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Female Truck Drivers
More Than A Novelty

Female Truck Drivers Are More Than a Novelty

July 27, 2017

Female Truck Drivers: Help Prove It

Have you ever thought to yourself: “I’d like to be a trucker, but women don’t drive trucks?” Or maybe you told someone else your dream and they said those four nasty words: women don’t drive trucks. Well, rest assured that anyone who says this is wrong. Female truck drivers now make up over five percent of the total number of truck drivers in the U.S., and both the number of female truckers as well as the demand for them grows every year.

You heard that correctly: demand. The trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers. More importantly, enough female truck drivers have entered and succeeded in this industry that trucking companies have learned that female truckers are a better risk.

Women, men and CEOs agree that female truck drivers:

  • get in fewer accidents;
  • drive more cautiously;
  • cause less vehicle damage; and
  • are more engaged in the training process.
female truck drivers

Research is now available that shows that female truck drivers are in some ways ideal for the industry, despite it being dominated by male truck drivers.

The owner of Life as a Trucker relates that in his experience, “women in trucking are like the new trend but with good reason. I have heard a trainer say more than once that they [would] rather train a woman than a man. Some even brag about women’s driving skills by the time they are done with training.”

Trucks.com posted an article entitled Female Truckers Could Solve Trucking Industry Driver Shortage, in which they stated “male drivers, on average, have twice the number of crashes as women. They are more likely to be involved in crashes that occur on curves, in the dark or while passing other vehicles.”

Ellen Voie, the CEO of the Women in Trucking Association, explains, “women take fewer risks so the accidents involving women are at slower speeds. There is less damage to the equipment and less loss of life.”

All truckers have to build a reputation as reliable and safe before they gain the better-paying jobs and seniority truckers strive for to get the most out of their career. Because women are usually more reliable drivers, this task should come easier.

So, why aren’t there more women driving trucks? Many factors account for the lack of female truckers. To begin with, the misconception that trucking is a male career is still prevalent. Many women may not think of it without uncommon prompting, such as growing up in a trucking family or marrying a trucker. Those who do consider the career may rule it out because they have doubts about what society will think or what the job will be like.

Female truck driver Stephanie Klang relates that “there’s still a perception that it’s a man’s job, but trucking is 95 percent confidence, and five percent skills. It’s not physically strenuous.”

You may worry about sexual harassment or discrimination in such a male-dominated field, but there are many female truckers out there telling women not to let that stop them. It’s a rewarding and enjoyable career, and all-in-all, being a female doesn’t cause them much of a problem.

The owner of Life as a Truck Driver collected several videos with women sharing their thoughts on being a female trucker:

  • Gene says she has never been treated badly because she is a woman. Being female is all a plus for her, but she does recommend “not investing a lot of money in a CB radio,” because there are always some men who will misuse it as soon as they hear a woman’s voice.
  • Kristy says the way women are treated as truckers doesn’t really change from regular life. The likelihood of poor treatment depends on the man. She adds that a lot of men like seeing female drivers, describing it as “they take us seriously.”
  • Portia loves trucking. She comes from a trucking family and has always wanted to do it. She didn’t address the CB radio problem outright, but it is notable that she mentions not using it much.

There are also many comments from female truckers at the bottom of the page, so you should read those as well to get a thorough impression of what all of these women had to say.

You may have already considered this, but the height and size difference of men and women can pose a problem. Trucks.com lists the cab layout problems women may face entering the industry, but they also point out that there is growing momentum to change that. Even if you discover you can’t safely or comfortably drive a truck right now, it could quickly change. Don’t rule it out for the future.

It may also help you to know that you can get financial aid for CDL training, and grants are available to help you start your own trucking business. Visit the Houston Chronicle’s Small Business post to discover comprehensive details about financial help for female truckers.

The path gets a little smoother for female truck drivers every year. If you have a deep love of travel, trucks, earning a rewarding income, escaping the typical work environment and being your own boss, this could be a career for you.

Resources you might like:

Lady Truck Drivers connects you to female-leaning trucking jobs and team driving pairings.

The Women in Trucking Association and REAL Women in Trucking will provide you with information, training, and support for successfully navigating the worrisome aspects of trucking that exist. You can enter trucking more safely and smoothly with their guidance.

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