For several reasons, Candy Critchfield, aka “The Girl” was dubbed “produce hauler extraordinaire”. She is a produce hauler and has operated on different trucks for as long as she can remember. She grew up at a farm town in Idaho, which she describes as “20 miles from nowhere”. She lives with a backyard of potato fields, and she grew up with her dad working in the farm and hauling potatoes.
Critcher is a fan of the “B.J. and the Bear Show” and she dreams of becoming the “Singing Truck Driver”, and this desire led her to learn driving. At age 17, she was already hauling beets in six-wheel farm trucks. She has been doing this for quite some time, until she realized she cannot make it big with it, so she decided to focus on driving.
Critcher now drives various truck makes and models. She has driven from 5/4 trucks to 18 speed trucks among others. She drives from fields to cellars or warehouses. Depending on whatsoever field she was in and where the produce should be delivered, Critcher would go driving from a quarter-mile to 100 miles a day. This was all in the next 15 years.
From that Idaho town, Critcher went to work in a private farm to haul region-wide produce in 2008. “When I first started regional, I was the only female with 18 other drivers. There was a lot of prejudice and questioning my skills and ability to handle harvest hours. These guys had no idea I was raised driving farm trucks; I was used to harvest schedules,” she said.
After some time, Critcher proved herself. She only realized this when another truck driver told her that she out-drove most of the men who had been questioning her capabilities to begin with. “I pushed it,” she says. She even emphasized, “But I didn’t push it because of them talking, I pushed it because that’s my personality.”
How Did Crister Get Her Alias “The Girl”?
In 2012, she got her nick name “The Girl”. She started hauling over the road for Gem State Transportation. This was where she was christened with her nickname. When she started there, she was “one two women drivers,” she says, “but somehow I got the nickname and it stuck.”
Today, when things have come to a full circle, “The Girl” hauls produce from warehouses that used to be the places of her deliveries back in the day throughout processing plants, such as Hunts Point in the Bronx. Her hauling job also took her to places like Sysco, which provides food to service industries.
With her status as a company driver that she greatly enjoys, “The Girl” feels like a part of something good. “The boss has a relationship with us,” she says. “We matter. I make good money, but it’s not really about the money. I feel like part of a family, not just a number.”
She is having a great time with her job and often stays out for over a month. “They’ll get me home whenever I need to get home, they’re good about it. I just like being out. My kids are grown. I can enjoy it, and I do.”
Candy “The Girl” Critchfield is a single mom who appreciates her mother for moving to her home so as to take care of her kids while she is away. “I told my mom she would always have a home with me,” she says. “She still lives in my home. It’s more hers than mine, I guess — she’s there a lot more than me!”