September 21, 2022
Women in Trucking – From Grief to Glory with Marianne Witherspoon
Marianne Witherspoon’s driving career was born out of her response to grief. She needed solitude to heal after the passing of her mother.
“I couldn’t handle the loss of my mom — she was only 70. I needed space. So I decided to go to school, get my CDL, and see the world.
After initially finding comfort in time driving alone, Marianne’s new adventure became her long-term career, a space where her independence and self-reliance were valued.
Raised by a military father, she was taught that a strong work ethic could be her ticket to anywhere. “My daddy always told me there are only two things I can control: my attitude and the effort I put in. For the last 19 years of driving, my attitude has kept me safe and strong.”
Marianne’s discipline has paid off in career success. With 100% satisfaction from her customers and zero safety events, Brian Moore, Director of Operations, says her lane is “set it and forget it.”
Marianne attributes her good customer rapport to a determined mindset. “Discipline is key to being on time and earning the respect of your customers. I’ve never been late with a load and I plan to keep it that way.”
This same mindset carries over into the 10 hours after Marianne parks her truck. She schedules her off-duty hours to make the most of rest, rejuvenation, and time connecting with family.
“Routine is everything to being a good driver and being successful in life. I don’t drive with a TV — I use my time to rest, check in with my fiancé and family, and read. I set an alarm and if I’m talking to one of my kids when it goes off, they know it’s time for me to hang up and read my book and sleep.”
“Having discipline in my career isn’t about the almighty dollar. It’s about how I can change my grandkids’ lives by supporting the extras that help them excel in swim team, take karate lessons, or get support with special needs like autism and dyslexia. Being disciplined gets me home safe to my five little buddies so we can have more time to do things like bake cookies together.”
“Every time I wake up, I tell myself that it’s going to be a safe and great day. This makes life good!”
Marianne’s Top Tips for Driver Time Management:
- Your CRST managers are there to help — they’ll keep you efficient by lining up jobs for the week.
- Plan your jobs — by planning I can drive two 601-mile round trips in four days instead of five. This means happier customers and more time home with family.
- Know your truck inside and out to take advantage of its full capabilities.
- Put your phone away when you’re driving.
- Choose Team Partners you trust with your reputation and life.
- You have ten hours after a full day of driving — take advantage of it by turning off the TV and doing what’s most important.
- Prioritize eight hours of sleep so fatigue won’t affect your work or timeliness.
- Whether on the road or in a truck stop, watch 360 — don’t let someone else’s choices impact your life.
- Consider bringing meals and eating in your truck to save time.
Marianne, you’re an inspiration to other drivers on the road! CRST appreciates you and your dedication. Learn more about Women in Trucking: www.crst.com/women-in-trucking