For many years, people have considered trucking a strong male domain. It requires a lot of travel and infrequent confrontation with shady characters. Driving trucks is a fascinating job that pays well and will take you to some great places. As mentioned, people used to think this industry a place for males only. However, that status quo is fast changing now, with more women truck drivers joining the industry. In the modern age, the trucking world is gradually opening its proverbial doors to women drivers. That said, it is not simple to become one, and as a female truck driver, you are sure to face certain challenges in your job. Regardless, the following are the pivotal things that you need to know.
Why are more Women Taking Trucking Jobs?
One of the biggest reasons why the world is seeing more women truck drivers is that companies are now providing equal pay and benefits for drivers, regardless of their gender. Organizations are paying both male and female truck drivers according to their level of experience, routes, and so forth. The good news for females is that pay in the trucking industry is not gender-specific anymore.
An additional common reason why more women are transitioning toward trucking is that the nature of the job has somewhat become more female-friendly. That is owing to several reasons, such as modernization. Modernization includes superior transmissions on particular types of trucks that enable a less exhausting ride over greater distances. Furthermore, the trucking industry usually no longer requires truckers to unload and load the merchandise they are carrying.
What Percentage of Truck Drivers are Female?
There is no doubt that the number of female truck drivers has been increasing steadily over the last decade. Although this industry is still a male-dominated one, women make up around 6.5 percent of the total 3.5 million truckers. There has been a bigger demand for truck drivers in the United Sets of America lately. Due to equal pay (as mentioned above), more women are leaning towards this profession. According to the American Trucking Association, the number of female truckers has shot up by a staggering 68 percent in the last ten years.
Is it Safe to be a Female Truck Driver?
This is a common question most women who want to become professional truck drivers have. The truth is that data reveals that female truck drivers are better/safer drivers than their male counterparts. Experts think that is because women are probably more likely to take on risks while driving. They drive more carefully, and there are fewer chances of them getting involved in crashes.
That said, there is always some amount of harassment, sexism, and intimidation out there. These are common problems that women have to face in the trucking industry. To that end, women can employ the following practices to counter these issues:
Carefully Plan your Route in Advance
Everyone (all males and females) will have to stay in some unpleasant truck stops now and then. However, if you have a clear idea of where you are heading, that would allow you to choose the precise areas you would like to stop in. In this manner, you can err on the side of caution and not make unnecessary stops in dubious places.
Read the Reviews Online
It is always good for a female truck driver to know what others think regarding the showers, restrooms, and eating options that they will come across on their route.
Be sure Always to Lock Your Doors
This one is self-explanatory! Even if you are simply hopping out of your truck to get some fresh air, do not forget to lock your doors. The last thing you need is a stranger forcing their way in your vehicle!
Read Also: Truck Parking — A Trucking Problem
Stay Close to Lighted Places as much as Possible
It is common sense that if you stay in the light, you manage to stay safe. Driving on dark roads or hopping out of your truck in such places can jeopardize your safety tremendously. You never know who is lurking in the shadows!
Furthermore, if you a female truck driver, you have to make smart and wise choices. These choices include
Where you receive your professional trucking training
The organization you will drive for
Who you allow in your vehicle
Where you will stop over for rest, food, and fuel
Picking the Most Suitable Trucking Training School for Women In Trucking
Beginning your trucking career by receiving the best and most qualified training for your driver’s license exam is important. However, selecting the right school can make sure that happens without any trouble.
It is unfortunate, though, that some women truck drivers have complained about facing discrimination and harassment in the trucking training school. The training establishment needs to train all of its students, both females and males, with the utmost respect. Women who seek to become female truck drivers should locate a professional training school that has a healthy mix of both women and men. That is often a positive indicator that the said school has a good attitude regarding women in transportation and logistics.
Ways to Encourage and Promote Women in Trucking
It is of paramount importance for companies to encourage and promote women truck drivers. That would help to grow their population in the trucking industry and make it more diverse. The following are some of the most effective ways to do so:
Attracting Female Truck Drivers
The trucking landscape has situations galore where the health of females is at considerable risk. Hence, to attract and recruit female truckers, companies must show them that they prioritize their wellbeing.
First of all, it is vital to address the physical aspects of the matter. Generally, manufacturers design the cabs of the trucks to accommodate male drivers. Females are usually lighter and shorter than men. That makes it more challenging for them to reach the vehicle’s controls and identify a comfortable seat position.
There is no denying that comfort is paramount when you hit the road on your truck for several days at a time. Discomfort leads to stress, and it is also a representation of an occupational health danger.
For the last couple of years, many truck manufacturers are manufacturing vehicles that ergonomically favor women. Truck cabs designed to accommodate women drivers make sure that the drivers are comfortably operating the truck.
Empowering Women Truck Drivers
Life is indeed difficult for female truckers. Organizations can address common issues these women face by offering extra support. Trucking companies are increasingly providing counseling to women truck drivers on how to stay secure on the road. These companies have lately started to offer mentorship forums and programs where female drivers can discuss issues, such as safety, mental health, etc.
Moreover, male truck drivers can also gain a lot of advantage of these services. Most of these drivers welcome a more wellbeing-focused and diverse approach.
To summarize, more and more women truck drivers are surfacing in the industry and pulling out on the highways around the country. Although certain risks and issues are definitely present, now would be an ideal time for females to go into trucking. The trucking industry has opened up considerably in the last several years, and numerous organizations are trying their best to make the job more enticing to women. A reliable and skilled female truck driver can easily command high pay, job security, and a flexible schedule. These are important things people want regardless of their gender.
If you are a woman who is eager to jump on the trucking bandwagon, do not waste any more time. Head out there and begin trucking! Just make sure that you are aware of the issues you might face (like those described above) and prepare yourself to overcome them.