Million Mile Mama - Kim Grimm
By Heather Hogeland
In 1992 Cathy Mawer found herself in a difficult position, newly divorced with three children to support. It’s a familiar story for many of us, a dilemma a lot of us have had to face in our lives. She was barely getting by on the income she had, so she had to find a suitable occupation, one that would pay well and that she would be able to enjoy. Cathy had always wanted to drive so becoming a truck driver seemed a logical choice.
Since her father had been a truck driver she knew that becoming one herself would allow her to provide for her family, so she enrolled in truck driving school. After 4 months of training, Cathy earned her CDL and was ready to hit the road to earn her living.
Her first job was running team with a friend who owned his own truck; they pulled a dry van running Texas to Canada, hauling all manner of auto parts and supplies. After 3 years of this type of driving Cathy and her co-driver parted company and she went to work for the same company they had been leased to.
As a single driver Cathy stopped running into Canada, she ran just the United States side, for another 2 ½ years, until she met Tracy Mawer, the man she eventually married. Tracy and Cathy teamed up and worked for a couple of different carriers hauling both dry and air freight in all 48 states.
In 1997 they decided to go to work at R&L Carriers out of Wilmington, Ohio and have been there ever since. For animal companionship Cathy and Tracy have 2 Chihuahuas, Sissy 13, and Cindy 5 that travel with them. They pull doubles and long boxes on a dedicated run between Wilmington, OH and Earle, AR, meeting a Texas team every day, 5 days a week. This run gives them a weekly total of between 6000, and 6100 miles a week so there is no time for grass to grow!
Cathy was awarded a million mile safety award by her company several years ago and has actually achieved more than 2 million safe miles throughout her driving career. She joined the Women In Trucking organization last year and is currently making plans to attend the ‘Salute To Women Behind The Wheel’ event in Louisville next March hoping to take part in the event and photograph that breaks the world record of female CDL holders in one picture.
Cathy has 2 grandkids, Joey Lynn, 9 and Walker, 8 who are the light of her life, as well as her 2 horses ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Jake’. Their weekends at home are always bustling with activity! Look for Cathy on the road and be sure to say hello if you happen across her, she generally does her driving during daylight hours.