To celebrate Mother’s Day, we sat down with Ina Daly – mom, championship driver and 34-year LTL veteran – to learn how she’s balanced her career as a trucker with her responsibilities as a parent.
Ina Daly was raised around trucking. Her father ran less-than-truckload (LTL) line haul routes in Arizona – day trips between hubs in a distribution network. “I was so proud of my father,” Ina recalls. “I used to tell everyone at school, ‘My dad’s a truck driver!’”
Ina had a gift for driving tractors on the family farm, which she and her siblings maintained while their father was on the road. He always encouraged her to do what she loved. “I remember telling my dad, ‘Women can’t drive trucks!’ and oh, did he set me straight. He made sure I knew I could do anything I wanted."
A few years after taking her first driving job at age 19, Ina joined the team of what is now XPO’s LTL unit. “I feel like I’ve grown up with this operation. It was only a year old when I came on.” Today she’s the senior driver at our Phoenix service center, running LTL line haul routes like her dad used to do. Along the way, she prioritized raising her daughter, Alisa, as a single mother.
“A lot of women think they can’t balance parenting with being a truck driver. I worked city pickup and delivery for a lot of years, and sometimes I’d even work nights. But I was there in the morning to see Alisa off to school, and I set my alarm to wake up before she got home. It was a lot of work, but I was blessed to have neighbors that were good friends, and family close by to help out. It’s kind of funny that I work for a logistics company – when you’re a parent, logistics is what you do every day!”
Ina recently won the coveted title of Grand Champion at the 2018 Arizona Truck Driving Championship. Although it took a lot of hard work and after-hours practice, Ina didn’t let it get in the way of spending time with her daughter and grandchildren. “When I practiced on the weekends, my grandchildren Evan and Marley were allowed to ride with me in the yard. You have to be smart and careful, of course – everyone participates in safety!
“It was a good opportunity for my family to see what I do for a living and feel part of it. Whether supporting me while I practiced or watching me compete at championships, they’ve always been my biggest cheerleaders!”
Read more about Ina Daly and her impressive victory at the 2018 Arizona Truck Driving Championship at Truckers News.