In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re proud to celebrate two of our team members who serve as a great inspiration to women in the professional driving industry.
Team Member: Patty Lopez
Patty Lopez has been working in the professional truck driving industry for nearly 16 years. She’s driven reefers, box vans, flatbeds, oversized, military HET’s (heavy equipment transporter), tankers and heavy haul, overseas in Iraq, Kuwait, and the U.S. and is currently working as a lead hazmat driver for Pilot Flying J. What Patty loves most about her current position is driving her LVC (long vehicle combo) which is 95’ plus long and weighs 109,000 lbs loaded with fuel. She says, “It’s not just the adrenaline, but the people I meet and places I go.” She takes great pride in her job, “The service we provide is so important. Without fuel, America would come to a standstill!”
When Patty is on the road, she wants to inspire and empower all generations of women to follow their dreams and not be afraid. She says, “When the kids see it’s a female behind the wheel, their eyes get huge! I hope to open their minds to think outside the box!” She encourages them to do the research, ask questions, meet other women professional drivers and follow their heart. The possibilities are there for women in the trucking industry.
Team Member: Amy Bryant
Amy Bryant, a wheeled vehicle mechanic at Pilot Flying J, has always loved vehicles. While she was growing up, she attended many car shows with her parents and grandparents. Prior to joining Pilot Flying J, Amy served in the U.S. Army after being inspired by her grandparent’s stories of war and their sense of pride while serving. Amy, who graduated as an honor grad in her class of soldiers at Ft. Lee Virginia, wanted to be the first female in her family to serve. Amy says, “I have always admired women who step out of their comfort zones and try something new, especially when everyone doubts their ability to do so. To me, that makes the reward all the more fantastic when accomplished.”
Amy believes that her job is well received by most professional drivers in the industry. She says, “I love being able to help drivers get their trucks back on the road. I take pride in diagnosing trucks and explaining the issues to the drivers to help them understand what happened and why.” Amy went on to say, “It would be wonderful if more women decided upon this as a career or even as just to get to learn the basics just for common knowledge. Not every woman needs to call a man when her car breaks down. Some may even be able to fix it on their own.” Amy believes that more women should consider joining the industry. All you need is “a will to learn and be in an industry that is ever changing.”