situations got Wood blogging, then starting Real Women In Trucking, a non-profit pushing for reforms in training. It’s also a network for women who face assault – or need mechanical help. “The other day I had a battery cover that was flying off and the dealership wanted $300 to replace it,” she said. “I rang this gal up who is the female MacGyver.”

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