Choosing a Male Profession: The Female Truck Drivers of the Road
Even today, there are certain men who are skeptical about female truck drivers and regard them through old-fashioned spectacles. "You should be at home in the kitchen with kids. This is a man's world and a man's job," women truck drivers are sometimes told. However, this isn't an obstruction for daring women to assume the dangers of the road.
The road wasn't easy...
Statistics show that more and more women make truck driving their career nowadays, but how did all start? Obviously, ladies can now benefit from truck driving courses within specialized schools but 50 years ago, most women learned how to master a lorry from their fathers, brothers and male neighbors. Even if they learned how to drive a truck, people still had their reserves when it came to collaborating with a female truck driver.
Nevertheless, in the sixties, more ladies were choosing the trucking industry than ever before. From that time on, women refused to accept the stereotype that they weren't made for driving trucks and insisted in proving their male colleagues how incredibly wrong they were. The main problems they were facing that time was finding facilities to use at truck stops. For instance, when they wanted to shower, they either had to lock the truck's door or have someone watch the door for them.
The so-much dreamed freedom
Even now, many woman choose this career because of the flexible schedules, job availability and call of the open road. Whether they want to escape the routine of an office job or the boredom of their homes, truck driving is not just a job for many ladies rather a real life style. In fact, if there wasn't a lot of devotion and passion in the cocktail, few women would be willing to assume the dangers of the road just for the money.
The true challenge: dangers of the road
Of course, being a truck driver is a dangerous profession for both sexes. Male and female truck drivers encounter the same dangers: driving during night-time, the menace of being robbed, risk of accidents and health problems due to overwhelming fatigue. More importantly, the lack of movement and exercise causes back and circulatory problems and leads to heart disease. Truckers don't have a healthy diet because they eat when they can and what they can, which many times proves to be junk food.
Therefore, they often develop digestive problems. The sleeping cabin is uncomfortable and due to delivery deadlines, truckers usually suffer from sleep disorders. And as if all these weren't enough for the truckers, psychologists say that being stuck in the cabin of a truck all day for a week or more has negative effects on a truck driver's emotional and mental health as well, which could eventually lead to depression.
Ask any female trucker you have the chance to meet and they will all come up with the same answer: at some point in her driving career, a trucker will be confronted with an emergency situation. Little does it matter we're speaking about a breakdown on a deserted road, a flat tire or the less wanted situation of an unfortunate accident, the unexpected will happen, that's for sure. What is to be done in this case?
We all know that women hate changing a flat tire and hate they are not very good at fixing the vehicles they are driving. Therefore, after notifying their boss and the company's repair shop, the trucker should call the closest emergency personnel and then patiently wait in their truck until someone comes to help them out.
Gains and losses...
Everything in this world has its price, so why would work in the trucking industry make an exception? Salaries for truckers seem quite tempting and some women may choose this career for this specific aspect. If they also enjoy a solitary life and crave for the open road, then being a truck driver may become their highest goal. Furthermore, truckers have the chance to visit new places and change scenery each day. Is your office view as good as a trucker's view?
Certainly you can try to combine both personal life with the working as a truck driver, but you should be warned from the very beginning this won't be easy. Time is the major challenge of being a lady of the road. In fact, that's the main why truck driving is not considered only a job rather a life-style.
So, it's up to you to decide whether being a truck driver is worth the sacrifices you have to make...
comments written so far
someone's on their period!
To assume a woman can't change a tire, which I can, is like assuming a man can't really be a good cook or have a sense of style without being gay! How come in our world, there are so many double standards or hipocracies or whatever you want to call it? Why is it a man can supposedly do so many things but a woman can't? I think people should by now in 2009 be able to get past all of these stupid stereotypes. For those men who think women are weak, wake up! When you can get your ass out of bed, make brerakfast for the kids & your man, send them to school & work with lunch in hand, go to a full time job, put up with bullshit all day, manage to come home and still smile, cook, clean, do laundry, bathe the kids, put them to bed and still possibly give it up to the man when you're dog tired.... Get up and do it again the next day, EVERYDAY. Tell me again, whose weak??? And women can't change a tire... or fix a damn engine... Puh! Honey, please! More power to the women who take matters into their own hands and do what pleases them!
Men nor women can change tires on a class 8 truck or trailer without the use of several heavy duty tools. Nice try though :)
Nice article. There is so much more that I could say, but ... it would take all year for me to type it. If you are interested in such a profession, please visit www.newbiedriver.com or www.classadrivers.com or both, and do some real *research* BEFORE you commit to it.
Individuals could learn a lot from trucking, but like most education, it comes with a price.
Thank you very much (keep the shiny side up)
To GrayStreak... I say go for it. If you enjoyed that time on the road, you already have a good idea of what it is all about. Want a partner?!