I’ve talked to dozens of women who want to take to the open road and feel the roar of a big rig under their hands as they see America while keeping our great nation going. Yet, as huge as their dream is, they don’t act on it. That perplexed me so I began asking why. Here are the top three reasons:
Myth #1: I Won’t Fit In.
Trucking has been a male dominated industry. Even today there are more men than women. Ok. I’ll give them that, but women are emerging as a major driving force in trucking. I’ve been to forty-seven of the continuous states and have only felt like men did not want me there one time… for eleven minutes. Otherwise, we truckers are a brother/sister-hood, and we stick together. We help each other. We cover each other, and we have each others backs. Male or female, that’s just the way it is.
Myth #2: I’m Not Strong Enough.
Fair enough. This is a valid concern but NEVER a reason to not become a trucker. I have the upper body strength of a dead gnat. The only way I could throw strap from one side of a flatbed to the other is by using a rocket launcher. And if flatbed were the only trucking option in America, I’d be outta luck. But I know my strength limitations and chose to drive in the reefer division. I’ve been a lightweight wimp all my life and have become crafty at figuring out ways to do exert strength in ways it works for me. I brought that knowledge with me to trucking. It’s not always pretty, macho, or with finesse, but it works. It will for you, too.
Myth #3: I Don’t Drive as Well.
Unless you’re Miss Daisy and need a chauffeur, you have the potential to have GREAT driving skills. Boys have X chromosomes, but they don’t have dibs on the driving gene. Some say men have better depth perception than women. I wouldn’t know, but being a woman does not automatically place you into the “average only” driver line. You—yes you Miss Trucker Babe—can be a very skilled, courteous, safe, on-time driver.
In the day and time in which we live, truckers keep America going. And that shipper needs to have a truck back up to their dock, load their product into the trailer, and have that stuff get to the company that bought it on time and in good condition. Quite frankly, they could care less if the driver is male or female, black or white with green polka dots, or even a monkey with a CDL. If that driver can accomplish those tasks, they’re pleased as punch.
So, women—or short people, or retired people—have no industry reason to keep them out of trucking. I came to Prime on my 57th birthday. AND I’m a female. And have been completely embraced, nurtured, cared for and about, respected and gainfully employed by an amazing company. That’s today’s trucking.
So those things you’ve heard that have kept you or a friend out of trucking? Yeah, they’re myths. Jump on into the deep end. The water’s fine! You’ll be glad you did!
Written by Reba J. Hoffman
Reba J. Hoffman joined Prime in 2014 after spending a year riding her bicycle alone around the country helping women victims of violent assault. A therapist by trade, Reba uses her understanding of people and how they tick to help them live their dream of being a trucker by serving as a PSD instructor. When out of her truck, you’ll find her somewhere in the wilds of nature.
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