“IDK if you want to mention I’m a cancer survivor or not.”
After a long telephone interview Angela Price sent me this message. I was blown away. Angela is a newer truck driver with just over a year of experience. Her road to trucking was definitely not like many the veterans complain about. She did not go from driving a small car to a semi in a short 6-week course at a questionable school.
Life has presented her with enough challenges that surviving cancer wasn’t something that came up right away. This self-proclaimed Country Girl has done many things in her life so far. She’s raised a child who’s now a university student, done bylaw enforcement, casino security, card dealer, just to name a few of her jobs. Angela has done what’s needed to provide for her family.
She was looking for a change in her life and after having been a “co-pilot” with a trucker friend occasionally, she decided to try trucking. MicroSkills accepted her resume from a long list that included an aptitude test and started her with some courses.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Do you think you have a challenge?
No money for heat in her house. No running water. Barely able to get to school. Would you give up yet? There’s more. After seven or eight weeks of courses, the funding dried up. No money to continue into practical training. Angela bears no ill will, it was just a fluke that at the time she was taking her courses the money wasn’t there to finish.
Angela heard of Ontario Truck Training Academy where Yvette Lagrois could possibly find money to help. Lagrois was able to work a miracle for Angela to continue her schooling.
Yvette had this to say “Angela has the spit and vinegar to be successful in this industry. She decided to succeed ahead of time, this put her in the headspace needed for the transportation industry. It’s critical that people choose trucking and understand the jobs that they will likely be doing upon graduation. That allowed for her to concentrate on what we were requiring her to do, to listen, to demonstrate and think independently. We are very proud of Angela. We are a school that will work hard to find funding for those that are good for trucking, to OTTA this is how government funded should work.”
There’s no question that Angela was focused on becoming a truck driver. From the time she started the process until she was driving a truck for pay was over 2 years! Many people don’t survive competing for funding, not to mention her own personal trials on the way. When asked if she would do it again there was no hesitation in her willingness to do it all over.
Angela is thankful for her mentors and friends Kaelin and Joanne Mackenzie (current Trucker of the Year) and the schools for her training. “School is important. It really helped me with city driving because I’m a country girl.” “I use what I learned in school everyday…”
Angela also has a trait common to many women drivers, but sometimes too uncommon for rookies. She’s not interested in driving unsafe equipment or bending the rules. Even if it means losing a job she enjoys. Angela got her current job at Ajax Auto Wreckers by just walking in off the street and applying. Fortunately, her future boss sensed she had a positive attitude and had just got a new 2016 Kenworth and put her in it. She enjoys hauling scrap and her boss treats her very well but it can be very demanding on her time.
Trucking can present some challenges on the home front and even though she is a local driver it still affects her. The hours can be variable so it’s tough on relationships and planning things together. On the other hand Angela says this “ I would like to say that it has also been good for my family life. My daughter loves to be my co pilot when she can. It has given us hours of one on one conversation and she also has a better understanding about commercial driving and the difficulties and dangers of careless passenger cars. I think it should be a requirement that all passenger car driving applicants spend a few hours as a passenger in a Class 8 truck before they write their G, or class 5 license.”
Away from the truck Angela enjoys spending as much time as possible outside. Follow her on Twitter @skinnybitch_ang and you’ll see posts of her with family and friends fishing, swimming, camping and geocaching.
When asked what she loves about trucking she said, as a true country girl, “I love the sunrises”. She went on to say that she loves it all. She loves being a trucker. There’s no doubt in my mind that she will succeed and be a tremendous asset to the trucking industry.