The trucking industry is considered to be highly lucrative due to the job security. There…
Tips for Female Truck Drivers from Women Drivers
Female truck drivers are underrepresented in the trucking industry for many reasons. However, this does not necessarily mean that women find it more challenging to drive trucks than men. Many female truckers say that difficulty is relative. Some women may find the idea of driving big rigs daunting, while others see it as nothing more than controlling a vast piece of machinery. A lot of women find it easy to drive big trucks, and driving big trucks may be safer with a woman behind the wheel. Read on to learn why.
Is driving a truck a difficult job for a female?
There is no stark difference in how men and women drive big trucks that will convince many that females perform worse than male drivers. Many male instructors say that women truck drivers are more prudent and careful behind the wheel. They do not carry the egos that most male drivers carry and they are more open to corrections than male drivers, making them less prone to committing mistakes when behind the wheel.
Also, modern trucks come with all the features and powered systems that make them comfortable and even pleasurable to drive. If and when the truck breaks down, truck drivers are free to have a mechanic take over, which eliminates the need for a female driver to be physically able to do the repairs herself. Insurance premiums may also be lower if the driver is female. This means that female drivers may be able to get more comprehensive coverage for potential liabilities compared to their male peers.
Females may find the training process challenging, but this can be said for any trainee who is trying his hand at driving a big rig for the first time. With air conditioning, automatic brakes, power steering and a host of other features that comprise the controls of any rig, driving a big truck is certainly not as hard nor as physically demanding as most people think.
Challenges Female Truck Drivers Face
Of course, female drivers still face many challenges in this field of work. One of the reasons why men outnumber women in this industry is because there are fewer female instructors than male. This means that female trainees may be paired with male instructors for training programs that could last for months at a time. This kind of set-up could be intimidating for a trainee who is new to the industry.
Harassment and discrimination are also not uncommon in male-dominated fields such as this. Verbal harassment is something that many female drivers encounter on the road, whether from fellow drivers, mechanics, or truck stop employees.
Most rigs are also designed to fit the stature of male drivers.
This is something that the industry is aiming to change so that rigs can better accommodate the physical differences between male and female drivers. Safety is perhaps the most significant consideration, however. Experienced female drivers take note of stops that are deemed unsafe, especially during late nights. Taking a buddy along or toting an equalizer such as pepper spray or a gun becomes an option. One female driver keeps a pair of men’s boots visible to deter people. While it is true that everyone is at risk for danger especially in this line of work, unaccompanied female drivers may be more at risk than their male counterparts and therefore should take more and varied precautions.
Driving a truck may not be that difficult for women where physical ability is concerned. However, discrimination and safety concerns mean those female drivers have more challenges to face compared to their male counterparts, and this requires more effort from them if they want to succeed in this industry.