Clarissa Rankin, a 36-year-old African American mother from Charlotte, North Carolina, has broken stereotypes working as a professional truck driver. She loves the job so much that she decided to start her own trucking business JC Rankins Transport, which earned over $144,000 last year alone.
Rankin never planned to become a truck driver before. She studied criminal justice and worked as a substitute teacher. She was earning $1,900 per month at that time and it was not enough to support her family.
Her husband, who had worked in the trucking industry, was the one who encourage her to try driving a truck. She immediately fell in love with the job compared to an office job. She even got her truck driving license on her first try, proving everyone wrong.
“People always have this image in their mind of a truck driver being a man with a big old stomach, big old beard and wearing overalls,” she told CNBC. “I love to get that expression on people’s faces like, ‘Can you really drive that?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, I got this honey.'”
However, it was not easy for Rankin to find work for being different in the field. She got turned down many times before getting hired. She was then making nearly $50,000 a year but she felt that it was still not enough.
Rankin decided to start her own trucking business JC Rankins Transport. For 4 years, she has been driving trucks to transport different goods across the East Coast. Besides having freedom with her own schedule, she also earned more than in her previous jobs. Last year, the company brought in $144,208 and took home around $73,000 after the costs.
Rankin, who currently has 1.8 million followers on TikTok, also makes money from creating content about her trucking life on social media. She earned $36,000 from promotional videos and advertising last year.
Moreover, she is thankful for the support of her husband, who works from home as a videographer and stays with their sons while she’s on the road. Despite other people’s criticism of her choice of work and the challenges she faces as a woman truck driver, she still continues to do what she loves.
She currently has more than 1.8 million followers on TikTok @IAmClarissaRankin