This trucker is here to remind women they can do it all and secure a bag, too!
Clarissa Rankin may be familiar to some. The trucker, entrepreneur, and social media guru has created a lane for women in a predominantly male-driven industry, which in turn started to make ends meet for her family. In 2018, as Rankin was obtaining her commercial driving license, she noticed there were not any Black women in the orientation class.
“I went to get my commercial driving license and when I went to the orientation class, I saw nobody looked like me. So, I started making videos telling women there is good money in this space,” Rankin told AfroTech.
This realization led Rankin into the world of TikTok and Instagram where she started documenting her experience of working as a woman in trucking. It also served as a medium to educate others with hopes of making the pathway easier than it was for her.
In addition, Rankin’s social platforms, which have garnered over 1.6 million followers, have become an additional stream of income. She told AfroTech that she has secured deals between $12,000 to $18,000.
Rankin Paves Her Own Path Alongside Her Husband
As she was entering the trucking industry, Rankin worked for a warehouse company in which she was making a fair living as a local driver earning nearly $50,000. After one year of experience, Rankin decided it was time to create a trucking business alongside her husband as they could maintain greater profits and create a better standard of living for their family.
“The main thing was just believing in myself. I knew that I could always set goals for myself and I knew that we could make a better living if we had our truck and ran our own business,“ Rankin said.
The Struggles Of Launching A Trucking Company
Now, becoming their own bosses has ultimately paid off for Rankin and her husband.
Just last year, Rankin says their business — JC Rankins Transport — earned $140,000. Despite their evident success, Rankin makes it clear that the road came with trials and tribulations.
To launch their business, it cost them at least $20,000, including the truck, which soon broke down. In addition, finding loads became increasingly difficult and within three months the couple realized they could soon face bankruptcy.
“As soon as we got the truck and got it going, it broke down. We couldn’t find the load that would pay for everything and the truck. We could not save any money because we weren’t making any money,” she said. “So, within three months of us having our authority, we ended up going to a company that we could use their loading board.”
The pair then sold their existing truck back to the dealership and opted to lease a truck, learning from their previous blunder. Rankin shares how each mishap has been shared on social media to remind others that there are various routes to consider when finding your footing in the trucking industry.
How CloudTrucks Has Advanced JC Rankins Transport
Now, JC Rankins Transport has multiple trucks under its belt. They can also thank the advancement of their business to CloudTrucks. “The Black-owned company was founded in 2019 by Tobenna Arodiogbu, Jin Shieh and George Ezenna. CloudTrucks provides a tech platform that helps small trucking businesses manage their administrative duties, including scheduling, instant payments, expense tracking and more,” AfroTech previously reported.
Switching to the platform was an easy decision for Rankin as she recognized, unlike various other companies, CloudTrucks did not manipulate the earnings of its drivers. In an interview with AfroTech, she revealed CloudTrucks earns her three times more income than working for a mega carrier.
“A lot of these other companies, by the time you get paid, it has been taxed down, cut, and manipulated,” she said. “That’s why I ended up leaving the company I was with for three years and started using CloudTrucks.”
Trucking Business Funds Rankin's Cosmetic Line
Rankin hopes her ventures will inspire more women to enter the trucking industry as it can also lead to funding new pathways in the future. She is proof the sky is the limit as her entrepreneurial origins in the trucking industry have recently supported the launch of her passion project and cosmetic line OwtSpoKen Collection.
“Women can do this job too, just look at what trucking has done for me. Women can think ‘Is it okay to leave my kids now,” Rankin said. “I have now shown them you can. I have my kids. I want more women to make this money too and have a piece of that power.”
As Rankin looks to built a multi faceted brand she will continue to use her platform and influence to open the doors for others to follow suit. In fact, after serving five years in the trucking industry, Rankin hopes to one day launch a school to educate others on how to pave their pathways toward economic freedom.