What’s the Hardest Thing About Trucking – For a Woman Trucker?

  • Published on:
    May 26, 2023
  • Reading time by:
    3 minutes

Trucking has always been a male-dominated industry, so women have to be extra careful. That’s why a woman should take the time to complete some research before getting into this career.

Luckily, trucking can be a very rewarding and enjoyable job. For most women, it’s a great way to see the country and earn a good income while doing it.

Career Challenges

Trucking can be a great career for women who want to make a good income and become independent. Nevertheless, the industry remains a male-dominated one and women face unique challenges in this field.

Company Drivers vs. Owner Operators

Women in the business have to be encouraged to take steps towards becoming independent, meaning not to be only company drivers, but to be owner operators as well. A trucking company employs company drivers while owner operators run the business themselves. Women need to be aware that this is an option for them, and must get support to go in that direction. 

For women, the trucking industry offers many advantages, including independence, flexibility, and the opportunity to travel across the country. However, being a woman trucker also presents a few unique challenges, such as gender stereotypes and harassment.

Is Gender an Issue?

Gender bias is a societal issue that often pervades all aspects of society, including the workplace. It can negatively affect both the work environment and the individual’s personal life.

While the trucking industry is making efforts to change its culture and become more accommodating for women, there are still some obstacles that remain. These include a lack of female mentors and trainers, as well as subtle gender discrimination.

Another challenge women truckers face is operating large equipment, which was originally designed for men. While manufacturers are working to acclimate shorter women and men to big rigs, it is still important for women truckers to understand how to operate their vehicles safely so that they can maintain their livelihood and keep themselves and their families safe.

With the right support, a woman trucker can overcome these challenges and pursue her dream career. Organizations like REAL Women in Trucking and the Women in Trucking Association offer support for female truckers and help them develop a healthy work-life balance while on the road.

Physical Challenges

Trucking has long been a male-dominated industry but more women are entering the workforce and redefining what it means to be a trucker. While this is a welcome trend, it does come with some challenges that female drivers are likely to face.

Truck driving can be very physically demanding and many women find it hard to acclimate to this lifestyle. Traditionally, truck cabs were built to accommodate men, making it difficult for shorter women to reach the controls and find comfortable seat positions.

Thankfully, modern equipment has helped to change this. Newer trucks offer automatic transmissions and advanced steering, making the job much easier for women to handle.

Another positive development is the increase in programs that allow for more home time for all workers. This is an important step for women who are often concerned about the balancing act between work and family life.

Companies that want to attract and retain female talent need to prioritize diversity, starting with structured hiring processes and fostering open communication between management and employees on issues related to gender equity. 

They should also invest in employee education programs and create policies around acceptable behavior, such as sexual harassment. By taking these steps, companies can foster a safe and inclusive environment for their staff, leading to better morale among all employees.

Psychological Challenges

Trucking is an extremely stressful profession, and women are especially vulnerable to mental health problems. Many drivers are exposed to trauma on the road, including human trafficking, deadly accidents and other events that can cause mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression.

Psychological distress is significantly higher among truck drivers compared to the general population. They are also more likely to have physical and mental health problems, such as sleep issues and substance use.

One study found that truckers are more prone to depression than the average population. Other studies have shown that truckers are more likely to be obese and report a greater number of chronic diseases.

Drivers are also more prone to stress than the general population because of the nature of their work and their lifestyle. They are often sedentary, have poor sleep habits and are exposed to traumatic situations on the road.

During the coronavirus pandemic, there was a significant increase in the number of trucking companies that began to discuss mental health and offer assistance for employees. But there is still much room for improvement, according to experts.

Managing both physical and mental health requires a multifaceted approach that includes training and resources for drivers. Ultimately, it’s up to the company to ensure that their policies are effective and encourage healthy lifestyles.

Social Challenges

Trucking can be an intimidating and demanding career for a woman. Despite its reputation as a male-dominated industry, women truckers are making their mark in the business with innovative ideas and positive influence.

One of the biggest challenges for a woman driver is finding a work-life balance. The time away from home and the long hours on the road can leave a woman feeling isolated and disconnected.

Women truckers have been credited with a growing presence in the logistics and shipping industries. Their involvement offers multiple benefits including cost and capacity advantages, and their increased engagement can help companies meet peak season demand for delivery of goods on time.

Another major challenge for a woman trucker is sexual harassment. It’s a pervasive issue in the workplace and affects drivers on every level, from their earnings to their safety.

It’s important for employers to provide a safe and supportive work environment. They should be transparent about training methods and their policies, and offer a range of resources to help employees cope with issues like harassment or assault. They should make sure their drivers understand the company’s policies and have a supportive supervisor to turn to when they need help.

Final Observations

There are many challenges that come with being a truck driver, but there is one that is especially tough for women. The hardest thing about being a woman trucker is the fact that you are often away from your family for long periods of time.

It can be difficult to maintain a relationship with your spouse when you are separated for so long. Both partners need to be able to trust one another and work together to keep the relationship going.

Being a woman trucker has its challenges, but it is a great opportunity for women who are looking for a way to work on their own terms. Trucking offers a wide range of benefits, including competitive pay, flexible vacation time and health and wellness programs.

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