Traditionally, truck driving jobs were left for the men. However, this trend is rapidly changing as more women are now getting licenses to operate commercial vehicles. In America alone, truck drivers are over three million; out of this number, more than 200,000 are women. This is a significant number compared to the women truck drivers’ data back in 2005. According to Women In Trucking group, there are only 7% professional women drivers in the industry as men dominate at 93%.
The increasing number of female drivers majoring in trucks is attributed to the pandemic’s effects on the supply chain and economy. The reopening of the economy has created a vital role for truck drivers regardless of their gender. Companies are looking for different means of having their products distributed across every state in America. Here is an article on the increasing number of female truck drivers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women Drivers Are Considered to Be More Careful
There is a fraction of Americans who still think truck driving is not feminine. However, research is showing that female truckers are more careful than their male counterparts. According to the report, women are five times less likely to violate traffic rules and three times less likely to be involved in an accident than male truckers.
Research has shown that women are less likely to be infected with the virus than males. This has created opportunities for female truckers to join the trucking industry.
Women Are Increasingly Looking for Stable Jobs Amid The Pandemic
Many women were working in the hospitality and banking sector have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Most of these women have families that depend on them, and here comes the loss of their monthly income. You don’t have to suffer when there are logistics companies hiring drivers without looking at their gender. Get a female CDL license, and opportunities are there.
As a truck driver with a female CDL, you can regain your financial stability and take care of your family like before. With the lockdown, most people are shopping online or from their nearest stores. This means that the products that they are purchasing should be moved closer to them. The movement is made more accessible by truck companies that employ drivers.
The new drivers are taught basic survival techniques, road emergencies, and how to drive during the winter. While most people are staying indoors during this pandemic, truck drivers have kept things moving.
Favorable Working Policies For The Women Truckers
Most women are the carers of their homes; women truckers are not an exception. Different logistic companies are working on having every female driver get home every night for their families. It is a good move towards having more female truck drivers joining the industry. However, if you have elderly relatives, it’s wise to avoid direct physical contact with them during this pandemic. This is because you are likely to be more exposed to the virus as you meeting different shippers in the course of offering your trucking services. Instead, you can communicate with them virtually.
The facilities that are available on the truck stops have been horrible for women drivers. However, truck operators are being made efforts to ensure that there are adequate facilities on the way for women truckers to stop and refresh. Women in Trucking Association are working with different truck companies to make the female trucker comfortable.
Shippers are also pushing for a split-duty pilot program, which will bring out the best of the truck drivers. This project allows a driver to break the 14 hours of driving for a break for about thirty minutes to three hours duration. This is a good program, especially for the female truckers looking to join the industry. You don’t have to drive for 14 hours consecutively, take a break, and resume the journey after a rest. This move will also increase safety for the shippers.
The Design of Truck Cabs is Changing
Different truck manufacturers are now changing the designs of their cabs to be fit for women. They are coming up with designs that can accommodate the physical stature of a woman driver. There is a difference of 6 inches in height between men and women; women tend to be shorter. This has led to truck cabs’ customization, making an adjustable foot pedal height a standard feature for the upcoming truck models. This will go a long way in meeting the needs of female truck drivers joining the trucking sector.
Challenges Facing Women Truck Drivers
The trucking industry is one of the most dangerous professions, not only for women but also for men. However, it is more hazardous for women truckers than it is for men. Some of the unique challenges that women truckers face include:
- Men trainers do most training. It can be intimidating to females looking to join the industry. More women are encouraged to take part in the training to encourage other females to come on onboard.
- Sexual harassment by male drivers and supervisors. Efforts are being made to stop this behavior.
- Personal safety at the truck stops. This is especially when women truckers arrive late.
- Verbal abuses from their male counterparts.
- Inadequate supply of protective gear such as face masks and hand sanitizers. However, the American Trucking Association is working hard to provide these essentials to the truckers on time.
- Lack of adequate restrooms during this pandemic as most operators have closed businesses.
How to Stay Safe as a Female Trucker During This Pandemic
Both men and women truckers have turned out to be essential service providers during this period of the pandemic. As more people stay indoors working from home, drivers are out there amid the pandemic. How do you stay safe as a female trucker? Always remember to:
- Put on face masks and gloves before entering any stop point.
- Spray your gloves with any disinfectant that is within your reach whenever you get in the truck.
- Take precautions. Avoid large gatherings wherever you are. You even spend most of your time in the truck if you not busy on your site.
- Avoid contact paperwork and, instead, go for paperless and contactless technology. This will help you avoid touching surfaces.
What You Need to Know About Female Trucker’s Pay
The trucking industry is one of the few sectors that offers men and women equal pay based on their performance during this pandemic. The best thing about trucking is that you don’t need to be a graduate to earn, yet you will earn more.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for truck drivers regardless of gender is $43,680. This figure may vary depending on your mileage.
A truck driver’s pay may be on an hourly rate, miles covered, and some companies may pay depending on the value of the load you will transport. Other companies will cater for the expenses that you will incur on the road, such as the cost of meals. Other types of pay that you can get as a female trucker include;
- Accessorial pay: This is compensation for any other service you will offer to the company besides driving. This can consist of loading and offloading the truck.
- Detention pay: Payment is made to you for the delays caused by the shipper.
- Stop pay: a payment that you will receive for multiple stops along the road to pick and drop off some load directed by the company.
You should know how you will be paid before onboarding as a female trucker in any trucking company.