13 Myths About Female Truck Drivers Debunked

Although female truck drivers are crucial members of the truck driving industry, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about being a woman who is a trucker. Some women who want to become truckers can be intimidated by the profession because of these stereotypes. 

Let’s discuss some of the myths about female truck drivers that need to be busted. 

6 Myths About Female Truck Drivers Debunked

Myth 1: Female Truck Drivers Are Paid Less

It is an unfortunate fact that, in most careers across America, women make less money than men. On average, for every dollar that a male employee makes, a woman makes only 80.7 cents. 

Many people assume that the trucking industry would contribute to this problem, as there is a common perception of the truck world being like a “boys club.” 

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, male and female truck drivers are paid equally. A trucker’s wages are usually determined by the miles they log each day, the hours they drive, and/or a percentage of the load pay, depending on the particular carrier. None of these factors have anything to do with the gender behind the wheel. 

Myth 2: Female Truck Drivers Are Constantly In Unsafe Situations

It’s another unfortunate fact that women in general have to be more alert to potential dangers than men, given that they are more likely to face harassment on the streets or at night. 

However, female truck drivers are not always putting their safety at risk simply because they are truckers. Many women who drive trucks say that, so long as they exercise certain precautions, they are able to avoid dangerous and potentially dangerous situations. 

Melissa Allen and Sandy Goche, both members of the non-profit Women in Trucking Association, are among these drivers. They offer a variety of excellent cautionary measures that female drivers can take to stay safe, such as staying aware of their surroundings while at a truck stop, parking beneath lighted areas at night, and wearing sensible shoes or boots. 

“We can be cautious, make smart decisions and work confidently alongside our male counterparts,” says Allen.

The trucking industry has also made efforts in recent years to make women drivers feel more comfortable. More and more truck stops, for instance, are being mindful about keeping their places well-lit at night, and including showers in the women’s bathrooms.

Myth 3: Female Truck Drivers Are Bad At Driving

You’ve probably heard the stereotype that women are worse at driving than men. This is simply not true. Studies have shown time and again that this stereotype is not based in reality

So when it comes to female truck drivers, it makes no sense to believe that they will be worse than men at this job. In fact, the data shows the opposite: on average, women truckers are safer than men. Women truckers are half as likely to get into preventable accidents, five times less likely to violate safety regulations, and four times more likely to pass their CDL test on the first try. 

Myth 4: Female Truck Drivers Aren’t Committed To Their Career

When companies are looking for long-term employees, they are often reluctant to hire female workers, especially if they are younger. These companies assume that women will be less committed to their careers because of their responsibilities to their marriage or children. 

However, the reason that most women leave jobs is not to care for their families, but instead because they are unsatisfied with how much money they make. That’s hardly surprising since, as we’ve already seen, there is a pay gap in many industries — and, as we’ve already seen, the trucking industry isn’t one of them. The lack of money would hardly be a reason for women to quit being truckers, either, since trucking provides a good and stable salary across gender lines. 

And, once again, the data itself proves this myth wrong. Female truck drivers actually tend to stick with a carrier longer than male truckers do. Not only is the turnover rate for women truckers lower than it is for men, but female truck drivers furthermore tend to be more productive on the job. On average, women truckers drive 2,000 miles more than men do. 

One possible reason why female truck drivers log more miles could be that their dwell time also tends to be lower than the dwell time of male truck drivers. Over a period of nine months, female truck drivers averaged 20 hours less dwell time than male drivers. As a result, these female truck drivers managed to earn more money for their company and for themselves. 

Myth 5: Female Truck Drivers Need To Be Physically Large And Strong

Regardless of gender, truck drivers can and do have all kinds of different body types. While you do need to pass a physical exam to earn your CDL, you certainly don’t need to be above average height and hit the gym 24/7. 

It’s also important to realize that different kinds of truck driving jobs will require different levels of physical labor. The amount of physical labor varies based on a number of things, such as what type of freight you haul and whether your carrier expects drivers to load/unload.

Myth 6: Female Truck Drivers Won’t Fit In With Other Truckers

If you’re a woman thinking about entering the truck industry but you’re worried about breaking into “the boys’ club,” worry not. Most truckers are bonded not by being guys, but by their love of the open road and their shared career.  

Not to mention there are more women in the truck driving industry than ever before. Since 2010, the number of female truck drivers has gone up by a whopping 68%. Although women are still a minority in the trucking industry, their numbers are growing — and that trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Myth 7: Female Truck Drivers Struggle with Technology and Navigation

A common stereotype and misconception is that women are less technologically savvy than men or have a harder time navigating while on the road. This viewpoint is not only outdated but highly incorrect. As a truck driver, all drivers, regardless of gender, will use GPS and other technological tools to get from point A to point B. Drivers are taught the ins and outs of these tools during their training, ensuring it’s understood by all future drivers.

Myth 8: Truck Driving is Not a Career for Mothers

Some people believe that the truck driving profession is not compatible with their idea of motherhood due to the demand it puts on drivers and the amount of time they are away from home. However, this is a myth. Numerous trucking companies offer flexible schedules, local routes, and supportive policies for work-life balance, allowing mothers to not only begin a career in this profession but excel.

Myth 9: Women Can’t Handle the Long Hours or Stress of Truck Driving

The idea that women are less capable of handling the long hours on the road or the stress that comes along with this career severely undermines and underestimates their resilience and ability to manage demanding jobs. Women across professions have proven again and again they can handle the same situations as their male counterparts, and trucking is no different.

Myth 10: Women Don’t Have the Same Advancement Opportunities

Another myth is that women are presented with less career advancement opportunities in the industry. This could not be further from the truth. Many companies actively seek to diversify their workforce, offering training, mentorships, and countless advancement opportunities to all employees, regardless of gender. To thrive in this industry, drivers need to meet their deadlines, stay safe on the road, and remain committed to continued education, not be of a certain gender.

Myth 11: There is No Community or Network for Female Truck Drivers

Women are joining the industry more and more as the years go on, so this stereotype overlooks this robust and growing community, both online and offline. Female truck drivers have relationships on the road and on online forums where they can share advice, support, camaraderie, and more, which proves there is a strong and growing community of women in this industry that welcomes any new female driver.

Myth 12: Female Truck Drivers Face Discrimination from Male Colleagues 

While discrimination is possible in the workplace for any career, the trucking industry is working to make strides toward inclusivity and respect for all drivers. There is a demand for truck drivers and the industry wants everyone that is interested, regardless of their gender. The industry is setting the standard for driver treatment, and the drivers are, too, with many male truckers being highly supportive of their female colleagues.

Myth 13: Women Aren’t Interested in the Mechanical Side of Trucking 

The stereotype that women aren’t interested in the mechanical aspects of this industry undermines their interest and capabilities in engineering. In reality, female drivers can be just as skilled, if not more, in managing and understanding the nuances of their vehicles.

Calling All Future Female Truck Drivers

Are you a woman excited about a future career in truck driving? TDI can help you get there. Contact us today to discover how you can get started earning your CDL and hitting the road to your dreams.

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