Being a female truck driver

November 09 2020

As a carrier services provider, Matrix, Inc knows that being a female truck driver in the male-dominated trucking industry comes with a unique set of challenges. There are dangerous stretches of road, isolated places to stay, and a lot of technical know-how. There is no doubt that trucking is a male-dominated industry. That’s changing. Trucking, like many other professions, has crossed into the twenty-first century and slowly opened its doors to female drivers. If you’re a self-motivated woman who likes driving and who is looking for a job that offers flexibility along with good pay and great benefits, driving a truck might be exactly the thing.

Trucking Life

Trucking presents a lot of challenges to women who choose to join the occupation — data from the American Trucking Association shows that over the past 15 years, the number of women in the industry has only increased slightly, from 4.5 to roughly 6 percent. Not only-but also, It can present significant opportunities.  As time marches on, women truckers will continue to be recognized for their worth in a male-dominated field.

Why Get Into Trucking?

Trucking is currently one of the highest-paying jobs that doesn’t require a degree. Women and men are paid the same as drivers. A carrier sets the pay based on mileage, hours or percentage of the load. It is not related to age, ethnicity or gender.  Female truckers might be concerned that their pay will be docked if they struggle to perform physical tasks like truck repairs. However, the pay is not calculated on such a scale, so you will be sure that you will be paid what you are owed.  Other types of pay that can pad a driver’s paycheck include:

  • Accessorial Pay: Compensation for services other than driving, such as after-hours or non-dock deliveries, applying shrink wrap to pallets, loading and/or unloading freight, and more.
  • Detention Pay: Compensation for time lost if the shipper unnecessarily delays the pick-up.
  • Stop Pay: Compensation for multiple stops between picking up the load and dropping it off. This pay only kicks in if the type of load dictates a lot of stops must be made, and it doesn’t usually include the pick-up or destination locations.

Health and Safety

Unfortunately, trucking comes with its share of drawbacks. The food on long hauls isn’t great for you, especially if you wind up hitting up diners and drive-throughs. There’s no predicting what kinds of characters you can run into across the country and in truck stops.

Check out the reviews-Although many truck stops are taking measures to improve conditions and become more women-friendly, they can’t control the behavior of the characters who lurk around. You’ll want to know what others think of the restrooms, showers, and eating options

Always lock your doors
Stay in or near lighted areas as much as possible. 

Make your own meals-  The point is you’re not limited to only the food you find on the road!

Plan your route ahead of time.

Reach out to other women drivers Reaching out to other women truck drivers will give you an inside look at what issues they’ve been facing and how they’ve handled them.

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Women truck drivers have to think about their job, safety, and hygiene differently. . And unfortunately, sometimes male drivers, fleet managers, or truck stop employees may be unaware or unsympathetic to these issues.

Some advices from professional women truck drivers are to always have baby wipes handy and to keep an empty big gulp cup because they are the easiest to pee into.

How to Get Started

It costs an average of anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 to earn your license. But a lot of people don’t know that several state unemployment offices offer grants and scholarships to cover the cost. What’s more, veterans have access to education benefits they can use to pay for CDL training. All of these options will get you a CDL without having to pay for it yourself. Some trucking companies offer training and a guaranteed job after you get your license that sets you up to pay back the schooling costs. Picking the wrong school can have a huge impact on your career. Some schools are essentially flagged as ‘do not hire,’ because companies know they don’t do a good job of training their students.

Find the right carrier

Before signing with your next carrier, do some research and find out which carriers value their women drivers. When you find a company you like and go through the interview process, make sure you understand your job description, how tight or flexible the delivery schedules are, and how much you’ll actually be paid. Finding a carrier that aligns with your own values will help you feel comfortable and secure in a male-dominated industry.

Matrix, Inc is a company that supports women truck drivers. If you are planning to become an owner-operator, we are the right choice for you! Visit our website and learn more about us.

Ladies, start your engines!