Rankin 2


Clarissa Rankin
is more than a truck driver. She is a woman, a wife, a mother and a friend. She is also a social media influencer and a one-woman evangelist for female drivers.

When people come to her platforms, they are going to be uplifted. “What brings me joy is helping others,” Rankin said. “Teaching, giving back, offering my knowledge and helping others grow.”

Getting to this point hasn’t been easy.

Rankin grew up in a household she describes as toxic. She was considered the black sheep – always in trouble. She was often told she would never be successful. Through it all, she maintained her inner drive.

“I kept reversing what I was told,” Rankin said. “I refused to become what they expected me to become. I was never going to let the shadow of darkness determine my life.”

The light, bright, fun personality survived. Rankin has always been an entertainer using her imagination. As a child, she would play “drive thru” at her grandmother’s window. Today, that entertainer comes through in her social media presence and viral videos.

Breaking into the industry was a challenge. After finishing her CDL training, Rankin had six interviews in six months and received only one job offer. “That offer was to be the owner’s assistant,” Rankin said. “No, thank you. I don’t want to shuffle your papers. I want to drive your trucks.”

During those six months, Rankin continued her education and obtained additional endorsements. The hazmat endorsement made the difference. The seventh interview resulted in a job offer – from a woman – not because she was a woman, but because she had the endorsement and could do the job. It also got her a bigger paycheck.

Eight years later, Rankin still loves the job.

“I can be myself and use my big personality to show other women the job, share who is hiring and demonstrate that you can be a woman AND a driver.”

She recommends the job to women because they can be themselves.

“You’re FREE,” Rankin said. “It’s an equal opportunity job. As long as the freight gets there, you can be you. No one cares who delivers the diapers as long as they get there. It doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you do your job. You can be a trucker, AND be a woman AND be happy. The bonus is, you can make good money and take care of your family.”

With the driver shortage, transportation companies need to make their businesses more welcoming to women.

“Take control of your terminals,” Rankin advises. “Don’t allow the sexism and locker room talk. Show a little respect.”

Another big issue for Rankin is the training.

“Watch the training,” Rankin said. “Make it less aggressive. There is no need for yelling. Some trainers make sexual references and are aggressive. That makes women feel uncomfortable. Women make better drivers because they listen and take their time.”

Research agrees. Omnitracs, a fleet management solutions company, found that female truck drivers get into fewer preventable accidents than men and generally drive more cautiously. Data also found that women are less likely than men to get warnings while driving such as “excessive overspeed,” “forward collision warning,” “hard braking,” and other signals that can lead to an accident.

Rankin offers another bit of advice for trucking companies – keep your word.

“If you say you’re going to pay a bonus, pay the bonus. On time. Like you promised,” Rankin said. “If you say drivers will be home so many days a week, then make it happen. Have a plan. Take care of your people and they will take care of you, your customers, the loads and the trucks.”

“If you keep your word, your drivers will become your spokespeople without even knowing it,” Rankin said. “They will talk you up.”

Rankin bolsters her upbeat persona by listening to motivational speakers and greeting each day with a positive attitude.

“I have turned the tables on the people who said I would never succeed,” Rankin said.

Through it all, she has maintained her confidence in herself.

“It’s trucker’s life, baby!”

Clarissa Rankin is an independent truck driver and a social media influencer with nearly a million followers. As a woman of color, Rankin is breaking the mold and inviting others to join her through messages of positivity and safety.

You can find her social media here:
Instagram: Iamclarissarankin
TikTok: Clarissarankin
Facebook: ClarissaRankin
YouTube: TheRankinsWorld

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  • Driver Recruitment