Trailer Truckin Tech et al
By Sandy Long
I have been being asked about some website called the International and National Women In Trucking something or another, cannot remember it exactly, and how I came to be involved in it along with my own groups…here is the story.
Back in ‘03 when I got the computer that would get online, I looked around for sites or groups about women truckers. I found one called Womenin Trucking Association…yes, the typo is right. It was a yahoo group owned by a woman from up in IL I think, her name is unimportant to the story. She also owned another yahoo group for women too Womens Trucking Association I think it was.
Anyways, she had started the groups with another woman who had imbedded some strange stuff and links in the groups…like asking exactly, down to Mile Markers nearest, where a member lived along with porno links hidden inside of other links. They had just came to a parting of the ways when I joined though I didn’t know anything about all of that when I joined. At the time, neither group was doing well but I started posting and answering questions for the members there were.
The owner contacted me and told me of the problems she had had with the other woman and asked me to help her build the sites as I was an experienced driver and could write well while she was not either. I agreed because at the time there were few sites or groups for women drivers and I could see some potential to help other women. She was big on titles so gave me the title of vice president of her two groups…it didn’t matter to me at all one way or another but it did make me a co owner and moderator.
Things went along fairly well as I worked hard to get her files and links straightened out and rewrote as much as I could what she had written in the files…she couldn’t write very well to say the least…not downing her about it, many cannot write well. The groups grew a little with the Womenin Trucking Association growing fastest.
The owner started getting some attention from some media types and gave a couple of interviews that we will talk about later on in this story. The owner and I had some disagreement over a member who kept wanting to post links and stories from a feminist magazine that used the ‘c’ word and ‘p’ word a lot to describe a female’s body parts and had some photos in it that were not family friendly so to speak. The owner and I had agreed initially that the groups were to be family orientated…she just didn’t understand that the magazine in question was not really family orientated with the language and photos. We got that straightened out, but it started cracks growing.
The cracks widened greatly when she wanted to ask the membership for donations so she could supposedly afford to run the groups. Now for those of you who do not know, yahoo groups is 100% free. On the phone she told me that she was struggling to make ends meet doing the job (non trucking) that she was doing and needed financial help. I disagreed with the donation thing and she started a MSN group unbeknownst to me to do so. There was no non profit filings or anything done at least at the yahoo groups, I don’t know about the MSN ones.
Also at this time she started in about thinking that women should be paid more than men, have special ‘guards’ at truck stops and a whole lot of other BS like constantly bashing male drivers and men in general on the forums.
Some where in all of this chaos, she started the website International & National Women’s Trucking whatever and asked me to help her run it. I tentatively agreed and went over and looked at it while she was designing it to try to make it look better. If you look at the website, it is unfinished…she never followed thru with it.
Shortly afterwards, she gave an interview to one of the trade writers and made the comment that it would not be long before any company wanting to hire women drivers would have to have her group’s seal of approval along with all of the demands she thought up about women needing special treatment to be drivers.
When I called her on it and told her to stop making those types of unrealistic statements because it didn’t help anyone, I guess she told other members about it and between them they came up with that I was trying to take over the groups from her which believe me was not even in my mind. I worked my arse off trying to help her build her groups into something good that would actually help people and be effective so she could be successful. She didn’t see it that way and we parted ways though she didn’t take me off of her groups or the site…you see, I was becoming well known through my writing by that time and she wanted to continue cashing in on that…I let her do it too. Her groups are dead though still up.
I started Trailer Truckin’ Tech in November of 05 and from what I hear, some say that I rule it with iron control…yep, that would be about right, I admit if freely. I have been on the forums thru the years of many trucking websites and groups, though I rarely posted on any of them other than OOIDA and The Women In Trucking Association, and have seen what unmoderated posting leads to.
When I set Trailer Truckin’ Tech, I decided that we would be totally focused on education of new and prospective drivers and not allow jokes, strong political debates and flaming, bashing etc. People do not learn in hostile environments nor where they are getting disrespected for asking questions. While over the last 4 ½ years that I have owned the TTT, I have eased up some on what is allowed; we do tell humorous stories about trucking and I do occasionally allow people to post some things about what is going on in their lives outside of the truck, I still keep the forums strictly moderated and focused on education with the help of 6 moderators.
It must be working because I have members that have been with me from the start and get emails from newer members who appreciate the family atmosphere there. Hope that lays to rest any concerns anyone had about my involvement with those other groups and site…if you have any further questions, just ask, I have nothing to hide.