Women in Trucking – Trucking is no longer a “Good Old Boy” profession
I just caught the tail end of an interview on NPR the other day, where the discussion was about women in trucking. Now mind you, I know full well, that for generations, the only people you found out on the open highways, delivering Americas products, were Men. Trucking has, for all these years, been a predominantly Male orientated lifestyle. But, over the past 15 to 20 years or more, more and more women have been entering the trucking industry, and Not just for the purpose of being dispatchers and back office employees,…..but in driving the same big rigs many of our fathers, uncles, brothers and friends, and US, have been driving.
Many women truckers have been making their marks in the industry, from hauling produce, to hauling flatbed, oversize loads, medical supplies, explosives, radioactive, liquid loads, you name it, and they’ve been doing it with pride AND professionalism. And I’ll tell you this much, many of these women, have left their male counterparts in the dust with their professionalism, dedication and zeal to do the same jobs. They are women of ALL shapes,ages and sizes, and I’ve had the distinct pleasure of training a few and meeting many out here on the road, and I’ve been thoroughly impressed with their work.
But one problem seems to keep raising it’s ugly head for these women, and that’s the “sexual” element. For example, I’ve traveled theses roads, and carried on conversations with these women, on the CB since we were both having to get our loads “down the road,” and Right in the middle of our conversation, some dimwit, no-brained, horny trucker that has nothing better to do, makes some moronic sexual comment to the woman, that brings our pleasant conversation to a very quick end, leaving me listening to dead air, with no return to the conversation. Then there are the times, when you pull into a truck stop for the night, only to see some of these “Professional Drivers” gawking out their windows, or darned near snapping their necks while walking into a door or a parked truck, while some lady trucker or wife with her trucker, goes walking across the lot either to, or from their truck, or walking around in the truck stop to get something to eat or to head to the shower room. And believe me, they KNOW you’re watching them, and the majority of them do not appreciate it. It’s sad when many men in this, or any other industry, still consider women to be nothing more than meat, meant for one purpose in life.
My advice to the rest of the “guys’ out there?? Change your way, and in doing so you just may change driver image. Put your blinders on, your mind of your job, and your pride back in your pants until you can get back home to your girlfriend, fiancee or your wife, and don’t violate your relationship with them by looking at someone who is not a part of your life. Oh, and if you hear a man and woman on the CB, carrying on a conversation that has nothing in the world to do with you, then stay out of it, you might end up getting an unexpected surprise when you make your next stop.
For those who want more info regarding how women are encouraged, informed, and have made progress, RealWomenInTrucking is a 501 (c) 6 trade association where women truckers promote safety by educating the public about unsafe truck driver training and create a network of support for women in trucking.
God Bless, be safe, focus on your driving, drop the phone, and have a safe trip.
Sandi Talbott is a force to be reckoned with, on and off the road. The spry 71-year-old has been on the road for 35 years
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