For almost 40 years,
OOIDA member Jeannie Holtz raised a family and worked as a bookkeeper in southwestern
Michigan. With her children long out of the nest, and bored with actuarial
charts, double-entry bookkeeping and the daily 9 to 5, she leaped at an opportunity
to leave it all behind three years ago for a new profession in the trucking
One of the first things
Jeannie discovered in her new role as pilot car operator was the wide range
of differences in rules and regulations concerning oversize loads throughout
the United States and District of Columbia. For a load requiring one escort
in a given state, crossing into the next involved dealing with a whole new
set of requirements.
experienced haulers had difficulty deciding what was required," Holtz
says. "And then there's the curfews..." Many cities, sometimes
entire counties and regions, impose restrictions on big loads during busy
traffic periods. "Heavy fines are the order of the day for violations,
and it's hard enough for haulers to make a buck today even if everything goes
smoothly," she says.
"On a trip requiring
passage through more than a half-dozen states I was nearly frantic trying
to determine what was required where," she says, "When it occurred
to me that I could most likely bring a semblance of order out of chaos."
On her return home and
during her downtime for most of the next year, Jeannie began collecting, clarifying,
and collating rules and regulations of each state, and organizing them in
an easy to use format. By the end of 1999, she was ready to publish, and found
a ready market with trucking companies, drivers and pilot car operators.
While working on the
"load atlas," Jeannie began planning to form her own pilot car service.
"I have a friend who was recovering from heart surgery and had been pretty
much confined for quite awhile, and asked if he'd like to make a short run
with me," she says. Deadheading home they talked about the business and
came up with the corporate name "Mother Trucker," and the term "load
atlas." Jeannie then designed her logo - a stylized self-portrait - and
a big load legend was born.
Jeannie has recently
begun publication of her 2001 atlas, "and, this year, we added another
atlas for the Canadian provinces, which will ease the burden for drivers and
escorts who must cross international boundaries." So far, Jeannie says
demand has been good and is increasing. "Sometimes I have to work far
into the night in my so-called 'down time' just to keep the orders filled,"
she says. "But, I'm not complaining."
For more information,
or call Jeannie at (561) 762-8246.