The Tamera Sturgis story, wherein a smoking-hot millennial decides that the up-and-down life of a long-haul trucker is the one for her, really belongs on TV as a reality show.

Oh wait... it is.

Or was anyway, and may soon be again, with the dynamic Miss S. and her thousand-watt smile in the starring role.

“There’s something in development, but it’s top secret right now,” Sturgis coyly revealed, accompanied by her contagious laugh. It would follow two-plus successful seasons with husband Todd on A&E’s Shipping Wars, then landing a sweet gig for Cummins after spending decades traveling America by truck.

And all from Tamera simply asking a cute guy to dance some 23 years ago.

The Sturgises look way younger than their years, and have been driving as a tandem since 1994, when they booked their first co-piloting job from Los Angeles to New Jersey. They mostly worked for a small independent firm, loved being together on the road, and up to a few years ago had no idea they would become nationally known via the small screen.

They met when Todd was a stand-up comic in California. Tamera saw his routine at a club one night, thought he was cute, and asked him to dance. Yada, yada, yada they dated and were soon married. “But we were barely making it,” she recalled. “Todd found a second job counting freight on a loading dock. He spoke with some of the people there, came home one night and asked me what I thought about the two of us driving a truck together. I was a tomboy anyway and said it sounded great. We went to truck driving school to get our CDLs, then four weeks later were hired, trained and in a brand new truck going cross country.”

Tamera and Todd spent years on the road, loving every moment. Well, almost every moment.

“It isn’t all roses… it’s a hard lifestyle, but we have a great time,” said Tamera. “I came to realize it was an incredible career and amazing adventure. I love driving the big trucks, shifting and maneuvering.

“I started a Facebook page, Trucking Is Glamorous, to show the positive side of truck driving.”

Proving herself along the way in a mostly male-dominated industry was a challenge she met head on.

“I’ve had people accuse me of lying when I said I was a truck driver,” she stated. “They thought I just accompanied Todd. When we arrived at a destination, I made sure I was the one to back it in. I couldn’t be the woman driver who had to let the man back it in. When they opened up, all the workers would stop and watch me back in. They say I’m as good or better than any man.”

The Sturgises spent two years on Shipping Wars (see sidebar), then were hired by Cummins last year to drive the company’s exhibit truck and trailer to various events.
“That went so well that they kept us busy driving their trucks and equipment to grand openings and customer appreciation events, and we were doing that exclusively for about a year,” said Tamera.

The queen of the road said she felt good showing and telling women that driving a truck could be a fun and profitable career.

“The last I heard, the average truck driver only lasts nine months,” she said. “I feel like a pioneer for women especially, but also for any potential driver. This job is about attitude. Trucks are like motorhomes now. Once you get past the first year of driving, you can pretty much go wherever you want. Maybe I’m a freak, but I love the road life, the travel and seeing new places.”

After driving company trucks for so long, the Sturgises would like to chart their own course.

“We’re looking into buying our own truck,” said Tamera. “And I want to start something called Millennial Monday, where we bring a millennial on a week-long trucking trip to let them see that this is a viable career option.”

Tamera stays in peak shape by roller-skating whenever she’s not in a truck that’s cruising down the highway. She takes her skates on the road and has competed in roller derby leagues all over the U.S. It’s upgraded her confidence, strength and stamina.

Asked if Todd keeps an eye on her at truck stops, she laughed and said, “No, not so much anymore. I guess he knows I can take care of myself. I’ll throw a good elbow if I need to, or hip check you right into the bushes.”

Tamera has a pat answer for who’s the better driver, her or hubby.

“I say me and he says me too, so it’s unanimous!”