Million Mile Mama - Kim Grimm
By Heather Hogeland
The lady I have chosen to be this months ‘Million Mile Mama’ is a dear friend and former show truckin’ buddy Kim Grimm. Kim has achieved over 3 million safe miles throughout her career and although she doesn’t actually drive a truck much these days, she is still very involved within the industry.
I should back up here and fill you in on a little history. When Kim was 15 and took drivers education in high school she fell in love with driving. She fell in love with the whole concept of traveling at the same time, so when she was old enough to hold down a job it wasn’t too much of a stretch for her to get one where she had contact with trucks.
She worked at a local quarry in Cedar Rapids, Iowa weighing trucks by day, and then after her shift she went to Kirkwood Community College to train for her ‘Chauffeurs’ license. She attended classes from 5:30 – 6:30pm and took road training from 6:30 – 8:00 pm 5 nights a week, earning her license in 5 weeks. The total cost for getting her license in 1978 was $250.00.
After graduating and getting her license Kim began to drive the dump trucks that she had formerly been weighing at the quarry. She drove them for the next 8 years all around eastern Iowa until the winter time layoffs began to get longer and longer.
When that became an obstacle too large to overcome year after year, Kim and her husband at the time, decided to run over the road as a team. The first truck they drove was a 1980 cab over freightliner with a 400 Cummins and a 13-speed transmission. That old truck had what we lovingly refer to as ‘Armstrong’ steering. This is a phrase we used to describe the ‘centerpoint’ steering that pre dated power steering; it took a LOT of strength in your arms just to turn the wheel back then!
They drove for a couple of different owner operators who were leased to the same carrier before deciding to buy their own truck in 1995. Their first truck, named ‘midnight rose’ was a T600 Kenworth, which they drove until 1998 when they took delivery of their dream truck, a 1998 W900L Kenworth named ‘Illusion’. This beautiful truck, spec’d and ordered special, was a brand new ‘Aerocab Studio’ sleeper with an 86”bunk.
I have many fond memories of that truck since Kim and I were fortunate enough to be able to run together from time to time in addition to showing and competing together. We even got the opportunity to race one another at Heartland Race track in Topeka, Ks one time on the drag strip.
Kim and her significant other, Pete Briggs now run a heavy haul company that Pete owns, He owns and operates his own truck while Kim does all of the clerical work involved. They have 4 trucks total so Kim keeps very busy with settlements, permits, fuel and highway use taxes, authority and regulations just to name a few. They are a Canadian bonded carrier as well as a US carrier so the list of tasks is endless but Kim does them all in addition to sometimes driving a pilot vehicle and writing a monthly column called ‘Trucker Talk’ for 10-4 magazine.
Kim had her motto “Truck to Live – Live to Truck” emblazoned on the back of ‘Illusion’ and she was true to the saying. She truly loved to truck, still loves the industry as her continued involvement shows. I felt it was high time to honor her for her contributions and dedication to our chosen profession. She is an asset to us all. Thanks Kim for being a great example of what women can accomplish in our industry with hard work and commitment.