Fellow truckers there for driver Linda Cronin when she needed them
Linda Cronin says she is part Ohioan and part Louisianan, driving between the two states on a regular basis. (The Trucker: TONY LENAHAN)
By TONY LENAHAN
The Trucker Staff
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Coming from three generations of truckers, Linda Cronin has been driving for 25 years. "He didn't have any boys," she said of her father. Driving for Platinum Express out of Dayton, Ohio, she said she is partly from Ohio and partly from Louisiana, driving between both on a regular basis, but doesn't get home a whole lot.
"I haven't been home in a month," Cronin said. "I get home once a month."
Cronin has two grown children, two boys. She put one through technical school and he is an assistant manager in Louisiana. Her other son is a police officer. She said she would not let them get into trucking because it isn't the same.
"I wouldn't let them because of the way it is now," Cronin said. "It wasn't like this when I got into it. We used to help each other. We used to do a lot for each other. It was nothing for us to stop on the side of the road [to help a fellow trucker]. Now they just blow by you and don't even move over for you. It's a different breed out here. A lot of the drivers have taken the fun out of it."
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Cronin has her theory on the problems in the trucking industry these days.
"Too many young kids that haven't been through it — [they’re] right out of school," she said. "They get away from their trainer and think they own the highway. I'm going to tell you what, it's not the name on the truck; it's the company behind it.
"Uncle Sam isn't helping," she continued. "They're going through these [trucking] schools like they were water through a sieve. The bottom line is the God Almighty Dollar and it doesn't matter whether they can drive or not."
Cronin said she misses the community and the old timers that trucking used to have. She said she would like times to get back to when truckers watched out for each other and helped each other out. When asked if trucking was hard, she said, "It has its moments."
"I got into a situation in Tennessee on Jan. 8 and I'm grateful to still be here," she said. "I got robbed at gunpoint while I sat in my truck. The minute the guy walked away from my truck, I got on my CB and they [fellow truckers] were right there. They watched where he went and everything. They caught him about a half hour later."
She said the robber is still sitting in jail and she has to go to court in May. Her company doesn't stop in that town in Tennessee any more even though it is tough on them.
The trucking community may be on the decline, but it came through when Cronin was in a really tough spot. "They came out to the rescue," she said. 8
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