Clarissa Rankin, a 36-year-old African American mother from Charlotte, North Carolina, has worked as a professional truck driver to break stereotypes. She enjoys her job so much that she decided to start her own trucking company, JC Rankins Transport, which earned more than $144,000 in just one year.
Rankin had never intended to become a truck driver. She studied criminal justice and substituted for teachers. She was earning $1,900 per month at the time, which was insufficient to support her family.
Her husband, who had previously worked in the trucking industry, encouraged her to try driving a truck. In comparison to an office job, she fell in love with the job right away. She even passed her truck driving test on her first attempt, 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, because Rankin was unique in the field, it was difficult for him to find work. She was turned down several times before being hired. She was earning nearly $50,000 per year at the time, but she felt it was insufficient.
Rankin made the decision to start her own trucking company, JC Rankins Transport. She has been driving trucks to transport various goods across the East Coast for the past four years. She not only had more freedom with her schedule, but she also earned more than she had in her previous jobs. Last year, the company earned $144,208 and pocketed around $73,000 after expenses.
Rankin, who has 1.8 million TikTok followers, also makes money by creating social media content about her trucking life. Last year, she earned $36,000 from promotional videos and advertising.
She is also grateful for her husband’s support, who works from home as a videographer and looks after their sons while she is away. Despite criticism for her choice of work and the challenges she faces as a female truck driver, she continues to do what she enjoys.