Eagle, IdahoÂ â€“Â For eight years, the Big IdahoÂ®Â Potato Truck, a 4-ton spud on wheels, has been turning heads and stopping folks in their tracks everywhere it goes. This summer, thereâ€™s another reason why people are taking a second look at the oversized vegetable.
The Tater Team, the trio that travels with the Truck promoting famous IdahoÂ®Â potatoes, is all women, including the driver. According to CNBC, only 6 percent of all truck drivers are female. So if you think a giant spud is a rare sighting, so is a female truck driver.
This year marks Melissa Bradfordâ€™s first year driving the Big IdahoÂ®Â Potato Truck, and sheâ€™s a natural. Born and raised in Idaho, Melissa grew up harvesting spuds with her dad. She became a commercial truck driver in 2008, and in 2016 upgraded to a Class A commercial license, allowing her to operate a vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds. Melissa says seeing peopleâ€™s reaction to the Truck is the highlight of her job, and sheâ€™s amazed at how many people ask her if the potato is real.
Accompanying her are the â€œTater Twins,â€ Jessica Coulthard and Kaylee Wells, Idahoans and best friends who have been traveling with the Big IdahoÂ®Â Potato Truck for three years.Â Theyâ€™ve trekked across the country countless times promoting the health benefits of IdahoÂ®Â potatoes to millions of folks who are thrilled to see the largest spud on wheels.
â€œThe Tater Team represents the heart and soul of the IdahoÂ® potato brand, and Iâ€™m exceptionally proud of Melissa, Kaylee, and Jessica for demonstrating its values on a daily basis,â€ says Frank Muir, President & CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC).