As part of our celebration of Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black leaders in the transportation industry, from company drivers and owner ops to freight brokers and 3PL owners. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Pinkie Dabney, a company driver and social media influencer with more than 57,000 followers on her YouTube channel, Keeping it 100 Experiences. In our conversation with Pinkie, she told us about why she became a trucker and how she got started sharing her experiences on the road with other truckers.  

Finding Financial Freedom in Trucking

Pinkie grew up in Baltimore and today lives in Charlotte, N.C., with her two children who are 11 and 22. After earning her CDL with Prime in 2017, Pinkie spent several years running dry van and reefer as a lease owner operator. When we spoke with Pinkie, she told us that her long-term goal is to transition back to being an owner operator and to one day own her own fleet. She said that she got into trucking because of the financial freedom it offers her and her family.

“I never really grew up with very much,” Pinkie said. “As a single mom, I got tired of needing to depend on someone else. I figured if I got into trucking, I’d gain my financial independence, which I did. I just wanted to land job security for me and my kids so that I could take care of my kids with no problem. I also like the fact that I’m doing something that most people say a woman shouldn’t do. This job is allowing me to take care of my kids comfortably and still pay all of my bills by myself with no help.”  

“I never really grew up with very much,” Pinkie said. “As a single mom, I got tired of needing to depend on someone else. I figured if I got into trucking, I’d gain my financial independence, which I did. I just wanted to land job security for me and my kids so that I could take care of my kids with no problem. I also like the fact that I’m doing something that most people say a woman shouldn’t do. This job is allowing me to take care of my kids comfortably and still pay all of my bills by myself with no help.”  

Becoming a Social Media Influencer 

Before she got into trucking, Pinkie spent a lot of time researching the industry and trucking companies. In her research, she came across LoShawn Parks and Trucker Brown, who were two of the most popular truckers on YouTube at the time. She enjoyed their videos and advice and thought that if they could share their experiences as truckers, there was no reason she couldn’t do the same. 

“I wasn’t even thinking it was going to turn into anything, to be honest with you,” Pinkie shared. “I was just playing around because I’m a real camera and video person. I just do it for the fun of it and because it’s lonely out here. I didn’t care if it was just a couple hundred subscribers. That’s what got me started. Now, it’s really growing. I’ve got almost 60,000 subscribers on YouTube. YouTube does keep me going. I have my supporters and they really are ride or die. YouTube and social media have been my somebody when I felt like I had nobody.”

Keeping It Real

Over the past few years, Pinkie has posted hundreds of videos about the ups and downs of being a trucker on her YouTube channel. The topics of her videos include how to parallel park a big rig, exercise tips for truckers, advice on shifting gears and backing into load docks, how to deal with a grieving friend and what it was like when her truck jack-knifed on black ice. When we spoke with Pinkie, she said that she shares videos of her good days and bad days because she wants to offer love and support to other truckers and to people who are thinking about becoming truckers.  

“I don’t care if it’s something that most people would be embarrassed by, I’m going to post it,” Pinkie told us. “If I’m going to be a video blogger, let me blog everything. Those types of videos that people are scared to post – they don’t realize that it’s a testimony, that it could help someone who might have that bad experience. You could help somebody through that. I’m truly using my stories to try to help people.”

“I don’t care if it’s something that most people would be embarrassed by, I’m going to post it,” Pinkie told us. “If I’m going to be a video blogger, let me blog everything. Those types of videos that people are scared to post – they don’t realize that it’s a testimony, that it could help someone who might have that bad experience. You could help somebody through that. I’m truly using my stories to try to help people.”

To learn more about Pinkie, follow her on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook

Learn how trucker Larry Cothran is giving back to the industry with his mentorship of new drivers by reading Celebrating Diversity: Larry Cothran, Driver and Mentor. To download the free Trucker Tools app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/