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Women Behind the Wheel: The Trucking Industry and Women

Did you know that women have been involved in the trucking industry since the 1900s? This International Women’s Day, we are looking at the women in this industry. Between the years 2018 and 2019 alone, the total number of women in the truck driving industry increased nearly 30%. Women made up over 10% of over-the-road truck drivers in 2019, according to a survey conducted by Freightwaves.  

Luella Bates is credited as the first woman to obtain her CDL. She was one of 150 women hired in 1918 to drive for Four Wheel Drive Auto Company in Clintonville, Wisconsin, while the men were away fighting during World War I. At the end of the war, unlike most women in the industry at the time, Luella continued working for Four Wheel Drive and took her first interstate tour in 1920. Her passion for the industry led her to become the face of female trucking.  

There are several reasons why it is more than worth it to hire a female truckdriver. There is a hiring need, and women are a great fit for the role. Studies show that women tend to be more risk averse than men, less likely to be involved in a fatal crash, and female drivers tend to log more hours annually than their male counterparts. Women also have a lower turnover rate compared to the industry average for men.  

If you are a woman and you are interested in becoming a truck driver, we are here to offer you some advice to help you on your road to success.  

  1. Find a school or training program. If you’re reading this, we can help you at U.S. Truck Driver Training School! Visit our admissions page and get in touch with us to get started today! 
  2. Join women trucking organizations. Joining organizations founded to support and further the agenda of women in trucking is a great way to tap into a support system. The road can be a lonely place sometimes. USTDTS is proud to associate with Women In Trucking, which can connect women truckers to one another and provide them with a community so that they feel less alone in the industry and can learn from other truck drivers. Our own Vice President Sam was named to their 2021 Top Women to Watch in Transportation list! 
  3. Choose the right company. Select your employer carefully and find a trucking company that values and respects you. Our Career Services department offers resources to help you do just that! Reach out to them here 
  4. Trip plan for success. You’ll want to plan everything from routes and safety precautions to meals and bathroom breaks. By taking the time to plan in advance, you can lessen your risk of having undesirable events occur. 
  5. Connect with other truckers. Reaching out to other truck drivers is a fantastic way to build a network of people in the industry that you can turn to for support and advice (and you can start here, at USTDTS!). Having connections with other truck drivers gives everyone that ability to feel supported and encouraged. Social media is a great way to get tips and see how other women are experiencing life as truck drivers.  

Finally, we would like to finish out this post by giving a shoutout to all the incredible women who at U.S. Truck Driver Training School. You keep this place going and make USTDTS what it is. We are lucky to have all of you and appreciate your hard work every single day! 

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