At this point in time, one can hardly take any profession and claim that it is strictly a “man’s world”. There is no greater proof of this statement than the growing presence of women in the trucking industry. This profession has long been thought of as one that had no place for women or was potentially dangerous to any woman who tried to enter its ranks. This danger was certainly present in the past when women first began to make headway in this profession. However, the truck-driving industry has gone through radical transformations over the past 40 to 50 years, creating an system that now relies on a huge number of women in order for it to continue functioning.
Women truck drivers have their own independent trucking association, they own national trucking companies, and are commonly the smiling faces behind the wheel moving down our highways and interstates. They are also not limited to smaller trucks or only certain types of goods meant for transport. Women can be found driving everything from semis to tractor trailers, what might be even more surprising is the women truck drivers all over the world are able to complete basic repairs. It is no surprise that women truckers in Ohio, Toronto and Melbourne can complete the most basic of repairs, including some mechanical repairs as well as trailer repairs. It is not only because they are truckers, but because they are so dedicated to the profession, even as far as learning some basic mechanical and trailer repairs that it is often said that the average female truck driver is limited only be her ambition.
In the past, there have been biases against women in this field, and the real danger of physical harm to women that were traveling the open road and using trucking facilities. However, at this point, these issues are virtually non-existent. Complaints from women in regard to sexism or any other types of problems coming from men are limited. These are primarily related to chatter on the CB radio. Most women quickly learn how to defend themselves while using the system and others simply have the innate ability to allow the comments to roll right off of their backs. The only real hurdle left for women in the trucking industry is the stereotypical image of truck drivers that exist in the minds of the general public. These barriers are also being broken down thanks to the efforts of trucking associations formed by women nation wide. The grand gesture of this is that most of these associations are well-supported by fellow male colleagues in the field, not only other male truckers, but maintenance and office staff. Women can find jobs at every level within the profession. Outside of driving or owning a company, women make up a large percentage of the workforce behind maintaining equipment and managing routes or dispatches.
Many women and associations who have been trying to encourage more women to enter the trucking workforce have also found that high numbers of females have the desire to enter the field but feel they are not capable or not “mechanically-minded.” In reality, there are a vast amount of companies and programs that are more than happy to give on-the-job training or pay for training through outside institutions so that these women can start their careers.
There are also many misconceptions regarding the type of individuals, be they women or not, who become truck drivers. A large majority of people driving trucks are actually those with families and active lifestyles. Many of the women entering the field have chosen to do so after leaving behind long and successful careers in other areas for a trucking job that they feel more passionate about. The money-making potential in the trucking industry has also proven to be a driving force for getting women into the industry. The freedom of the open road offered through the trucking business limits itself to no particular sex. Both men and women are helping to build this vital part of our infrastructure, and women are slated to play a bigger role in the future than they ever have before.
So when thinking about, talking about, or when your on the road next time, have a look inside the cabin of the truck, and don’t be surprised if you see a woman driving the huge monster truck.
Nada Ljubinovic is a content writer who continues to expand and develop her knowledge on important issues such as truck driving, trailer repairs and bus repairs in Melbourne. Nada is a passionate writer who likes to share her personal growth and journey.