Editor’s Note: Brita Nowak was not you typical truck driver. The German-born, former actress was named Overdrive’s Most Beautiful Trucker in 2016, and has been rather public — and unusually upbeat — about her decision to have a double mastectomy when diagnosed with breast cancer. Recently, Nowak posted on her Facebook page that she was shutting down her Bratcat Express trucking company. Here’s why:
I spent 16 years transporting food and goods to every corner of this nation in snow, rain, traffic. I loved it.
The inflexible hours of service combined with the electronic logging device (ELD) stuck at the diagnostic port of my engine since Dec. 18, 2017 have turned my job into a miserable day-to-day activity, without the monetary compensation for being away from home more than necessary.
I will not let anybody tell me when I should be awake to drive or that I need to go to sleep when I am energetic after resting all day in various warehouses waiting for hours for them to leisurely come around to take their freight off my trailer.
This entire industry needs an overhaul. Starting with proper infrastructure to safely park our trucks, educating the motorist public how to give us space, efficient warehouse operations and most importantly FLEXIBLE hours of service. I closed my company in protest and if enough independent owner/operators follow, freight will not be moved as easily, rates will go way up, YOUR food will get expensive (just in case you think none of this has any effect on you).
I had one of the most thankless jobs one can imagine. Nobody wants trucks around, yet without us everything stops and you have no food or toilet paper. It takes a crisis to get change. Here’s to starting a crisis 🍸.