A career in trucking doesn’t always mean driving a truck, of course. Meet Jackie McFetridge, fleet manager for nearly seven years at CRST in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Jackie – whose supervisor describes her as “a spitfire and a ton of fun”— is a mentor and coach to many. As a fleet manager, Jackie is an advocate every day for lease purchase drivers and student drivers. She helps drivers get the best loads and coaches them on how to be successful at CRST.
That means communicating, encouraging, motivating and sometimes even coaching drivers.
“So many things go on,” said Jackie, but she is always there to answer any questions.
Every Day Brings New Insights
Although she’s a resource for many people, Jackie credits CRST drivers for a lot of the knowledge she has gained about trucking. In fact, interacting with drivers is one of her favorite things about working at CRST.
“Without them, we would not have much. They are responsible for almost everything we have. If they didn’t haul it, we would not get it,” she said.
CRST is a fun place to work, Jackie said, where lots of laughs and memories are made, and everyone works hard.
Facing Challenges With Grace and Humor
CRST also cares about its employees – a promise Jackie found to be true when CRST was supportive during a particularly challenging time in her family’s life.
Nearly two years ago, Jackie’s husband was in a motorcycle accident that paralyzed him from the ribcage down.
“Once we realized this was going to be our life, we decided to face it with grace and dignity,” Jackie said. She and her husband are making the best of the life they have and try to laugh as much as possible.
Jackie said she’s like her Aunt Jackie that way. “She worked hard and laughed a lot, even when things were tough,” Jackie said.
Stay positive and work hard would be Jackie’s advice to other women starting a career in the trucking industry.
“I think a woman has to prove herself. It is assumed that a woman may not know what is going on with a truck or what it is like driving the big truck down the road,” Jackie said. Just be true to yourself and your beliefs, “even if you are the only one standing in your corner.”
And remember to have fun.