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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


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Those Wonderful Women Truckers

Feb
5,
2007
9

Presently, there are about 8 million licensed CDL drivers in the United States. Approximately 4.5 million of these are active truck drivers. Professional truck driving, specifically over the road trucking, has always been noted as a field dominated by men. The rough and tough trucking life could only be handled by a real man . . . well, times are changing!

Women in trucking actually goes back to 1929 when Lillie Elizabeth Drennan became the first women to receive the CDL license. Driving an old Chevrolet, she was a rugged lady who carried a loaded revolver with her on her trucking adventures. Born in 1897, she paved the way for women truckers up to her passing in 1974.

Today, there are nearly 170,000 women truckers, making up 5% of all U.S. trucking jobs. By the end of 2007, that number is expected to attain 200,000. What motivates these women to leave the general work place? You will find that independence and the irrepressible challenge of truck driving jobs are the two most common motivations given. Another important reason is the wage-earning aspect. Truck driving averages 20-30% higher wages than jobs’ women usually enter into. Woman in trucking is on such a rise in the United States that it is the cause of such great organizations such as the National and International Women’s Trucking Association. Also, women are taking on more important leading roles such as management, safety, dispatching, sales and recruiting.

In the beginning, this new breed of trucker was hard for their men counterparts to accept. As time passed, men took notice as these incredible women showed their determination and abilities to handle the big rigs. I remember one day when I was parked at the Petro Truck Stop in El Paso, Texas and a driver came in and was attempting to back into a very tight spot next to a light pole. After several attempts, he pulled away frustrated. Right behind him, came this massive looking Peterbuilt and whipped right up and “hit” the spot on the very first try. I thought to myself, “Now that is one good driver.” As the door of the Peterbuilt opened, this tiny little lady that stood only about 5’4″ bounded out and made her way up to the truck stop! I just chuckled to myself and went to bed.

All truck drivers encounter the dangers and hardships associated with truck driving jobs, more so however, for over the road trucking. Women truckers are more vulnerable to these dangers and need to adhere to far greater rules of safety. Listed below are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid rest areas at all times, especially at night.
    2. Keep doors locked at all times.
    3. Never advertise that you are alone, even using the C.B. radio
    4. Stay away from driving on back roads or taking “short cuts.”
    5. When parking at a truck stop, try parking as close to the front door as possible.
    6. At all parking spots, attempt to park under a well-lighted area.
    7. ALWAYS carry a cell phone.

I, for one, consider it a great testimony to the strength and determination of our country’s women to take on such a demanding obstacle of over the road truck driving. It is not the easiest way of life. I am also continually impressed by those women who not only have succeeded in this difficult lifestyle, but have also maintained their feminine qualities. My experiences have also shown that trucking companies show more respect and even provide BETTER opportunities to women drivers. Truck driving jobs are not for everyone. Do your homework and research the full aspects of the trucking life. If it is something that appeals to you, and you can manage all the responsibilities of home and family life, along with the struggles of truck driving careers, then give it a try. You may find yourself in that category of those wonderful women truckers!

 

About the author:

Aubrey Allen Smith is a veteran over the road driver with over 2 million safe miles and a former owner of several successful trucking companies. He is an expert in the area of truck driving jobs and an advocate for trucking safety. Please visit the Truth About Trucking to learn how to avoid the scams of the trucking industry.

 

© 2007 – 2016, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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9 Responses to Those Wonderful Women Truckers. - Post a Comment

  1. […] Voie to the show to learn more about this great organization, and the roles and accomplishments by women in trucking! Social […]

  2. Desiree

    I joined this organization just as soon as I finished my training but because I only have a PDA on the truck I was unable to utilize the site much to download articles so along with the “truth about trucking” site “women in trucking” was another candy behind the glass I could see but not taste until now when I’ve finally come home.

    Let me say, I was recruited by a company who REQUIRES 6 months of teaming, they have no program in place to put female drivers together so if you expect to work you need to grab some one and go. This makes for a very dangerous experience which I feel was unnessesary if the company put a little effort in. I was labeled, targeted , retailiated against, I was verbally and physically harmed, had my clothes thrown off, left standed, had bleach thrown on me, and I stuck it out because I was not going to have my record marred by some morons. I’ve been through hell and I am bitter but I love this job and I am not going to let them chase me away.

    I think women are a great addition to this industry, they work hard and are great multi-taskers, my particular company could use a wake up call to the 21st century.

    I am being held back because I complained so I’m hesitant to leave for another company knowing what I know now about some of the underhanded dealings theses trucking companies employ. I welcome any information. I have no accidents, I got my HazMat and entering my 2nd winter season.

    I’ve met some wonderful people on the road and some real slugs, unfortunately some in the upstairs offices who should be protecting the drivers personal safety as well as the Trucks.

  3. Desiree

    Ladies, if you have found that you will be required to team and like many of us think we know the person male or female, at least pay attention for red flags and listen to your instincts. Its not only your new livliehood at stake but your life. I will post a list shortly of the indicators I initially overlooked but have since shared with a few other girls which has helped them choose more wisely than I did starting out.

    • newbiegaltrucker

      Desiree, Have you posted the list of indicators you spoke of..the red flags? I can’t find it. It would be so helpful for me to read. I start training school Monday (6 week course). Thank you!!

  4. […] Some of her stories can definitley give you some insight on how trucking companies “value” women truckers. […]

  5. Cindy

    I would like to say that I have been through a very bad situation while in training to drive a semi. Has left a very bad hurt inside of my heart. I am choosing to keep on going, suppose to get my own truck. Desiree, my heart goes out to you and women who are subjected to things which aren’t part of the training atmosphere. I enjoy the open road, the pay, and have respect for all who choose to drive a semi. I just can’t express enough though, how hard it was to jump through the hoops of the training process, and stumble around the ones which aren’t considered part of the training course. I hope to one day get to meet you Desiree, or email you. My heart goes out to you and may you find the strength to keep on trucking.

  6. Desiree

    Dear Cindy:
    I truly appreciate your encouraging words. I am feeling more confident each day despite the setbacks I’ve encountered that were sadly oftentimes made more tramatic by other ill trained women in my company who apparently assume all women entering this line of work are husband hunting and get what they deserve. I think that has been the most astounding violation to my personal integrity so far. I am so gratified when I pull into a fuel stop in the wee hours though and in each fuel bay some nights its been 5 in a row, Women pumping diesel! I love it and I just know the attitudes and the climate is turning the corner. I know there are serious females out here, the problem is locating them when you are new to the industry. I feel very fortunate to be able to have a place to share my thoughts and hopefully encourage others to reach out to network before you get into “situations”. I’ve been writing a chronicle in the blog forum Donna & Allen set up and I look forward to reading the comments and sharing of information to help others. That’s what its all about to me and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share and learn. – Desiree

  7. walt

    Lady drivers: I am a retire Navy Man and retired Trucker. Just want to say I believe you have a right to be a driver and I have seen many a Great woman driver. So keep up the good work; we need you too! And…. Merry Christmas and Happy new year!!!!be Safe

  8. […] Some of her stories can definitely give you some insight on how trucking companies “value” women truckers. […]

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