Note: This feature is in the Jan. TT&C 2014 issue.
Mary Good holding her RTC model truck.
Beautiful Kenworth truck—black with gold and red stripes.
Older Kenworth with detail of cab.
Mary Good of Danville, Ill., was born into a truck driving family. Her father, Billy Crouch, drove a tanker for Maurice Transport, hauling jet fuel, oil and gas. Good married young and her first husband was also a truck driver. She said, “My ex-husband would beg for me to go with him. So I gave in and went on the road with him. I got bored of just riding even though sometimes I would lump the load (unloading it because the receiver expected us to). So I decided I would learn how to drive.”
In 1985, a training program called Job Training Partnership Act sent Good to Diesel Truck Driver Training School in Sun Prairie, Wis. Six weeks later on Sept. 6, “I graduated with a diploma. My husband and I signed on with ACB Trucking of North Little Rock, Ark., as a team.”
While driving was serious and hard work, Good can remember some fun times. “One Christmas we had loaded out of the East Coast coming home. It was snowing heavily and we were running in a convoy down the road. Some of the other drivers started singing Christmas carols over the CB. I joined in and the songs lifted our spirits, making it truly seem like Christmas. We had a lot of fun going down the highway at times. I loved driving.”
Like many a truck driver Good wanted to own her own rig. So with a little help from her grandmother, she bought a 1964 half-cab Mack and signed on with Mid-States Container out of Champaign, Ill. She later traded her Mack for a 1974 Peterbilt with a 350 NTC Cummins, 444 rears and a 13 over—she was in driver’s heaven. Over the course of her driving career, Good hauled dry freight mostly, including railroad parts, switch houses, bricks, steel, watermelons and industrial dryers.
“On our truck,” Good said, “I had a little running buddy too. His name was Petey. He was a male Chihuahua/Dachshund mix. He was totally my baby doll. Petey was very good on the truck. He did get into a little mischief, like raiding my leftover sandwich or chewing on a roll of paper towels. But he was my heart and rock. He went on the truck with me a lot.”
In February 1989, Good lost her Peterbilt through divorce. “My heart was broken to say the least. To this day I miss the Pete but life has to go on.”
Good drove for a few more years, but she was eventually diagnosed with sleep apnea. “I decided for the safety of myself and everyone else I would come off the road all together. I kept my CDL until renewal time this year. I finally let it go, knowing I would never drive again. I will always love the concept of trucking and what it stands for. To be a driver you make sacrifices, use your common sense along with being the best you can be. Trucking is the American economic backbone for all of us and I am proud to have been a part of that as a past driver. So now I collect model trucks to look at, enjoy and to help me remember the days when I drove.”
Today, Good’s collection numbers around 400 models. She doesn’t have any problems choosing her favorite model. “My dad retired in the early 1990s and shortly thereafter he had a huge garage sale. I bought his Standard Oil model truck from him. This will always be my favorite model because it belonged to Dad.”