The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), a close partner of KeepTruckin, is the only trade association whose sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. The Association provides leadership that will increase member productivity, profitability, and an ability to provide superior service; advocate on behalf of its members; and enhance the truckload industry’s ability to provide safe, high-quality, and reliable truckload transportation services to the shipping public.
This year’s event was held at the Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada and drew some 1,500 attendees from across the United States. The event also drew leaders from across the industry, such as Shark Tank’s Daymond John, who delivered a motivational keynote.
Beyond the excitement of the planned events, the show-stopping moment had to be the announcement of Betty Aragon of Wilson Logistics as Driver of the Year.
The crowd erupted when her name was announced, and Aragon (74) was visibly overcome with emotions. Once she regained her composure, she thanked her family for their support and encouragement as she built her career.
In her speech, Aragon recounted her early days in the business, pointing out that trucking wasn’t always the inclusive industry that it has become. She proudly spoke on the obstacles she overcame as a female truck driver over the last 40+ years.
“The biggest thing on the road when I started driving,” said Aragon, “was that men didn’t want women out here and that I have to overcome that. Which I am the type of person that if you don’t like me, tough cookies [sic]. I’m going to do what I’ve got to do.”
She continued, “In California, I needed a shower. Of course, I snuck to get me a shower and they didn’t have showers for women, it was showers for men only. I asked the guy [bathroom attendant], ‘Can I take a shower?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, there’s a hose back outside.’ I used to have to rent a lot of rooms just to take a shower.”
This kind of mistreatment didn’t deter Aragon from continuing her trucking career and loving it along the way. She enjoyed trucking so much that she retired at 65 only to come back because she missed the road. Every day she gets to see new sites and travel down new roads — oftentimes not alone, as she has taken kids, grandkids, and other family members on trips.
As the recipient of the 2020 Driver of the Year Award, Aragon received a check for $25,000.
About the author: Jake Haynes is a Nashvillian with an inclination towards technology and business. He has worked within software geared towards the transportation industry his entire career and has a fascination for the 21st century cowboys — our truck drivers.