By Aaron Ladage
Land Line staff
There’s a long road ahead for two soon-to-be well-known OOIDA members, and that’s just the way they like it.
OOIDA Life Member Howard Hart and his wife, Pam, are taking the wheel of OOIDA’s showcase truck, the “Spirit of the American Trucker.” The husband-and-wife team are taking over for former drivers Woody Chambers and his wife, Paula, who served as OOIDA’s mobile representatives for the past three years.
Within a week of being selected for the position, Howard and Pam were in the cab of The Spirit, on their way to the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY.
“I hollered at her, ‘Pack your bags, we’re it,’” Howard said. “It was kind of a quick turnaround.”
Despite starting their new job during the biggest trade show of the year, both Howard and Pam said it was an unforgettable experience. With some help from the Chambers, who also made the trip to Louisville to help train and assist them, the Harts said the work went smoothly.
“Woody and Paula were such great teachers,” Pam added. “We couldn’t have had better people to teach us.”
When they’re not on the road, Howard said he spends much of his time reading classic literature and listening to classical music. Pam, who’s been driving since 1997, said she tries to stay in touch with their two grown daughters and two grandchildren. The pair has outfitted their laptop computer with a wireless connection and Web cam to help communicate.
“Any woman who’s out there knows it’s a different lifestyle,” Pam said. “You’re not at home baking and taking care of the kids anymore.”
After a brief return to their home in Washington state, Howard and Pam will make the journey to the Tennessee Truck Show, May 6-7, stopping along the way to educate drivers about what the association has to offer.
“We always considered it a privilege to be members of OOIDA, and now we have an honor on top of that,” Howard said. “It’s icing on the cake.”