Heather Hogeland never aspired to be a truck driver. She grew up the middle of three girls, the tomboy of the bunch.
“In the ‘60s and ‘70s, girls didn’t dream about driving a truck,” she says.But her father, Robert, had an owner operator trucking job, so Hogeland was destined for the same career all along. It was her father who taught her how to drive a truck—and he taught her well. In 1976 at the tender age of 19, Hogeland got a CDL trucking job.
In looking at Hogeland’s life, she followed in her father’s footsteps—and her mother followed in hers.“I was an inspiration to her, not the other way around. That’s kind of unique,” Hogeland says of her mother, Doreen, who took up truck driving in her 50s. “I couldn’t have done it without her, because she raised my son for me.”
Mom takes up truck driving
Hogeland and her husband, Roger, are retired team drivers who have been married for 33 years. In their heyday, they ran hard from south to north and everywhere in-between.
Doreen observed their lifestyle from afar and wanted in on it. “She saw Roger and me and thougt she wanted to do it too,” Hogeland says. “My dad was shocked. He wasn’t real happy with the plan.”
By the early 1990s, Doreen came into an inheritance. She used it to make a down payment on a brand new Volvo truck. And despite her husband’s protests, in 1992, Doreen earned her CDL permit and started driving. Leased through Countrywide, a reefer carrier out of southern California, and later to Southern Star Transport, Doreen and Robert began running team together up to Toronto, Ontario.
While Robert and Doreen rarely ran with their daughter and son-in-law, but it was a wild time when they ran together. Hogeland recalls the tales with a laugh.
“Mom and I were running down the road one night, Mom was following me and we were speeding,” Hogeland recalls. “People would say things over the radio and we would have fun. I’d say, ‘Watch your language, my momma is right behind me!’ And my dad would shout to my mom, ‘Do you know how fast you’re going?’ I love the funny memories.”
Hogeland also recalls that her mother’s sense of direction lacked. “My mom got lost going into Cleveland every time,” Hogeland says. “And she ran into Cleveland every week. My dad would drive with her and he never got any sleep because she got lost. Following directions wasn’t one of her priorities.”
Doreen passed away in 2005 at age 69.
Hogeland reminisces about her warmly even now, recalling her as a woman who never met a stranger. Who located stragglers at truck stops and invited them home for dinner. Who always put family first.
“I’m so grateful for those times that we had,” Hogeland says. “My mom taught us that humans aren’t perfect, but they are human. She was about as imperfect as they come, but she taught me how to forgive. And that’s one of the most important lessons you learn in this world.”
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