PLOVER, Wisc. – Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has named Canadian, Susie De Ridder (Lyons) its June Member of the Month.
Susie, a Fredericton, New Brunswick-based company driver with Armour Transportation Systems, knew from an early age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Even as a little girl riding along with her truck-driver dad, there was no question that driving a truck is what she was cut out for.
After graduating from high school in the late 70s, she sought out a local trucking company to work for. She learned the business inside out, first from an office desk, and also out in the yard where one of the company’s seasoned mechanics took her under his wing and taught her to drive “the old-school way.”
In 1984, Susie headed for Toronto to launch her career as a truck driver, and after getting a couple of years on the road under her belt, she headed west – and south – to California where she spent the next 15 years working for US-based companies hauling dry vans and reefers across North America. For years, Susie hauled strawberries from California to the Toronto Food Terminal.
Susie said there’s never been a day that Susie has regretted her career choice.
“Sure, I’ve had my share of bad deliveries and I’ve made a wrong turn or two, but I always look ahead to positive,” she said. “After all, out of the thousands of days and the millions of miles I’ve driven, what’s one bad day?”
In 2001, Susie moved back to Ontario and worked for a company that sent her on the road in a custom-built 1987 359 Peterbilt, a favorite on the show truck circuit. Its distinctive 320” wheel base and 147” hood turned a lot of heads and earned her a spot on a coveted Cat Scales trading card.
In 2013, Susie moved back to Atlantic Canada and has been working for Armour Transportation Systems ever since. She loves her job, and puts a great deal of effort into promoting a positive view of the trucking industry.
In 2015 she won the People’s Choice award in WIT’s I Heart Trucking contest for her photograph entitled “Susie tearing up the blacktop from coast to coast” and her “Trucks are for GIRLS” entry was first runner up last year.
In addition to being a WIT member, Susie is the Atlantic Canada board representative for the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada.
She takes every opportunity she can to encourage women to consider a trucking career, especially young women as they begin to make career choices. She recently wowed students at her old alma mater when she accompanied her company’s recruiting staff to FHS’s career fair, and there’s nothing she loves more than promoting the industry at Touch-A-Truck events and truck shows.