At age 73, Veronica Longwith has four grandchildren and a great-grandchild. And yet, at a time in life when others are winding down, she’s revving up—again.
Longwith already had held a CDL trucking job from 1987-1992, as she told The Chattanoongan website. Now she’s excited to return to driving all these years later.
“My first time around, I found a local company out of Chattanooga that offered training for truck drivers,” she said. “With me raising a young daughter at the time, I found it easiest to take their weekend classes all day Saturday and Sunday for three months.” On the last day of class, Ms. Longwith got her license and was ready to begin orientation with Reeves Transportation in Calhoun, Ga.
For five years, Longwith hauled carpet and flooring for Reeves—from Dalton, Ga., across the United States.
“I loved every minute of it,” she said. But, it was family that saw Ms. Longwith take her hiatus from a career she enjoyed and concentrate her efforts on caring for her only brother. “Gerard got very sick and I needed to stay closer to home and take care of him when he really needed some help,” she said.
Her brother passed away, and Longwith rejoined the workforce as a business owner.
But deep down, the open road called her back to a CDL trucking job.
She made the decision to return to commercial truck driving 24 years after her first stint as a big rig driver. Married once before, the now single senior had nothing but time and the open road ahead of her. So, this past winter, she enrolled in Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s ten-week Commercial Truck Driving program in Walker County, Ga.
When asked what her family thought of this decision to be a commercial truck driver one more time, it was her son who was first to find out. “I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it,” she said. “He happened to see me on the highway one morning and saw me pull into the main entrance for GNTC. That’s when I realized that I’d need to tell him. He wasn’t happy about my decision. But, I’m really happy about it.”
Longwith tells others striving for CDL trucking jobs that they need a passion for driving or they won’t last long in the business.
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