Seattle woman steers her way to national trucking competition

SEATTLE - A local woman who drives a truck for the Boeing Co. will represent Washington state in the national truck driving championship.

"I always loved trucks," admits Lisa Bry. "I was always driving things when I was a little girl - horses, dirt bikes, bicycles. Give me anything to drive - I just love driving things."

So she let her heart steer her into a truck-driving career - long before it was popular for women.

"I love the 18-wheelers," she says. "I have been driving for 28 years."

Lisa says she has a record of 2 million miles of safe driving. That's equivalent 40 times around the world.

"In my whole career I have no parking tickets, speeding tickets or violations," she says.

Recently, her incredible driving record qualified her to compete for a prestigious trucking title.

"I won grand champion at the state competition," says Lisa.

She beat 135 others - mostly men - to become this year's state truck driving champion.

Now, she's cruising towards the national competition.

On Sunday, Lisa practiced maneuvering through obstacles - like those she'll face at next month's competition.

She says it is a precision trucking skill course - not a race.

Her instructor, Dan Poole, is a multiple award-winning champion himself.

"I've been a truck driver for 40 years," he says. "I've met a lot of women who are very good truck drivers. The male perception in our industry has not always been fair to them."

Lisa competed and trained for a chance at the national title for more than 20 years.

"This is a dream of mine," she says.

The state Department of Labor and Industries gave her high marks, too. The state featured her online as the standard for trucking safety in Washington state.

Another Boeing driver, Gary Herrygers, will also compete in the championship. The contest begins in Minneapolis on Aug. 6.