Julie Matulle describes herself as the “happiest girl on 18 wheels.” After driving a forklift for Quad Graphics for more than 19 years she took a chance, quit her job and enrolled in Fox Valley Technical College’s Truck Driving technical diploma program.
Since her family owned a trucking company, Julie grew up around trucking. At Quad Graphics, she was always around truckers too. She longed to get out on the open road herself. After her two children became independent, Julie decided the time was right.
The three-level, 10-week program was very thorough, including classroom, lab, range and roadway experience. It includes necessary communication, paperwork and map reading. “I loved every minute of it,” Julie said. She also developed close relationships with other students in the program who continue to keep in touch and share advice and tips with each other.
After graduating and with help from FVTC, Julie started her new career with H.O. Wolding driving paper products to the southeastern U.S. and bringing other products back home to Wisconsin.
“I have a great manager. I like the freedom and I like to be busy,” she explained.
During her first year, Julie was given the Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie Award. She was the first woman to receive the award. This year the president of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools asked Julie to speak at the national convention in New Orleans.
Her dog, Rocky, keeps Julie company and social media helps her keep in touch with friends and relatives while she travels. “They check in with me if they see I’m going through bad weather,” Julie shared. “My family is super supportive too.”
Julie qualified for her dream job after just 10 weeks of training.