Though most people think of overweight old men driving commercial trucks down the road, the truth is that men aren’t the only people behind the wheel. More and more women are joining this essential group of workers. It can be a great job for women who want to see more than just an office space. They want to get behind the wheel, and see where the road takes them.
That being said, it isn’t always easy for women who drive commercial vehicles. Here are some tips to help them.
Ask for a female trainer (and partner). It is important to be comfortable when you are training. You should ask for another female, especially if you are going to be spending a few days together. If you are paired with a man, you may want to ask for a hotel room, to help you feel safer.
Be prepared for what others think about you. Many people aren’t going to be excited when they see a woman pull up in a big rig. However, you can prove to them that you deserve to be there. Keep your mouth shut and just do your job. Stay professional at all times.
Don’t worry about your strength. You aren’t going to have to load and unload your load. All you are going to have to is get it there. There are people who are going to do the loading and unloading for you.
In fact, don’t expect special treatment. Some women will expect to be treated differently in this field. Some will get offended when that happens. So, either way, you should be treated fairly for doing a good job. Not because you are a woman.
Make sure that you work for a company that respects you. Not all trucking companies are going to be right for you. It is important that you find someone to work for that you are comfortable with. You want to be treated fairly and with respect. If you aren’t working for the right company, look for another place. You may even want to look into becoming an owner-operator.
Know what is going on around you. No matter what you are doing, you need to keep an eye on your surroundings. When you are driving, know who is around you. That way, you know who is in your blind spot at all times.
Use caution when pulling on the side of the road and when you sleep. Your safety is very important, so where you park will matter. Always try to sleep in a lot full of other truck drivers. If there are plenty of other people around, you are less likely to have to worry about your safety. Don’t try to pull in the back of the lot by yourself. Stay where there are plenty of other people (and lights).
Connect with other drivers, both male and female. Many truck drivers do the same routes often, meaning that they get to know other truck drivers. It can feel like a big family at times, so you shouldn’t stick to yourself. Eat dinner with other truckers. Spend time with them in the evenings when you are all off of the clock. This will help your comfort when you are out on the road.
You should always carry extra snacks and drinks. This will be helpful if you get stuck somewhere and don’t want to leave the comfort of your truck. If you don’t feel safe at a certain stop, you will have some food and drinks to hold you over until you can find a better place to stop.
You may also want to invest in a portable toilet. This will allow you to use the bathroom, even in the middle of the night. You can even use it if you don’t feel safe where you are.
Stock up on baby and wet wipes. Baby and wet wipes are going to be your new best friend. You can wash up with them. You can use them to clean your utensils. You can even wipe down the interior of your truck. By the end of a long trip, you are going to find many uses for these wipes!
You are going to learn the best places to get showers. There are many places to get showers on the road. Some are much cleaner than others. You will quickly learn where you can stop (and when you should just use your baby wipes).
Don’t carry a gun. Many truckers believe that they need to carry in order to stay safe. However, if you get pulled over with a gun, you could be facing serious legal trouble.
You may want to bring a dog along. Besides being good company, your dog could help to keep you safe. They often hear things before we do, so having someone watch over you can be a great relief.
Just because you are a woman doesn’t mean that you can’t drive a big rig. You certainly can! Many women are on the road. However, you may have to be a little more careful than your teammates. You should always use caution when parking and sleeping. Stay in the lot where there are a lot of other truckers. You don’t want to find yourself in the back lot by yourself if something happens.
If you aren’t quite comfortable with where you are, you may want to have extra drinks and snacks along, so you don’t have to get out unless you want to. You may even want a portable toilet, so you don’t have to leave your truck in the middle of the night to go. Make sure that you have plenty of wet wipes in case you can’t shower for a few days. Even though it may make you feel safer, you should never carry a gun. If you get caught with it, you may be facing serious legal troubles (depending on what state you are in). You might do better taking a dog along for company (and protection).
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