Faces of Magnum:
Even though Heather has only had her CDL for a few years, she has quickly made herself known at Magnum as a talented and dependable driver.
How long have you had your CDL?
I’ve had it for about 2 ½ years now. Actually, another Magnum driver, Robbie, taught me to drive trucks. She was my trainer at school.
When did you start driving for Magnum?
I’m celebrating my one year anniversary this month!
What made you decide to become a truck driver?
I’ve always wanted to drive truck because I come from a family of drivers and owner-operators. Honestly, it was something I always wanted to do, but I had kids. Once my kids were grown, I was like, “bye!”
For 27 years, I was a waitress. I liked it, but it was hard work. I just wanted to go and venture out. Now, I get paid to do that.
Does anyone ride along with you on the truck?
Yes, my nine-month-old German Shepard, Xanie!
Where is your favorite place truck driving has taken you?
It has to be Montana. I love Montana. It’s amazing – the mountains, the freedom, the whole feel of Montana.
Also, when you think about years ago – the history that Montana carries — it’s truly amazing. Those roads we are driving on, could there have been Indians and Cowboys going down a similar path? It’s really interesting for me.
Where is your favorite truck stop?
There is a Petro on Highway 69 in Indiana. I like that truck stop because it is really quiet. Nobody really goes there.
Also, I always go to a rest stop in Wisconsin right before the Illinois border. It has some trails I can walk my dog down, and there is also an outlook over the river.
What is an essential item you couldn’t live without having in your truck?
Baby wipes! They are a lifesaver, I’m telling you.
What is the coolest thing you have ever hauled?
Forklifts! I hauled them to Houston, Texas. I guess the interesting thing was really getting into the dock there. I was a brand-new driver, so my backing skills were really not that great.
When I got to the dock, there were about 10,000 forklifts all around me, and I was delivering five new ones. When I was backing up, I told them, “Thank God you’ve got these five new ones on this truck because I’m about to take 10 of these old ones out!”
It wasn’t really that bad, but it was a tough back!
What is the best thing about being a truck driver?
The freedom. Absolutely the freedom. You find a lot of things you didn’t know about yourself on the truck because you’re by yourself, so you think a lot. It really is liberating. And it’s gorgeous. I get to wake up to the mountains one day and then maybe a river the next day. Overall, it’s really nice to be out there and be free. You don’t have somebody right under you. I love it.
What is the hardest part of being a truck driver?
The hardest part is leaving home. I have an eight-year-old, so that can be tough sometimes. He understands, but he still always asks when I’ll be home or how many nights until I’ll be home. Thank God for Facetime!
If you could have anyone in the world — dead or alive, fictional or real — ride along as your co-pilot, who would it be and why?
It would have to be my mom. She passed away before I could do this.
Werner is my last name, so I would always see their trucks and think they were mine. I was very disobedient as a child, very strong-willed, and she always told me I’d be a truck driver. I always thought, “Yeah, whatever,” but now here I am. I’m a truck driver.
I know she rides with me now, but I’d love to have her sitting right next to me.
What is the best driving advice you’ve ever received?
Take it easy, take a deep breath and slow down. You’ve got this girl.
What advice would you give to a new driver?
Get with the old timers because they know what they’re doing. There’s a reason why they are old timers. Take their advice. They really know what they’re doing, and they’ll have stories for you that are absolutely amazing.
You are going to learn something new every single day. Above all, just listen and take your time with it.
Explore more topics in our other blog posts.
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Faces of Magnum: Jeff Walstrom
Faces of Magnum: Jenn Jones