A big rig truck brought Ashley Baker to law school.

Not literally, although the third-year student at Southern University’s Law Center could have wheeled onto campus in one.

After driving a commercial truck for nine years, the Stone Mountain, Georgia, native decided to become an attorney.

And now that background and her schooling have turned Baker into an author.

In her new book, “The Art of Commercial Trucking: Hours of Service,” Baker uses her firsthand knowledge of both trucking and the law to explain these important regulations.

“Laws are written so only lawyers can understand them,” said Baker, 33. “I explain the hours of service rules so drivers can understand them.”

The regulations, established by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, address issues such as how long a driver can stay behind the wheel, the number of breaks required and other technicalities.

Each chapter of the book deals with a specific regulation and offers a scenario to further explain it; the answers are in the back of the book.

“It shows when the rules are needed, and the real-life situations where they apply in easy-to-understand language,” said Baker. “Hopefully, it helps new drivers feel more secure in their new career and helps seasoned drivers become safer and more efficient.”Baker had to learn the regulations to get her license to drive for C.R. England, one of the nation’s oldest trucking and transportation firms.Why trucking?“I needed a job … and I wanted to get out of my momma’s house,” Baker said with a laugh.“I honestly didn’t know if I could do it,” she added. “It was rough. The first time driving the truck I couldn’t get it to stay on. There were many times I wanted to quit.”But she didn’t and spent nine years crisscrossing the United States.“It was a little scary at times,” said Baker, who, after she graduates next spring, plans on becoming a personal injury defense attorney, representing maritime, rail and transportation clients. “I slept in the truck, ate truck-stop food and made trucker friends along the way.”She traveled to almost every state, falling in love with the West Coast.“Really anywhere in […]

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