Professional Truck Drivers Get a New Passenger

May 3, 2011

Trucker to Trucker is the premier online resource for trucks for sale. Today we're taking a look at the NTSB and it's Chairwoman - the first NTSB head to hold a CDL:

Deborah A.P. Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), started a two-day, four-state ride on March 30th. She rode from Washington, D.C. to Louisville, K.Y. to catch a glimpse of life on the road.

The final destination? The Mid-America Trucking Show held in Louisville, KY. Chairman Hersman, who also happens to have her CDL, honored America's professional female truck drivers at an event on April 2nd called The Second Annual Women in Trucking Salute to Women Behind the Wheel. This event is part of the expo, which is the "largest annual heavy-duty trucking trade show in the world." The Mid-American Trucking Show has been in existence for forty years exactly, so this year's festivities were full of a certain amount of pride and accomplishment. The Salute to Women Behind the Wheel recognizes the accomplishments of women in the trucking industry, and this year's event included a photo shoot with all of the women in the organization - for possible inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Hersman's journey to the event was meant to show her what a day-to-day experience is like for a professional truck driver, as well as to afford her the opportunity to observe certain things, like a Level 1 roadside inspection (conducted at a weigh station in Maryland), a visit to a travel center, and a meeting with Kentucky and West Virginia safety advocates and transportation officials. She also hosted a listening session with professional drivers, and one with industry safety officials.

When Hermsan left NTSB headquarters on March 30, she did so in a 2011 Kenworth T660 heavy-duty, long-haul tractor trailer driven by a driver for Conway Truckload named Stephanie Klang. Between Washington D.C. and Louisville, K.Y., Chairman Hersman would travel with four other drivers from companies that belong to the Women In Trucking organization. These companies include UPS, U.S. Express, Wal-Mart, and Schneider.

The Salute took place on April 2 at Louisville's Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. Because the overall celebrated its 40th anniversary, attendance was at high, with twice as many attendees as the previous year. The event could earn a place in The Guinness Book of World Records (as mentioned above), beating out a record for the largest gathering of professional women truck drivers that was set in the Netherlands in 2004. That record was 415 women total.

Deborah Hersman is the first female NTSB Chairman to hold a Commercial Driver's License, and she has been in her station with the NTSB since July of 2009.

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