Trucking is singing a new song with a familiar tune: “Eastbound and down, driverless and trucking. We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.”
While truckers can sing along to the Hank Snow hit “I've Been Everywhere,” not everyone has been everywhere. However, the lyrics cannot be any truer for Willard “O’Neal” Boyd, 65, of Wichita Falls, Texas, who has three million-plus miles under his belt.
Career truck driver and vet Jon Osburn loves to talk, and it’s a good thing. As driver of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Spirit of the American Trucker vehicle and an OOIDA ambassador, he goes to truck shows, truck stops and conferences across the country, putting him in contact with truckers far and wide.
Larry Wissel, 54, is one of the proud few who has served his country in the military and on the nation’s highways as a professional trucker for more than 30 years.
Nathan Swilling, 34, remembers when he was “that guy” — the newbie trucker holding up traffic, making a mistake or two … or even three. Despite how the transportation industry is part of his heritage — several uncles drive various types of trucks and many women in his family work as fleet managers or dispatchers — he remembers getting into the industry for the wrong reason.
The first time Mary Littler attempted to drive a standard transmission she was 37 years old. And she was seated behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. Not an easy feat for anyone, but even more intimidating for Littler, who admits, “I was scared of trucks.”