Women In Trucking Association (WIT) unveiled today its Driver Ambassador Trailer and its official name, WITney. The announcement was made Friday, November 13, during the 2020 Accelerate! Virtual Conference & Expo hosted by the association.
In February of 2020, WIT launched its Driver Ambassador program to help raise awareness of the non-profit’s mission, promote the career opportunities women have in trucking, celebrate their accomplishments, remove obstacles female truck drivers face, and increase membership for the organization. Kellylynn McLaughlin, a professional over-the-road CMV Driver and Training Engineer for Schneider National, is the official WIT Driver Ambassador, and Debbie Sparks, vice president of WIT, manages the program.
Since its launch, McLaughlin has provided interviews with industry media, and has spoken at driving schools, associations, girl scout events, and other industry events. As the COVID-19 pandemic halted her in-person speaking engagements, she pivoted by taking to social media to share helpful information in her ‘A Day in the Life of a Driver’ video series and writing monthly blogs for the association.
Now rolling out the next phase of the program, McLaughlin will soon travel the country in a WIT-branded trailer. A handful of trailer wrap manufacturers made a bid for the design. The WIT Driver Ambassador Task Force selected the final concept from Turbo Studio, which features an empowered woman wearing a cape behind the wheel with the messages, ‘Redefining the Road,’ ‘Safe, Strong, Independent,’ and “You Can Do It!’ Turbo Graphics will install the wrap.
Inside the trailer is an educational mobile unit that introduces the career of professional truck driving, features personal success stories from female drivers, and shares the history of the association and its mission. Interactive kiosks will quiz attendees on their knowledge of the trucking industry. Attendees can also experience a state-of-the-art driver simulator donated by Advanced Training Systems (ATS) and check out a display of a woman’s industry uniform.
As many in the industry know, professional drivers like to name their rigs. To engage its supporters, WIT called on its members and the industry at-large to submit name suggestions for the trailer. Receiving over 100 submissions, the top contenders were Luella (named after the first female commercial truck driver), Tanya Trucker, Wander Woman, Willa Storm, and WITney – an homage to the association’s abbreviation. With the most votes, WITney was announced the official name of WIT Driver Ambassador Trailer.
“I cannot wait to hit the road with our new expo trailer,” said McLaughlin. “It’s going to be a powerful and very visible symbol of what women have to offer the freight industry. I will be so proud to haul it.”
Numerous sponsors have helped bring the trailer to life, including Schneider, Walmart, Michelin, Cummins, Freightliner, Bolt Custom Trucks, TVC ProDriver, Arrow Truck, Safety4Her, Juno Jones Shoes, Thermo King, Koesters, and Patriot Lift. Additional sponsors are needed and welcome.
“The Driver Ambassador program illustrates how a community can come together and bring a vision to life. Without the support of our sponsors, this would not have been possible,” said Sparks.
To learn about sponsorship opportunities with the Driver Ambassador trailer or to have WIT Driver Ambassador Kellylynn McLaughlin speak at your organization or event, visit womenintrucking.org.