Meet 'The Crafty Trucker'
Heather Hutchens got into trucking after following her husband Jason into the industry. Jason had been working for a courier service while Heather was an optician for over twenty years. Wanting to be together more, they thought of trucking in some fashion.
Three years ago after doing research, the pair sold their home and entered expediting as drivers. They live in their truck but take their home time in Waco, Texas, where they keep up their small-house living with their two small dogs. They live in an RV they purchased after selling their home. “We come home, take the RV out for as long as we are home, then put it back up and leave again.” Heather said, “It is easy.”
While they drive for an owner now, they have plans to one day own their own expedite truck. Asked why they have not purchased a truck yet, Heather explained, “We want to learn all we can about the business first. We feel we are close to ownership but buying a truck is a big decision and we don’t want to take it lightly.” The truck they drive now is a Freightliner M2 112 with a 96” Bolt sleeper and a 22’ box. The truck is leased on with Panther. “We drive for an awesome owner and a great company," said Heather.
Heather does vlogs (video blogs) that she posts on both YouTube (YouTube.com/TheCraftyTrucker) and ExpeditersOnline.com. Heather started out by videoing scenery from the truck, but after looking around online, found very little in the way of videos about the expedite niche of trucking so started doing a few on expediting. “Someone shared one of my trucking videos at the forums at ExpeditersOnline and someone from EO asked me if I would contribute to the website. I felt like the videos could benefit both non-truckers who just were thinking of getting into expediting, and veteran truckers who wanted to make the change to expediting,” Heather said. “We use GoPro action cams to do our videos. We also use one as a dash cam.”
With their smaller truck, they’ve gone to the Statue of Liberty and many other places large trucks cannot go due to size. Heather said, “Jason and I love going to see so many great things and places. Expediting gives us the opportunity to do that which our old jobs did not.”
Heather says that she has not found any challenges because of her gender. “The only thing that I have found challenging is that it seems sometimes that the older truckers appear to look down on expediters as ‘not being truckers’. Maybe it is because expediting is the new kid on the block relatively speaking in trucking.”
Heather and Jason will be doing a workshop at the Expedite Expo called Team Drivers - Pros and Cons Saturday, July 16th at 9:30 am at the Lexington Convention Center in Downtown Lexington, KY. Registration for the Expedite Expo is free as are parking and the workshops. www.expediteexpo.com