For Nashville native and mother of two Roni Bender, trucking offered an opportunity to travel all over the country and make a good living at the same time. After a career working in customer service for one of the country’s largest mobile phone companies, Roni got her CDL at Roadmaster Drivers School in Middleton, Tenn., two years ago. Today, Roni is a driver with Schneider in part because it allows her to get home to her family every week, which now includes a five-year old grandson. Trucker Tools recently spoke with Roni to learn more about her journey in trucking and where it’s taken her, which we share here.
The Role of Technology in Roni’s Day-to-Day
When we asked Roni about the role that technology plays in her day-to-day work and life on the road, she had a lot to say about its positive benefits.
“It plays a huge role. If I didn’t have it, I’d be in a world of trouble,” noted Roni. “Let’s be honest, this is where it’s at — and technology is just going to grow bigger and bigger with more tools being made for us truckers, more types of technology for us as civilians out here on the road. It’s just so important because if it wasn’t for the information that Trucker Tools and others provide us on parking spaces, food, fuel, showers, truck stops and things like that, we just wouldn’t have it — and we need it. You guys give us so much information. That’s not something we can find in an atlas.”
As Roni pointed out, even the truck stop books that are sold at truck stops don’t tell you what’s currently available. They can tell you where truck stops are, but not if a truck stop is closed or down for service.
How Roni Uses Trucker Tools’ Driver App and Why
She Loves It
Roni has been using the Trucker Tools driver app for about a year and says that it’s one of her go-to apps when she’s driving. Roni reports that the routing and fuel optimizer is one of her favorite features in the Trucker Tools driver app.
“I can put in my destination and it will tell me how long it will take to get there and at what time I’ll get there,” said Roni. “I love that. It really works for me and other drivers. I also like that the driver app will tell me where I can find rest areas and truck stops. The app will also tell me how many parking spots there are at truck stops. Otherwise, it’s like rolling the dice. I love the Trucker Tools driver app. It’s wonderful.”
During our conversation with Roni, she was excited to hear that Trucker Tools has recently added an in-app parking reservations tool and will be including public parking spots and service area parking in a future release of the Trucker Tools driver app.
“I’m excited for that, trust me!” Roni said. “I don’t always plan ahead with parking or I’ll drive past where I’d planned to park because I have a little extra energy. I’m one of those who is over here clapping away. I love it! You guys are awesome! You’re in my head.”
On Mentoring New Drivers
Roni is a mentor to new female drivers through She Trucking, a community of female drivers founded by Sharae Moore. She also is interested in being an advisor and mentor to women who are just starting their trucking journeys, who maybe haven’t even started trucking school yet. According to Roni, you can’t be taught everything you need to know about being a trucker in trucking school.
“I want to help other women, especially, when they’re in their first year in trucking,” Roni said. “You have to be able to go outside your comfort zone and realize you’re roughing it out here. You have to be prepared for it and you have to adapt. That first year is going to tell you a lot about whether trucking is for you. I want to teach other women, especially, what I’ve learned because it does get hard. I want to help women get past those hurdles and figure out whether or not this business is for them.”
Stay tuned for more of our interview with Roni, which will be posted on Trucker Tools’ blog soon. To learn more about Roni, follow her on Facebook or Instagram. Looking for tips from your fellow truckers? Check out Trucker G’s Tips for a Long, Successful Career in Trucking. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/.