Women In Trucking – Tips To Boost Your Career
It is the twenty-first century. No field of work lacks a substantial presence of women. And the transportation industry is similar. With more and more women striving for financial independence, working as a truck driver is an excellent avenue to explore.
But how do you get started? FMCSA and DoT have specific guidelines for all truck drivers that are fortunately not bound by gender norms. To be eligible for driving across state lines, you must satisfy the following conditions in addition to possessing a GED or high school diploma:
- You must be at least 18 years olds to drive within the state and 21 years old to drive across state lines.
- You must have a clean driving record.
- You must demonstrate proof of state residency.
- You must possess a valid social security number.
- You must show evidence of insurance coverage.
- You must successfully pass periodic drug tests and medical examinations.
- You must clear a background check.
CDL and CPL – The Licenses You Need
To become a truck driver, you need CDL or Commercial Driving License. Before applying for your CDL, you must get a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Your state of residence issues this permit, which authorizes you to acquire the necessary skills for a Class A CDL. To obtain your CLP, you can take the exam at your local DMV. After getting a CLP, you must enroll in a CDL training program offered in your state. During the program, your instructors will guide you through the necessary steps to obtain your commercial driver’s license, making it an excellent opportunity for anyone considering a career in this field.
CDL training can be expensive. Fortunately, many employers and truck driving schools recognize the high demand for drivers and offer tuition reimbursement programs to assist aspiring drivers in becoming CDL certified.
The duration of the CDL program varies depending on the type of license you are pursuing and the chosen school. Most programs last between three to seven weeks. However, Class A programs typically require more in-depth training, making them more comprehensive and lengthier than other license programs.
Crafting a Successful Career in Trucking
Getting the licenses is merely the first step. But to create a successful career path in trucking, you need more than that. As a woman, your challenges are different from your male counterparts. Here are some tips that you can follow and ensure that your efforts are rewarded.
Build a strong network
Building a trusting network is crucial for women truckers who want to connect with others in their industry, find support and resources, and advance their careers. Here are some ways that women truckers can build a strong network:
- Join professional organizations: Many organizations cater only to women in the trucking industry, such as the Women In Trucking Association (WIT). Joining these organizations can provide access to resources, networking events, and mentorship opportunities.
- Attend industry events: Participating in industry events such as trade shows, conferences, and seminars can provide opportunities to meet other women truckers and learn about new trends and technologies in the industry.
- Connect on social media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be great ways to connect with other women truckers and stay up-to-date on industry news and events.
- Participate in online forums: Online forums, such as TruckersReport and Women In Trucking Forum, can be a great way to connect with other women truckers and exchange information and advice.
- Seek out mentors: Finding a mentor with experience in the trucking industry can be invaluable in gaining knowledge and support. Look for mentors through professional organizations or social media groups.
- Build relationships with coworkers: Developing meaningful relationships at work can provide a supportive network. It can help you navigate challenges and advance your career.
Invest in your education and training
Investing in education and training is necessary for women truckers who want to advance their careers and stay competitive in the industry. Here are some ways that women truckers can invest in their education and training:
- Take courses: There are many courses available that can help women truckers improve their skills and knowledge. These courses can be taken online or in person. They cover several topics, from safety and regulations to management and leadership.
- Attend seminars and workshops: Seminars and workshops can be a great way to learn from experts in the industry and connect with other women truckers. Look for events that cover topics that are relevant to your career goals.
- Pursue certifications: Earning certifications, such as the Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) designation, can demonstrate to employers and clients that you have a high level of expertise in a particular area.
- Read industry publications: Keeping updated with industry news and trends can help women truckers stay competitive and informed. Subscribe to industry publications and newsletters to stay informed.
Be professional and reliable
Being professional and reliable is essential for women truckers who want to succeed in the trucking industry. Here are some tips on how to be professional and reliable as a woman trucker:
- Be punctual: Showing up on time indicates professionalism and reliability. Plan your routes and schedule your deliveries in advance to avoid delays.
- Follow safety protocols: Adhering to safety protocols is crucial for your safety and the safety of others on the road. You must diligently follow regulations such as hours of service rules, speed limits, and weight restrictions.
- Maintain your vehicle: Regularly maintaining your truck, including performing routine inspections and servicing, can help prevent breakdowns and delays.
- Communicate effectively: Effective communication helps build trust with your employer, customers, and coworkers. Keep them informed of any delays or issues that may arise.
- Dress professionally: Women are always judged for what they wear. Dressing appropriately at your job can help you make a good impression on customers and colleagues. Also, keep your comfort in mind.
- Practice good customer service: Providing excellent customer service can help you build a positive reputation in the industry. Be friendly, helpful, and responsive to customer needs.
- Be adaptable: Trucking can be unpredictable, and unexpected challenges can arise. If you can easily adjust to the situation, it can help you navigate these challenges and maintain a professional demeanor.
Like all truckers, women drivers need to be vigilant toward traffic safety. Here are some tips:
- Follow safety protocols: Adhere to safety protocols, such as hours of service rules, speed limits, and weight restrictions, to reduce the risk of accidents.
- Keep a safe following distance: Maintain a safe gap between your car and the one in front of you to account for sudden lane changes or stops.
- Conduct pre-trip inspections: Before you get on the road, pre-trip inspections can help you find any problems with your car, such as brake or tire issues.
- Wear your seatbelt: To lessen the chance of injury in the event of an accident, always buckle up while driving.
- Manage fatigue: Fatigue can impair your ability to operate your vehicle safely. Take regular breaks and get adequate rest to stay alert and focused.
- Avoid distractions: Distractions such as texting or using a mobile phone while driving can increase the risk of accidents. Avoid these distractions and focus on the road.
- Use your mirrors and signals: To interact with other drivers on the road and to keep aware of your surroundings, use your mirrors and signals.
- Attend safety training courses: Attend safety training courses to improve your knowledge and skills related to safe driving practices.
Consider becoming an owner-operator
- Flexibility: By being an owner-operator, women can have more control over their schedules, which would mean better flexibility to balance work and personal life. You can choose when and where to work and take time off whenever you need.
- Financial independence: By owning a truck and business, you can earn a higher income and have greater financial freedom. You can set rates, negotiate with clients, and decide how to grow your business.
- Job security: As an owner-operator, you are in charge of the businesses and are not dependent on a single employer for income. It gives you greater job security and reduces the risk of layoffs or job loss due to downsizing.
- Career growth: You can expand the business by hiring new drivers or purchasing more trucks. It can lead to additional income and career growth opportunities.
- Breaking gender stereotypes: Becoming an owner-operator is a perfect way to break gender stereotypes and show that you can succeed in traditionally male-dominated industries.
Matrack Solutions – Your Trusted Partner
Apart from all the things mentioned above, you need a trusted partner that can help manage your schedule, maintain compliance with various regulations, offer a security blanket, as well as help advance your career. You are right! Matrack can be the partner you need!
With a wide range of tracking solutions and ELD, Matrack takes care of half your job. How? Let’s take a look:
- Improved Safety: One of the biggest concerns for a woman is safety. According to estimates by the WHO, around one in three (30%) women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexually intimate relationship abuse or non-partner sexual violence at some point in their lives. For women truckers who are out on the road, without the safety net of their homes, being extra cautious and worried is apparent. Matrack offers a variety of vehicle/trailer GPS tracking solutions with accurate and continual real-time location information. They come with features designed to provide the vehicle driver extra protection. These trackers are easy to install and integrate. They also provide real-time updates on traffic conditions, weather, and road closures, which can help you avoid accidents and delays.
- Compliance: If you have any idea about the current trucking industry, you must know how important ELDs have become. They are FMCSA’s and DoT’s way of ensuring compliance with Hours of Service rules and several other regulations. And again, Matrack has you covered! Matrack ELD perfectly fits the device requirement stipulated by the FMCSA. Once integrated with your vehicle system, our ELD will help you breeze through compliance regulations without worry.
- Better Efficiency: Success in trucking depends on how efficient you are. Truck drivers have the same hours to work, so the ideal way to get an edge is by making the most of it. Matrack GPS tracking solution can help you optimize the routes and reduce idle time, to improve efficiency and reduce costs. It can help you increase productivity and profitability.
- Improved Communication: Matrack GPS tracking solution allows for real-time communication between drivers and dispatchers, which can help you stay connected and informed while on the road. This feature can lead to better coordination and fewer misunderstandings, which can help you build trust with your employers.
- Career Advancement: With our GPS tracking solution and ELD, you can focus on improving safety records, compliance, efficiency, and communication skills. It can help you build a strong reputation in the industry and open up opportunities for career advancement, such as promotions, better routes, and higher pay.
In conclusion, the trucking industry is a great career path for women wanting financial independence. However, to succeed, women must overcome unique challenges in a male-dominated industry. It includes getting the necessary licenses, building a trusting network, investing in education and training, and being professional and reliable. By following these tips, you can advance your career and succeed in the trucking industry. As a woman trucker, you should continue to support other women and advocate for gender equality in the industry to ensure that all truck drivers get the same opportunities to succeed.