TORONTO, ON – Karin Macintyre was once told she was the 5,000th woman in Canada to hold a commercial driver’s licence. Now she’s the first woman to be named Volvo Trucks – Ontario Trucking Association Driver of the Year.
“It really hasn’t sunk in just how important being the first is. But I am over the moon – living the dream,” says the owner-operator.
Over 30 years on the road, the native of Port Perry, Ontario, has accumulated more than 3 million collision-free kilometers.
She began driving some of them before she was even legally allowed to sit behind the wheel. Her employer at a local turf farm purchased a Ford tractor and assigned her to drive it.
“None of us had a licence to drive it at the time,” she admits. “We used to shift gears going across the field.”
Macintyre was a single mother at the time, and decided to apply for a driving job after officially earning the licence. After working for a few companies, she bought her first truck in 2006 and began working with MacKinnon Transport. A second truck came soon after, and she hired a husband and wife team to run it – for awhile.
“One day I just realized that sometimes if you’re going to do things right, you’re going to have to get back in the truck and do it yourself. So that’s what I did,” she says.
Today Macintyre runs three trucks with her husband Peter and a family friend – a 1996 Peterbilt, a 2006 Volvo and 2014 Volvo. She has been with Winnipeg-based Arnold Bros. for the last five years.
“Through hard-work and commitment and perseverance she’s shown she can be a leader even in a male-dominated industry. We just feel so proud she is the first woman owner-operator to receive this achievement. And it is well deserved through a lot of hardship,” says fleet president Gary Arnold.
“I think Karin is living proof that anyone, male or female, can build a great life from the trucking industry,” says Stephen Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association. “She embodies everything this award represents.”
“Everyone in this industry should be inspired by Karin,” adds Volvo Trucks Canada’s Matthew Blackman. “In what can be a challenging industry, Karin has been able to balance life on the road to become a successful businesswoman while also raising a family. It’s an incredible achievement and we couldn’t be prouder to recognize her as the Driver of the Year.”