Master Driver Melodi Emmons' Million-Mile Journey

Melodi Emmons grew up in New England and originally worked at a pet store. She had no intention of becoming a truck driver and, at the time, had never even traveled past the Mississippi River.

Still, the west was calling her name.

Influenced by her stepfather who drove a truck for 20 years, Melodi set out to become a driver so she could see the country for herself. He warned her: “If you’re in it for five years, you’re in it for life.”

Melodi Emmons-Master Truck Driver

One million miles and 19 years later, Melodi is honored with the highest truck driver distinction in Indiana: the Master Truck Driver Award.

Her stepfather was very proud of the award and told her, “I’ve never made it that far.” But to Melodi, the Master Truck Driver award isn’t just a measure of her achievement up to this point; it’s something to live up to in the future. It’s very important to her to maintain her reputation, receive no tickets, avoid accidents and drive safely.

The advice of her trainer stuck with her: "Drive every day like it’s the first day—no accidents, no incidents nor tickets… Drive safely. Be considerate. Loads and appointments can be changed.” She constantly keeps an eye on her surroundings.

The importance of the industry is clear to Melodi. She cautions not to judge drivers because "without truck drivers you'd be homeless, hungry and naked." Melodi has also been in the truck driving championships, participated in and judged trucking rodeos to raise money for St. Jude and has driven on Easton’s skid pad.

Melodi’s love for travel was apparent when she studied to be a travel agent in college. Even now, when people ask what she does for a living as a driver, she says she is a “payed tourist” who gets to sit and see the country. Her favorite area to travel through is the desert of Nevada and Arizona, but she generally loves being outdoors. When she is able to be home, she loves mowing the lawn on her two acres of land.

Melodi has three children: two sons and a daughter. Her daughter currently lives with her while studying accounting. She also has two cats and a German Shepard named Harley.