For driver Julianna Bond, the freedom of the road has been calling for eight years.
“I started delivering car parts long distance and found I love driving and not having anyone over my back,” she said. “It was a little pleasure that turned into something big.”
Based in Phoenix, Ar., Julianna has won six contracts since joining the CitizenShipper ranks last month, earning her the Newcomer of the Month distinction for July.
She was able to combine all three loads into a cross-country trip that began in Phoenix, Az., traveled to Los Angeles, then Wisconsin and Waterloo, N.Y. Headed home, she grabbed a shipment from Massachusetts to Illinois.
But Julianna’s cargo was far from auto parts. The first shipment, four cats from Phoenix, Az. to New York, was joined in Los Angeles by “Socks,” a Dalmatian mix that kept she and her co-pilot, Josh, company until his Wisconsin destination.
“Socks was the coolest dog ever,” she said. “He just wanted to ride upfront with us and hang out.”
Things got a bit hectic when she had to avoid a tornado at the Nebraska/Iowa line and torrential downpours throughout Illinois, but it was smooth sailing after that.
Returning from the East Coast, she picked up two show dogs headed for Illinois. Combining shipments, she said, is critical.
“You really have to learn to stack up loads,” Julianna said. “That way you know you’ll come out ahead.”
But combining shipments isn’t the only thing has on her mind. Occasionally, she has to prove herself in an industry dominated by men.
“Even though there are approximately 400,000 women working in transportation compared to millions of male drivers, the stereotypes are still there,” she said.
“I can walk into a truck stop and ask a question about C.B. gear and most people automatically assume I don’t know what I’m talking about.”
“But females driving out here have to grow thick skin. I’ve just learned to laugh it off.”
That perception changes, however, once the job is done.
“When the shipment is completed, individual customers have no problem working with a woman,” said Bond.
“You have to prove yourself one shipment at a time. That’s not gonna change.”
She’s also looking forward to growing with CitizenShipper.
“CitizenShipper is a professional site,” she said. “It’s an awesome service and see a lot of potential.”