We recently were fortunate enough to speak with Aubry Oden, an owner operator who is signed on with King Logistics and running dry van loads in lanes that take her all across the country. Aubry hauls everything from flowers and airplane parts to Bath and Body Works products and high-value loads for Samsung and Nordstrom. Aubry lives in Jacksonville, Fla., but often works out of the Chicago area where King Logistics is headquartered. Aubry and her fiancé, Brandon, are both owner operators and sometimes team drive together.

Read on to learn more about Aubry, her trucking career, and her tips for maintaining a healthy body and mind on the road.

From Health Insurance Agent to Trucker

“Before I got my CDL, I was actually a health insurance agent for one of the biggest health insurance companies in the market,” Aubry said. “My fiancé was a truck driver and I just wasn’t making as much money as him and I felt like I was doing double the work. So I was like, hold on, I think there might be something to this whole trucking thing. I decided to go to trucking school and I was blessed to have my fiancé as my trainer. He really taught me everything. It was very hands-on, which helped. When you have someone you know train you, they’re a little bit harder on you because they know what you’re capable of. I’ve officially been in it for two years because I rode with him for the first time on the truck in May of 2020, enrolled in school in June and then I got my license in early July.”

Team Driving

At one point, Aubry and her fiancé Brandon had multiple trucks running under their own authority, leasing trucks out to the drivers they hired. Now, they’re concentrating on running their own truck due to the high competition for drivers and sky-high operating costs. Aubry told us her joke right now is that her gas tank is literally running on hope. She’s currently spending $2,000 every other day on diesel.

“We’re team driving right now based on the market,” Aubry shared. “It just made sense instead of paying for two trucks’ fuel and maintenance. With teaming, he has his X amount of hours per day that he can drive and I have my amount of hours that I can drive. Usually what happens is that we’re running longer loads, which typically seems to pay more, though in today’s market it seems like the shorter loads sometimes are paying more.”

“We’re team driving right now based on the market,” Aubry shared. “It just made sense instead of paying for two trucks’ fuel and maintenance. With teaming, he has his X amount of hours per day that he can drive and I have my amount of hours that I can drive. Usually what happens is that we’re running longer loads, which typically seems to pay more, though in today’s market it seems like the shorter loads sometimes are paying more.”

How Aubry Maintains Good Mental and Physical Health on the Road

“I actually like the isolation sometimes,” said Aubry. “It allows me to do my best thinking. I get a lot of good ideas by thinking while I’m driving. I have a lot of side hustles. Even though I’m a truck driver, I do a lot of content creation on social media and that’s a whole other job in itself. I share my experiences and also promote products like Blue Tiger headsets and Instatraction on social media. But there are days that it does get lonely out here. It’s important to understand that there are a lot of other people that are feeling the same way — and half the time they’re going to be inside a truck stop. So, instead of sitting there wishing that somebody would have a conversation with you, the best thing to do it is to talk to other humans if you need some human interaction. I think that we don’t get enough of that.”

Aubry likes to get her nails done as a form of self-care and goes online to her YouTube, TikTok and Instagram accounts to talk to other people, which helps her deal with the isolation. She shares her experiences on social media and answers her followers’ questions and that makes her feel good to know she’s helping other people. Aubry also shared that she’s learned to pay attention to her physical health more. She recently blacked out from pain while driving. She later found out that she was pregnant and had a torn fallopian tube that could have killed her had she not gone to the doctor.

“Us truck drivers when we experience pain, we take some Tylenol and often try to push through the pain thinking we can fight through it and get the load there,” Aubry said. “That’s how I was with the pain at that time. It never occurred to me that sometimes your pain tolerance is so high that you’ll completely miss the signal of your body telling you that you’re about to die. I definitely want to tell people to practice preventative care. If you feel like something is wrong with your body, it is typically. It’s very important for us to stop the truck, get off the truck and take care of ourselves — because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we definitely can’t do our jobs.”

“Us truck drivers when we experience pain, we take some Tylenol and often try to push through the pain thinking we can fight through it and get the load there,” Aubry said. “That’s how I was with the pain at that time. It never occurred to me that sometimes your pain tolerance is so high that you’ll completely miss the signal of your body telling you that you’re about to die. I definitely want to tell people to practice preventative care. If you feel like something is wrong with your body, it is typically. It’s very important for us to stop the truck, get off the truck and take care of ourselves — because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we definitely can’t do our jobs.”

To learn more about Aubry Oden, follow her on YouTube, Instagram and Tiktok.

For more on trucker mental health, read “Dr. Kirleen Neely on Trucker Mental Health and Mental Health Resources Available to Truckers.”