PLOVER Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) unveiled its new driver ambassador trailer — officially dubbed “WITney” — during the 2020 Accelerate! Virtual Conference & Expo. WIT launched its driver ambassador program in February to help raise awareness of the nonprofit organization’s mission, promote the career opportunities women have in trucking, celebrate the accomplishments of women in the industry, remove obstacles faced by female truck drivers, and increase membership for the organization.
Kellylynn McLaughlin, a professional over-the-road commercial motor vehicle driver and training engineer for Schneider National, is the official WIT Driver Ambassador; the program is managed by Debbie Sparks, vice president of WIT.
Since the driver ambassador program’s launch, McLaughlin has provided interviews with industry media and has spoken at driving schools, associations, girl scout events, and other industry events. When the COVID-19 pandemic halted her in-person speaking engagements, McLaughlin pivoted by taking to social media to share helpful information in her “A Day in the Life of a Driver” video series. In addition, she writes monthly blogs for WIT.
During the next phase of the program, McLaughlin will soon travel the country, hauling the eye-catching WIT-branded trailer. A handful of trailer wrap manufacturers submitted concepts and bids for the design; the WIT driver ambassador task force selected the final concept from Turbo Studio. The official trailer wrap features an empowered woman wearing a superhero cape and grasping a steering wheel, along with the messages “Redefining the Road,” “Safe, Strong, Independent” and “You Can Do It!” Turbo Graphics will install the wrap.
Inside the trailer is an educational mobile unit that introduces the career of professional truck driving, features personal success stories from female drivers, and shares the history of WIT and its mission. Interactive kiosks will quiz visitors on their knowledge of the trucking industry. Visitors can also experience a state-of-the-art driver simulator, donated by Advanced Training Systems, and check out a display of a woman’s industry uniform.
As many in the industry know, professional drivers like to name their rigs. To engage its supporters, WIT called on its members and the industry at large to submit name suggestions for the trailer. More than 100 submissions were received, including Luella (named after the first female commercial truck driver), Tanya Trucker, Wander Woman, Willa Storm and WITney – an homage to the association’s abbreviation. After receiving the most votes, WITney was selected as the official name of the WIT driver ambassador trailer.
“I cannot wait to hit the road with our new expo trailer,” McLaughlin said. “It’s going to be a powerful and very visible symbol of what women have to offer the freight industry. I will be so proud to haul it.”
Numerous sponsors have helped bring the trailer to life, including Schneider, Walmart, Michelin, Cummins, Freightliner, Bolt Custom Trucks, TVC ProDriver, Arrow Truck, Safety4Her, Juno Jones Shoes, Thermo King, Koesters, and Patriot Lift. Additional sponsors are welcome.
“The driver ambassador program illustrates how a community can come together and bring a vision to life. Without the support of our sponsors, this would not have been possible,” said WIT’s Sparks.
For more information about WIT or the driver ambassador program, click here.