Former Star Trek actress and owner of Jupiter, Florida-based trucking firm Bratcat Express Corp. says she’s shutting down her company and quitting the trucking industry in protest of recent regulatory changes.
Brita Nowak, who worked as an actress and appeared in popular television shows like Star Trek: Voyager, L.A. Law, and Babylon 5, left Hollywood and became an owner operator in 2004. For nearly 14 years she operated BratCat Express Corp., hauling frozen and refrigerated foods.
Nowak became an industry-celebrity after winning Overdrive’s ‘Most Beautiful’ driver award in 2016.
Now, after more than a decade behind the wheel, she says recent changes in trucking has caused it to became a “miserable activity.” As a result, she’s hanging up her keys and calling it quits — closing her trucking company and quitting the industry.
Nowak wrote the following explanation on Facebook.
To make things perfectly clear. I spent 16 years transporting food and goods to every corner of this nation in snow, rain, traffic. I loved it. The inflexible Hours of Service combined with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) stuck at the diagnostic port of my engine since December 18th of 2017 have turned my job into a miserable day to day activity, without the monetary compensation for being away from home more than necessary. I will not let anybody tell me when I should be awake to drive or that I need to go to sleep when I am energetic after resting all day in various warehouses waiting for hours for them to leisurely come around to take their freight of my trailer. This entire industry needs an overhaul. Starting with proper infrastructure to safely park our trucks, educating the motorist public how to give us space, efficient warehouse operations and most importantly FLEXIBLE Hours of Service. I closed my company in protest and if enough independent Owner/Operators follow, freight will not be moved as easily, rates will go way up, YOUR food will get expensive (just in case you think none of this has any effect on you). I had one of the most THANKLESS jobs one can imagine. Nobody wants trucks around, yet without us everything stops and you have no food or toilet paper. It takes a crisis to get change. Here’s to starting a crisis 🍸
Many commenters supported her message on Facebook, with several drivers saying they’ve also quit due to the current regulatory environment and several others promising to follow her example and leave the industry in the near future.
The user comment the best summed up the reactions to her decision was written by driver Jack Czubek, who simply stated: “You made the right choice, it’s not worth.”