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A Woman's Perspective On Becoming A Trucker

Jim McCormack

For women, times have certainly changed since 1929 when 32 year-old Elizabeth Drennan became the first female trucker.  Although at one time women were relegated to becoming housewives and raising children, today there are few limitations when it comes to the world of work.  In fact, it's not uncommon to see women among the top executives in many corporations, owning companies, and working well side-by-side with their male counterparts.  However, this equity in the workplace has been slow in coming to the trucking industry.

Although practices are slowly changing, the trend in seeing women truckers on the road is expected to continue to grow.  Of the 200,000 women big rig drivers currently licensed, respect is hard to earn and equal benefits, pay, and opportunities are still illusive.  This doesn't mean they can't do the job as well.  In fact, they are proving quite adapt at acquiring the job skills required to become proficient.

There's no question that the job is physically demanding, mentally stressful, and often lonely, but this has not deterred women from joining the 3.9 million male truckers who currently fulfill the country's needs.  This is primarily due to changes in the industry as well as improved technology that is making the handling of big trucks easier than ever.

The addition of women in this career field is a positive change.  By the end of the next decade it is estimated there will be a shortage of more than 700,000 drivers and women may just be the answer to fill this need.  In addition, research has shown that, contrary to popular belief, women make excellent drivers due to the fact they are conscientious and focus on safety.  Personally, women truckers like the flexible schedules that allow them to attend to family needs and the new trucking technology that better meets their needs.  Besides, the pay is pretty decent compared to other occupations.

Many women today understand the potential this industry has to offer and are now contacting driving schools to find out more about how they can also take part.  In recent years, calls from females have risen 30%.  Just as with their male counterparts, they must complete the same instruction and take the same tests in order to earn their license.

 

The success of women truckers is spotlighted in organizations such as Women in Trucking, Inc.  Women like 23 year big rig veteran, Jakki Fox, and 31 year veteran, Linda Jones, have not only served as pioneers in the industry, but also continue to serve as sources of inspiration to many women who would like to join this competitive field.  This profession has served to help them feed and support their families in such a way that they can remain active in the home.

With changing technology in truck design and an increased presence of women in the industry, there has never been a better time to hit the road.  With the right rig, it's no harder to drive a big rig than a pickup truck.  This change has not only helped women, but men in the industry as well.