First of all, in order to clear this up, I am not talking about the WIT group (Women in Trucking) that’s on the internet. I am, however, talking about the “Real Women” out here that drive up and down the road, hauling the same freight as you guys do everyday.
Maybe, some of you had not noticed that there are many women truck drivers, doing the same job as the men. There are a lot of them doing it as solo drivers as well. For the most part, many of the women I have seen out on the road driving tractor trailers are a LOT better drivers than most of the men.
They are doing their part to be part of a workforce that is dominated by men. I see a lot of husband and wife teams running up and down the road. I am also beginning to see a lot of solo women drivers, I mean, I guess they are solo because I do not see driving partners with them.
Today women truck drivers are NOT supposed to be portrayed as sexual objects, in the trucking industry, as they were years ago. Women have come a long way, and my guess is that they are not going anywhere soon (I hope). But the way some men, or should I say leeches, treat women today I wouldn’t blame them if they did. Companies often overlook a woman as being a good candidate for a position simply because they are a woman, especially in the trucking industry. I know, for a fact, my now female terminal manager was told a few months ago she could not have the job because she was a woman. Well she is now the terminal manager and does a fine job as terminal manager.
It used to be the only women you saw around trucks were prostitutes. That has dramatically changed now, and I for one am glad to see it. Nothing I hate more than to be in the bunk sleeping and here come the prostitutes.
Most men out here think that the women should be quiet, and don’t want them around trucking, and think they should go to work in the truck stop parking lots. Well, I’ve got a news flash for you boys. These are hard working, more dependable, more professional truck drivers than most of you will ever know how to be. I am glad to be trucking along right beside these women everyday out here.
This post was written with the help of “TruckerDesiree”
© 2009, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.
You are completely accurate in your perceptions of women in the trucking industry. We need to progress out of the caveman stage and realize that women are capable of being quality drivers.
The doors that slammed in my face 30 years ago are still slamming but now we have a foot in the door. On my recent visit to the Great Western Truck Show in Las Vegas this is but one of the scenes we witnessed at the US Express booth;
We are more than boobs folks and the sooner everyone realizes this the sooner we can move forward and bring the trucking industry to where it should be. A safe equal opportunity industry for both men and women.
I also attended the Las Vegas Truck Show and snapped pictures of these girls at the US Express Booth where “Women in Trucking” Brocheres were being distributed.
I thought the timing was pretty odd considering just the day before and incident erupted on the “Women in Trucking” Forum regarding photos in a Canadian Magazine depicting Women Truckers dressed in the same manner.
Here is the thread.
I am a member of “Women in Trucking” and I saw brocheres for the organization in many booths at the Vegas Show.
I was not aware at the time they were a sponser though.
The photo I took of these girls is from another angle and shows a US Express Female Recruiter in the booth also who was dressed in a Red Golf Shirt.
I sat in the next booth for a good deal of time speaking with an APU manufacturer from Ft. Worth Texas and observed the uncomfortable situation this female recruiter was put in by having to stand next to the 2 “Hired Guns” in the US Express Booth and it was easy to notice the Male Reps from US Express in the same booth “carrying on” with the “Camo Girls” as they were being called , all the while the “Women in Trucking” Brocheres were sitting in front of them.
I returned to Texas after the covention to Texas and in my mail I receiev an issue of “Logistics Quarterly” with an article from Ellen Voie called “Does you culture encourage Women?”
This article hits the nail on the head and should be read until memorized by the marketing department of US Express.
Here is an excerpt from Ellen Voie’s Article: “What about your booth exhibit? If you employ Women in short shorts to attract drivers youv’e disregarded females (and male drivers with wives or girlfriends in tow)”
From what I personally saw, the “Camo Girls” seemed to be for the entertainment only of the two male US Express Reps who hired them, that is who they chatted with the two days I was there while the female rep from US Express seemed like she wanted to be elsewhere.
I spoke to a US Express driver yesterday about this incident in Las Vegas and he was suprised.
He told me US Express has a strict Sexual Harrasment Policy and provides training to drivers whereas mine does not.
This US Express driver was at a shipping facility where 5 drivers total from my company were also present.
The US Express driver had heard one of the men from my company make a remark to me which I ignored but this US Express driver wanted to point out to me that if anyone spoke to a Women Drivers like my co-worker had just done, they would be gone. ZERO TOLERENCE.
We have a long ways to go to sort the bad apples from the good ones but the first step is to demand action.
Clearly someone has a little too much of a credit line on their expense account in budgeting travel & “entertainment” perks for conventions and it is reflecting on a company who seems to work hard to treat their women drivers with respect but it took a first hand account from a real driver to convince me after the display I saw in Vegas.
A number of us will be at the Dallas show and I will definately be interested to see who is on the payroll.
Maybe, Ellen Voie President of Women in Trucking should consider NOT having her brochures being handed out by half naked girls. She should start standing up against this type of practices, and STOP trying to get fame and glory from getting some woman on a REALITY show!
This ‘comment’ a man made to you was totally unacceptable. The man present who overheard it should have spoken to the male driver making the comment. Have you considered filing an EEOC complaint? As long as other women in the company agree to confirm the mistreatment.
As long as women out there continue to pose as these are here at the ‘fair’, women will be fighting.
BY THE WAY: We know many MEN who are offended by women acting or dressing in this manner. Men should be offended, as well.
Big difference between ‘men’ and ‘boys’. Men, give it up. You’re not quiet, (lol) and we would like YOU to be!! Men , in general, are the loudest, most disturbing things on the planet, and I am fortunate to know some very nice, quiet, polite men. This goes on in ALL industries.
Sorry, men, get over your problems and grow up– women are not going anywhere – they are in the workplace to stay. Whatever your mommy did to you, get over it or talk to a psychologist. We are not therapists and women are not at work to be harassed.
Your comment, “For the most part, many of the women I have seen out on the road driving tractor trailers are a LOT better drivers than most of the men.” So, WTF is this supposed to mean? What “makes” them better? By the way, “Lady,” how many flatbed women drivers have you seen? I’ll bet you can count them on less than the first two fingers of one hand. (by the way, I only said that because you’re an idiot)
It’s a$$holes like you that are trying to flame the fires. If you’re a driver, you’re a driver. Doesn’t matter what sex you are. Get off your “I’m just a poor woman routine.” Oh yeah, I’ll bet you don’t even drive truck. Most likely, you just push your pencil around and talk smack behind your desk…
“My comment that the women that I have seen out on the road, are better drivers than men.”
Is it really that hard to understand what this means, to you JD? What makes them better is that they pay more attention to speed, and traffic, and weather conditions, than most “cowboy” drivers like you SOUND do.
I know personally, five women who pull a flatbed, not counting the MANY I have seen and passed on the road. I don’t know who you are trying to call an idiot here, but it seems like you might be one. I bet you are one of those little scrawny punks pulling a flat bed, because you brought it up for no reason. And I bet some woman had to lift your tarps up on the trailer for you didn’t she?
Calling a guy a wimp and saying a woman needs to do his work for him is also an insult to women as it indicates women are lesser than. Oh,Ok, yu know what? You guys are so much physically stronger than we are.. you do all the work! We get it. You don’t want us in ‘your’ jobs. Then YOU provide the 6 figure or a bit less income we need to live on. Otherwise, don’t complain. You should be doing it! Without one complaint or insult. We will just sit home and reap the benefits, with no complaints whatsoever from you.. how’s that? Isn’t that the way it ‘used’ to be? That’s what you want, right?
Plenty of older women around here are still living in houses long after husband is gone, and the women worked a total of 6 months in their entire lives. And no one stands over you, demanding results or reviews or weekly meetings of progress or inventory or items checked off before proceeding when you are a ‘stay at home’ woman.
We don’t say to women ‘bet you needed that guy to do it for ya’. Oh, wait, sometimes women do say that. Point being: It is wrong on both sides. Next time I want to insult someone I will say ‘you throw like a boy’.
What? No Pic? Aren’t you proud of all your intelligent and well thought out blog contributions?
Guess not. LOL
Granted I may not drive this STEP DECK but it is by my choice that I do not. I can drive this trk , I can operate and drive heavy equ. up on this deck , I do tarp the loads , I ride a 113 cu in Ca. Custom MC I am 43 yrs old, I weigh 120lbs, I raised 3 kids ALONE and I can still to this day turn your head if I choose but thats not the way I want to be looked at as some little hottie with no KNOWLEDGE of what RESPECT for their SLEF really is I work hard out here !! I am so tired of young women being EXPLOITED and you can bet your bottom dollar I will say something every time I see it happening.
Hey, JD, you know what makes women “Better”? They are more courteous on the roads. They are not preoccupied at looking at every “skirt” that drives by in a four wheeler, and grabbing the wrong stick shift Most women have been raised to be considerate of others, and that reflects in their attitude when they are at the customer Most women will take a little more care in their appearance, which also reflects well on the company they are driving for, and the shipper/receivers appreciate a woman who smiles and smells good. Insurance companies recognize that fact which explains why car insurance rates are much lower for young women then they are for most young men. As for women flatbed drivers, if you stop looking at the hooters of every gal in a four wheeler, you will see many women driving flatbeds. I drove one, yes, only three times, but I did it, and there are plenty of women who do it full time. If you don’t believe me, check out this gal who’s all of 5 feet tall on YouTube….LittleTrucker1972. She’s cute, sassy, and outworks the guys. So, that’s just a FEW reasons why “women are better”.
Time you get toppled off of your self-imposed throne, little man.
What women need today is to be portrayed in the media as professional, responsible drivers who practice ‘a code of excellence’ when interacting within proper social boundaries on the job and with their co workers. Media is responsible for ‘getting the word’ out to the public. Media writers can change the way people view the world. Writers hold the ‘power of change’ in their hands.
Wow, I am shocked and awed by what I just read. Let us go over some simple truths. One, by majority, the male species is physically stronger. Fact of life, we also cannot give birth. Big deal. So if you are threatened by the fact, yes fact, not opinion, but fact that males are stronger MOST of the time, then you need the mental health agent to talk to about your daddy problems. Two, yes women by majority are better with dexterity, and with observation. Just as GM or Ford on who is better. Women are the ones doing the fine work, because they are better at it. This comes into play with trucking because they can shift, and observer more in a nano second than MOST men. There are however exceptions to the rule.
Now, as far as women in trucking. First of all if you are going to be speaking on behalf of women, make sure you tell them that one, they have to pull their own damn tandams. Park their own damn truck, and if I want an attitude because I opened the door, then get over it, I open it for men who are older than me too. So stop thinking your special. Your not. Unless you are one the proud actual TRUCK DRIVER, and not some steering wheel holder. Also, if you do not want to be looked at as a piece of meat, then wear proper clothes. I know it is hot, and that some of these idiot men out here wearing the tanks tops and cut offs are just as bad. My job title is PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER. Which mean I wear shirts with sleeves year round and every time I step out of the truck. Also, this means you do not need special treatment from a truck stop in wand style shower heads. A wash clothe works fine. We do not need to follow you after you got off in the shower. And if you think that is wrong? How many 400 plus pound drivers male and female are out there? If you get this, do you think they might use that to reach around and wash there ass with it?? Who is to say how clean it will be after that. Would you want to use it? Not me, so, lets all be the people we can be. Guys, stop whistling and women, put some clothes and just do the damn job!
Damn. Typical chauvanistic attitude. Men like you give a woman freight to lump that a man would have trouble doing and then say, “So ya wanted to be a trucker, huh little lady?” I am a woman, and I have helped many a FELLOW driver by helping HIM pull his tandems. And men drivers helped me, and men have helped each other. That’s what it’s supposed to be about, “driver”. Truckers helping truckers.
Which is better? Cats? Or dogs?
Answer: NEITHER Both breeds are awesome but have their differences.
You can’t walk a cat on a leash, and you can’t make your dog use a litter box.
Doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Both sexes have their strengths
and weaknesses. What you lack in brains, we make up for in driving skills.
Now, go get yourself into the garage, build me some shelves, change the oil in my car, take out the garbage, and make yourself useful for a change.
Meow. Kat has spoken
Many men are still sexist out there, in all fields of work and life. That’s really too bad. Because they miss out on good female employees, and miss out on business deals. They “could” of made the sale, if they didn’t try to rip her off because she’s a women. So instead, they get No Sale. I put signs in the windows of my truck that says “Do Not Knock” and this has helped to keep the lot lizards away from me, as well as the idiot men that think they can use a female driver for quick sexual “road comfort” acts. This is insulting to women drivers. We have to put up with discrimination, getting lower pay for the same work, sexual harassment, sexism, and all kinds of crap. As for sexual harassment, even if it’s done by a driver of a different company than I drive for, I audio record him, and I take down his truck number and company and report him. See how he likes getting in trouble with his boss. That’s if he does get in trouble. We women usually stick together and have good chats with each other and support each other. And I’d like to say that we do appreciate the good, decent, honorable men out there in the trucking industry that we do come in contact with at times. We need more good men out there. Thanks to all the good guys, and thanks to our fellow women drivers out there, for all the hard work you do.
Sooz, and my dogs Kelly and Tinky
Also, just thought of this after I hit the submit button. As for these Trucking Trade Shows that have these sexy women working in the booths, they are just there do draw the men for business. They are just being used for sex appeal, which is demeaning to women, and those girls are probably just there for a quick little paycheck. And little it is, I’m sure. Having sexy women at trade show booths is a display of sexism. Even if it’s a women business booth. That is sad. It’s just sexism to draw the men in, and get some money from them, or sell their products. Hot chicks draw business. Those “chicks” need to make more money, but they won’t. They are just being exploited. *sad*. I would be happy to support women owned business, especially if there is no sexism. I wouldn’t want to support any business that displays such exploitation.
Sooz, and my dogs Kelly and Tinky
WOWEE!!! More Fireworks than I saw on the 4th of July!
In the context of the posted photos, as it is a Recruiting Company for Drivers which is a Sponser of a Women’ Trucking Organization that had Brocheres displayed in front of said “Camo Girls” who conversated primarily with the 2 male US Express Reps, while the Female US Express Rep sat & did actual work, I thought this was in very poor taste.
In another exhibit, more scantily clad Women posed on the rims of a tricked out Peterbilt. This in my opinion is not a problem, they are not recruiting & they are not sponsers who support an organization whose Mission is to Support Women to overcome obstacles in this Industry of Trucking.
I could very well say all guys I met from one particular caribbean Island are bad drivers but that who be stereotyping because I don’t know every driver from that island.
I have indeed met Women who became drivers for the wrong reasons but I attribute the blame to over eager recruitment vehicles.
I have never asked for help moving my tandems or backing except to watch my trailer on two occasions.
I have been asked by young men in distress to help them move their tandems and I did without fanfare or ballbusting.
I do not appreciate other Women Truckers who feel the need to act like “Mother Superiors” over everyone & eveything which is what I found to be most common in derailing new women entering this industry who are serious about learning.
The company I work for has a sheer lack of guidance & disregard.
Making an EEOC complaint with my little bit of experience would have guarennteed I would never drive again.
Just reading the CRST Sexual Harrassment Case & the similarities to my company I see this is an industry that needs serious retraining before the proceed with the gung-ho female recruitment.
The men who are jerk-offs are actually very few, its the Industry itself that protects those few & keeps letting them offend & hurt & violate time & again that is the problem.
No one wants to take “Good Time Charlie” aside and say “ENOUGH!”
One more thing, the sort of Women Truckers I hoped to find in this Industry who encourage me & I consider mentors I actually met on Twitter.
They are the kind of Women Truckers I imgained a Trucker to be.
There should not be a division, its People helping people…. Your either nice or your an asshole. Those are the only 2 kinds of people I see.
Women have to work harder in this industry to prove that they can do it. They also have to endure a lot of opposition that men do not face. It would be reasonable to conclude that by the time a woman goes through the gauntlet of trucker school, etc. they have endured more than the average man has had to, and it has created in her a very dedicated driver. Adversity creates strength.
My husband went through truck driving school last year. There were 2 women in his class. Several men said gross derogatory things, this one was directed at my husband; “would you do her?” These comments come until he talks about his former position as a pastor and how “doing” women is not up for discussion.
Women may or may not have less upper body strength compared to men but look, my husband is 4’10″ and I have seen him change a 300 + pound engine on our bus by himself. He built the custom high ceiling room I am sitting in by himself. He doesn’t need as much upper body strength as he needs to be smart.
All the old rhetoric that men are stronger thus better at whatever is outdated old news and makes those that parrot it look foolish. Any woman driving a big rig down American highways is both smart and strong, they have overcome a lot to be there and deserve all our respect.
Ok, I guess how I said it was unclear by what I meant. It is a fact that the male species is physically stronger. In this business, that means very little. It is the mental, emotional, and spiritual fortitude that makes the difference in a persons success or failure. This strength comes from within, and many outside factors. It is how you were raised, and do you have the support, both men and women need support, while you are out here. This lifestyle, is not always the easiest. You do not lead a normal life by any means. I commend anyone, no matter what sex, sexual orientation, or color, or religious background you come from. The simple fact is, if you see someone driving a truck, we should think of them as family. If any person is not doing the job with pride and consistency then all of us should try to help, but only if they are willing to help themselves by learning.
We deal with both male and female clients in the trucking industry.
In the past 15 years I have NOT found a link between a person’s sex and performance.
I’ve seen both men and women do a fair share of ridiculous things on the road.
I’ve also seen both men and women drive like champs.
I have seen an increase in female fleet ownership over the past few years.
I agree with what Kathleen says also, Women who survive the training period are quite resiliant and unflappable because you have endured much more verbal ridicule, teasing & so forth while learning to do manuvers.
If you have mastered working & learning in these conditions it makes for a really steadiness.
There are a few places I arrive for a pick up & when they see me I notice the docking door open & sometimes 6 or 7 men come to watch me.
Thankfully, I work best under pressure but I never crack either.
I have seen both men & women come unglued from this microscopic scrutiiny, its just part of the job though because remember that poor weather conditions can also create a nervous situation so if you cannot control your emotions, perhaps those recruits should not pursue this career.
The lack of training is why this issue is a problem in trucking.
Women who believe they are “one of the boys” don’t know men very well.
They have thoughts that are natural to them about any and all women they see.
Some know to redirect themselves & some do not.
At a bar or when they are off work perhaps the discuss things that they should not at work.
You can’t force people to not have a thought.
It’s like a fart, we all have to do it. Most of us have learned though that we don’t do it in a public place.
Companies that are making Men & Women live in a truck who don’t even know each oth for 6 months as part of their training to be truck drivers are part of the problem.
That’s why so many women who aspire to be truckers vanish.
The companies are benefitting from the incentives to hire women with a total disregard for their safety & delivering the into the hands on some occasions to deliberate harm.
This was evident in my student training, that of my girlfriends I helped in my current fleet & what I have read from what is happening in the CRST Sex Harrassment Case.
Accountability or No Tax Incentives! If these companies recruit you they should be accountable to do it right & do it safe for everyone regardless of gender!
Drdispatch; You are right people are people there is no doubt that both men and women make mistakes and a good driver is a good driver regardless. The main issue being presented here is how women are treated and how their experiences differ, which they do. How that creates a totally different driver.
As I stated things have changed some in 30 years, but not enough. The first time I walked into a truck stop, and back to the truck the CB chatter was shocking to me. They were all talking about me and thought I must be “one of those high priced call girls.” They wanted to know how much I cost. From that day forward I never wore anything but mens large overalls.
There were no companies willing to hire me. The best I could hope for was to be some mans hood ornament as an “authorized passenger.” How do you think it feels to see those scantily clad young girls pulling my husband in to spin the wheel at the US Express booth? Enough already!
Women have to deal with this senseless immature crap and if you don’t think it makes for a stronger driver, well, you have never walked in their shoes. I’ve seen some terrible things out there at truck stops. If men truckers were not f*cking these women at the truck stops there would not be the prostitution culture. In my day there were young girls and hungry women trying to feed children NOT drug addicts knocking on truck doors.
I’m getting upset remembering. I wish I could forget. One poor woman dressed in rags climbed down out of the truck next to ours, shortly later the trucker climbs out and hollars “woohoo I got **** for $5!”
Look, there is a seedy dark side to trucking and women have been victimized by it long enough.
ok, I get that if the trucker was not screwing the whore, then there would be no whores, but why is it the truckers fault? If there was no whore, then the trucker would not be screwin her right? It is a basic question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Just in this case, the trucker or the whore, and we all know who came first, as trucking is not the oldest profession in the world. Whether it is hungry mothers, or drug addicts, both are the same. They found away to calm the hunger will little or no skills. I do not agree with hooking, or taking part in these activities. What I am trying to point out is, just because it looks a certain way does not mean it is that way. I have seen some of these female drivers go from one truck to the next. Maybe not in the same night, but they never seem to be able to run solo. These women give female drivers just as much of a bad name as the men who hoot and holler. I do not know the solution, other than leading your life, and projecting your strength to these up and coming drivers. Not just female or male, but both. We all have something good to offer if we bother to try to better ourselves. I am not letting my fellow male drivers off the hook, but instead asking for my fellow female drivers to help on their end as I will work on my end to lead by example. So that someday, not just a few, but all of us can hold our head high and proudly say I am a TRUCK DRIVER. This is one of the few professions that the name is not male or female. Meaning we can take hand in hand, and walk together without oppression, and without fear.
Flipside, these “whores” could be your daughter, sister or niece. No girl says “when I grow up I’m going to be truck stop prostitute” TRUCK STOP being the key word. You know what a gentleman would do, someone like my husband? He would offer appropriate help without sex. We have already discussed what we would do if a prostitute approached us. We would ask where their pimp was and ask if they want out. Do you know girls have been kidnapped by sexual traffickers and end up peddled to truckers?
“Human trafficking, a term for modern-day slavery, is a $32 billion worldwide industry with more than 27 million people enslaved. Is has been reported in all 50 states and the number of victims in the U.S. is estimated in hundreds of thousands. This website has been set up to enable truck drivers and other travelers to learn what you can do to help stop this atrocity.”
I respect that you will not not let other male drivers off the hook. We agree, light needs to shine on the dark side of trucking. I hear what your saying about some adult women professional drivers making unflattering choices, but the heavy end of this load falls on the men who gawk, use, exploit, belittle, demean, and otherwise disrespect women in the industry. There are legal cases against CRST now due to sexual abuse of women, not sexual abuse of men.
Your words are so true, together we CAN make a difference.
I think women are very capable of handle all aspect of the trucking industry. The only place I’ve seen a lady driver have a hard time is in the unloading of trailers at some of the grocery warehouse. That said, drivers should not and often do not have to unload there own trailers. I have not delivered to a grocery warehouse for 15 years now. Just before I got out, having to unload your own load was become restricted by insurance. The use of lumpers was a necessity. Although I use to unload much faster then most lumpers, I don’t miss the work. I see no reason a woman drive can not handle the modern trucks of today. I welcome them into the industry.
As far as the Camo Girls go, it was “Vegas”… And that’s the way they roll in “Vegas”… Still not to bright…
I actually touch upon ‘Women in trucking’ in my new update to http://www.myroadadventures.com. It’s titled “We Make it Three! Also: Darn Girl Truckers and The Anticipation of the Cracking Whip.”
At the very least, it’s a short, lighthearted look at the subject.
Women In Trucking was established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women in trucking. So all facilities should be provide for women in trucking industry.
I have seen women truck drivers who work same as the men do. I do not feel that they are seen as means of doing a dirty job. I am happy to see that women are joining the trucking industry.
first of all, I am a female and a truck driver for all of my adult life, I have done many type of trucking including flatbed, I am no wimp and no stranger to hard work, of course being from the farm helped a lot.
Being female does not make you better, as you say. I have seen just as many stupid female truckers as male, especially the females that have to get the men to do their work for them. I don’t care what sex you are, if you are not capable of doing the work, you shouldn’t have been hired to do the job.
Females shouldn’t expect special treatment because of their sex. Why do some females expect a man to help them with things like sliding tandems. If they wanted to be treatd with respect then tell them to stop acting like attention whores on the radio, from what I see females seem to love this crap, cause if they didn’t they wouldn’t act that way.
there are many hard working women out there, but there are still many who have no business being out here
if men can be nurses women can drive trucks.