Day in the Life - Desiree Wood
Below is Part 1 of a new blog series where we interview influential truckers about life on the road, the state of the transportation industry, and everything in between.
Recently we caught up with the ever-busy Desiree Wood, former OTR driver and founder of Real Women in Trucking. She’s been featured by Dan Rather Reports, Pilot Challenge Magazine, and many others.
Why did you get into driving?
I moved around a lot as a child and always felt I had an unsettled spirit. It became fun to start over somewhere new, so I continued this lifestyle into my adult years. Then, while attending University of Nevada (Las Vegas) I started freaking out about my future: working in an office.
This grew into a bigger distressed situation where I felt my life was crumbling and I couldn’t find interest in anything. I took time off from school and moved to Florida to live with a friend and find a new path for myself. After realizing truckers are always on the move, my friend covered my CDL school expenses and I started driving shortly thereafter, in 2007.
What’s the average day like on the road?
I was OTR for awhile, dedicated with Walmart and running routes between Texas and Minnesota. Later I did LTL between the midwest and west coast.
I’m not super social, but I like to people watch between loads and relax at Starbucks. I’m a big history fan, so I like to look up landmarks and visit them. One project that keeps me busy is my dog, who travels with me and even has a twitter account. I take photos of my dog’s experiences and her perception of the country. I also like to visit the same places in different seasons to see how they are affected.
Favorite gadgets in your truck?
I have a Droid Ultra, which I use for Twitter. Not a big brand person, but prefer the dedicated keyboards and still getting used to the autocorrect touch screen. Ha. I don’t watch a lot of television but am constantly working on the computer for my non-profit.
For navigation I have the Professional Driver GPS by Cobra, but rarely use it because it’s important to be aware of where you are and where you’re going. Otherwise I use a mini crockpot in the truck to make hot meals like pork and chicken, and I have a small coffee pot to save money on the road. Most of my free time goes to moderating comments, writing blog posts, and maintaining my website.
How do you stay healthy on the road?
During my first year of trucking I lost 60 lbs. My CDL trainer was really overweight and only 26 years old, which scared me. On the road I became diligent in seeking out healthier foods such as tuna, grilled chicken, salads, and apples. Sometimes in line at the rest stops you just break down and buy a Big Mac, but I’m getting better at resisting and the crockpot in my truck helps reduce those trips inside.
Another thing I do habitually is ask the dock managers if I can walk their property while they load or unload my truck. Sometimes the companies even have walking paths for employees and I can take my dog on them.
Once I started a mini movement in a big truck lot where I got out of my cab, started stretching, and doing a bit of cardio exercise. Other truckers who were likely debating the same thing all started getting out, stretching, and following suit. Exercise is contagious and should be more encouraged in our industry.
I also advocate something called “Walking Women Truckers,” created by Idella Hansen, where women talk to one another while walking on the job, keeping us accountable in case we get hurt, etc. I’d like to get more people involved in that!
Big thanks to Desiree for sharing her time and story with us at Keychain.
If you’d like to be considered for future “Day in the Life” interview or just want to share a story about life on the road, please let us know.
Book Loads on Your Computer
Today we’re releasing a new feature for carriers nationwide.
You may now use your computer to access 125,00 new daily loads, manage your fleet, and more.
Go here to get started. Simply log in with your existing mobile app credentials for instant access.
The Keychain Team
Now Serving 30 Cities
We’re pleased to announce that Keychain is now operating in 30 cities.
With overwhelming user demand our growth is limited only by our ability to provide excellent customer service.
New shippers may now discover the ease of freight management with Keychain in the following places:
- St. Louis, MO
- Tampa Bay, FL
- Detroit, MI
- San Diego, CA
- Atlanta, GA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Houston, TX
- Dallas, TX
- San Francisco, CA
- New York, NY
- Los Angeles, CA
- Indianapolis, IN
- Columbus, OH
- Syracuse, NY
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Nashville, TN
- Minneapolis, MN
- Oklahoma City, OK
- New Orleans, LA
- Portland, OR
- Washington DC
- Boston, MA
- Austin, TX
- Miami, FL
- Denver, CO
- Chicago, IL
- Phoenix, AR
- Las Vegas, NV
- Jackson, MS
- Louisville, KY
For more information about Keychain, go here.
Where Freight Expenses Really Go. Hint: It’s not the driver
At Keychain we believe there is a fundamental flaw with traditional freight brokerages; they lack the financial interest to provide quick and transparent pricing to freight providers and shippers.
Leading 3PL’s rely heavily on a bevy of resources outside of their control and host boiler rooms full of commission-motivated sales teams. It’s a game of value capture, and they’re extracting all of it.
Currently the 3PL industry mimics a cold-war era travel agency. In order to book a flight you had to engage a travel agent (a broker). Today, however, flights are booked on Hipmunk, Expedia, Priceline, or directly from the airlines themselves. The consumer benefits are clear: purchasing is easy, fast, transparent, and broker-free.
Booking freight should be no different.
Now available in select cities, the future of booking freight starts with Keychain. No more brokers. No more hidden fees. No more long wait times. No more price renegotiation. Keychain passes the savings to you.
Later this month Keychain will release a free lane pricing tool for shippers, drivers, and skeptics alike to leverage however they please. The tool accurately prices 1.6 billion lanes across America in real time, providing transparency with fair freight rates along with what brokers are actually charging.
It’s time for the freight booking industry to move to the 21st century, and Keychain is leading that march.
Sign up now and we’ll notify you when Keychain’s pricing tool is ready for you to use.
Keychain on Android
You asked, we listened. Keychain Logistics is now on Android.
Use the app to find high-paying hauls straight from your phone, broker-free in select cities.
Uber for Trucking
"Platforms are eating the world," says Sangeet Choudary of Platform Thinking.
From vacation homes and movie rentals to personal assistants and music, consumers can now enjoy all their favorite things without owning any of them (or being liable for where they came from).
This is all part of the 21st Century’s “Sharing Economy,” and the team at Keychain is a proponent of the movement.
As we connect truckers directly with shippers — letting truckers focus on driving and shippers focus on selling products — we can’t help but make the connection that Keychain Logistics is the ‘Uber for Trucking.’
Carriers shouldn’t have to worry about finding loads simply because they’re away from home, and making phone calls to brokers while stranded in the middle of the country isn’t a good use of their time. Keychain helps truckers find their next load before they need it, fulfilling our promise to never drive empty again.
Likewise, tangible product companies shouldn’t worry about timely shipments to important retail partners simply because demand has increased. These are good problems to have, and herein lies Keychain’s commitment to shippers — we help improve your bottom line.
If you’re a trucker looking for loads, tired of expensive brokerages taking up to 20% of your lane rate, Keychain is the answer.
If you’re a small (or large) business that ships products and you’re tired of bad customer service from brokerages, Keychain is the answer.
Platforms are eating the world, so if you’re looking for the future of shipping, you’ve already found it.
Welcome to Keychain Logistics.
Time for Accountability
Lately at Keychain HQ, we’ve been talking with carriers from across the country so we can better deliver value with our products. A theme that continues to surface is one of accountability. Drivers have one valuable commodity that determines their success: time.
Time gets wasted waiting to deliver loads, traveling with spare capacity, or worse, traveling empty. Often, a driver’s success is tied to how many calls get returned, how accurate the time blocks are for delivering a load, or other internal processes that most brokers use. At the risk of sounding cliché, time is money.
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Customer Service as a Solution
The last time you had an important issue or question for your logistics provider, how would you describe your customer service experience? Long wait times? Unending call transfers? If this sounds familiar then you’ll agree with us when we say that customer service in logistics is inefficient.
At Keychain, our goal on the customer service team is to bridge technology with human presence by combining our mobile and web-based applications with dedicated industry specialists. We remove the obstacles you might find at a brokerage to create a delightful and efficient customer service experience for all sides involved in shipping freight from point A to B.
Read More »