Choosing a Male Profession: The Female Truck Drivers of the Road

Is trucking industry's a man's world? Certainly, if you had asked this question to anyone fifty years ago, you would have gotten the same sentencing answer: yes, indeed. Leaving aside the exceptions that did not confirm the rule, being a truck driver was not considered a dignifying career for a respectable woman. 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

In the past, women have always had to tolerate restrictions. Men were entitled to choose whatever career they wanted but women had to be satisfied with the jobs that society considered as appropriate for their gender. Therefore, when someone is deprived of the freedom of choice, there are big chances, he/she will do his/her best to achieve this right. Truck driving was seen as a profession that could give ladies the freedom they needed.

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.

Apart from these dangers, women truckers have to fight with sexual harassment as well. Because they are considered more vulnerable, many of them are sexually harassed by their bosses or colleagues. In addition, the road is filled with  foul language and sexually explicit topics of all sorts that might offend female truckers and make them answer in the same manner...

Emergency situations

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?

Obviously, if you make your choice upon such a career, you should be aware of the fact that your personal life will be highly affected by it. Being most of your time on the road, you won't have too much time for free-time activities. If you are married, things could be even more complicated as your husband might not understand why his wife spends so few time at home, especially if he is not an insider of the trucking industry.

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...
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