Women Truck Drivers

Women Truck Drivers

Women Truck Driver
Most people associate the term truck driver with men, but more and more women are finding this is an enjoyable career choice for them. Some of them are team drivers with another woman or their spouse. Others enjoy being out on the open road with their pets or by themselves.

Due to the increase of women truck drivers, many truck stops have had to make changes to what they offer. They now have shower rooms equipped with items for women. They also offer many amenities that females will need while they stop at a truck stop including feminine products, perfume, hairspray, and other accessories.

You may find some people out there who ridicule women truck drivers as they think it is a joke. Yet most of these women are very competent behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler and they know all about how to keep their truck in good working condition. Some trucking companies are hesitant to hire women even though they can’t come right out and say this due to discrimination laws. They worry about the safety of the women while out there on the road. They also worry about harassment they may encounter by their male employees.

There is a non-profit organization known as Women in Trucking that works hard to advocate for women’s rights in this profession that is dominated by men. They work hard to acknowledge the accomplishments of women in the trucking industry and to help the overcome any barriers to employment. Over the last five years they have worked hard to help women find more jobs in the trucking industry and have been very successful.

Women in Trucking have also released a documentary on DVD called Alligator on the Zipper. This film documents true stories about seven female truck drivers and their experiences. It is believed offering such educational information will help women be more accepted in the field of truck driving.

Today there are almost 200,000 women truck drivers in the United States, so they make up approximately 5% of the total truck driver workforce. While many women still feel intimidated in this profession, they are finding hard work and dedication to safety and delivering loads on time is earning them respect of companies all over the Nation.

If you are a woman interested in driving a semi truck, take the time to find out what your options are. If you are a United States citizen, at least 21 years of age, and you have a good driving record then you may be eligible to obtain a CDL. You will need to find a quality truck driving training program so you can successfully pass the written and oral examinations.

There are plenty of excellent truck driving jobs out there, so you will need to look hard for them. You will also want to join support groups including Women in Trucking. They can help you with any questions or concerns you may have while entering the trucking industry. They can also assist you if you feel your civil rights have been violated due to the fact that you are a female pursuing a career in truck driving.

While it is harder for a woman truck driver to be accepted for many positions, don’t give up. There are some trucking companies such as Mary Kay Cosmetics that prefer women drivers. Think of the thrill of being the driving force behind a pink semi!

What to Look for in Truck Driver Training Programs

What to Look for in Truck Driver Training Programs

There are many different programs out there that teach you how to drive a semi truck. They often assist you with learning the written materials as well so you can pass both tests in order to get your CDL. It is important to look into the qualifications of such truck driver training programs though. You want a quality program that is going to teach you valuable skills. It can be very dangerous to place new trainees into the work force with a CDL when they don’t have sufficient training.

You also want one that is affordable for you to attend. Many of the accredited truck driver training programs offer financial aid to help assist with the cost of attendance. They will also work out payment plans to assist you with paying for the remainder or if you don’t qualify for any type of financial assistance.

There are many instances where you can get your truck driver training paid for by an employer. Yet you have to look closely at what they require in return. Most of them will require you to sign a contract that you will work for their company for a specified amount of time. Generally one or two years is the term of such a contract. If you are fired or voluntarily leave the company before that span of time you will be responsible to repay the company for the cost of your truck driver training program.

The length of the truck driver training program is very important. Some of them claim they can get you in and out in a couple of weeks. While this may seem appealing, keep in mind that there is plenty to learn about driving a semi truck. You don’t want to be rushed and you don’t want to be on the road on your own in one before you are ready. You want a program that is full time and is at least four weeks long.

Ask about the curriculum of the program so you can see for yourself what information will be covered. You should also ask about class sizes so you can find out if you will be able to get one on one attention for your specific needs in the program. Don’t be shy about asking about the qualifications of their instructors either. The more experience they have in the classroom and driving a semi truck the more first hand information they will be able to share with you.

The internet is a great place to find out information about different truck driver training programs. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them. Look online for independent reviews about the program from other students. This information will help you discover the pros and cons of any given truck driver training program before you commit to it.

Once you find the truck driver training program that suits your needs, find out what you need to do to get enrolled. Most of them will have specific guidelines and an application you need to complete. There are deadlines for getting in your application, applying for financial aid, and providing the requested verifications. Make sure you make this process a priority or you may find you can’t get into the program until the following term.

It can be very exciting to learn how to drive a semi truck, and it can open up many wonderful job opportunities for you. Selecting the right training program is essential for you to have a solid foundation to build on. Knowing the basics of how to operate a semi truck, the rules of the road, hours of operation, and being safe should all be a part of any quality truck driving training program. Don’t settle for anything less because it will result in you not having the skills you need to succeed in this type of career.

Ways to Increase your Fuel Mileage on a Semi Truck

Ways to Increase your Fuel Mileage on a Semi Truck image Ways to Increase your Fuel Mileage on a Semi Truck

Can you imagine being happy with getting six to eight miles per gallon in your vehicle? Most of us would not be impressed at all, especially considering the cost of fuel these days. Yet for professional semi truck drivers, striving for increased fuel mileage is very important. Getting six to eight miles per gallon means the semi truck is operating very efficiently. Some of them only get four miles per gallon, and that needs to be changed because the drivers are simply throwing money away.

Those who drive for a company don’t worry too much about the cost of the fuel or how many gallons they get per mile because they get paid based on the number of miles they drive. Owner operators pay very close attention to these figures because they have to cover all the costs of their own fuel. In many cases this cost can be as much as 40% of the gross earnings per month.

There are some factors that will affect your fuel mileage in a semi truck that you really can’t control. They include the wind and the weight of the load you are hauling. The cost of fuel per gallon is also something that you won’t be able to do much about. There are some ways you can increase your fuel mileage though that aren’t going to cost you very much to implement.

Many semi trucks offer a heavy drag in order to pull a standard size trailer. These can be modified to still offer enough power but without the weight. Many owner operators like to add chrome and nice accessories to their semi truck. Try to avoid too much of it, especially those pieces that are quite heavy as they will add weight and increase the amount of fuel your truck consumes.

The amount of air in the tires will affect your fuel mileage as well. They should be routinely checked to ensure they don’t have too much or not enough air. If you seem to have a tire with a continuous air leak in it, have the tire repaired or replace it.

The amount of air that is moving underneath the semi truck is important as well. Too much air means you are fighting it as you drive down the road. There are special designed pieces you can place under your truck as well as on the roof of it in order to cut the amount of resistance you are driving against.

There are some hybrid models of semi trucks on the market right now that offer a great way to save money and increase fuel mileage. Since they will run on solar power during the day, the only fuel that will be consumed is when the energy cells have run out or the sun has gone down. You can expect to see many more hybrid semi trucks on the road in the years ahead.

Think about the weight of a semi truck before you purchase it because it is going to affect your fuel mileage. The heavier a truck is the more fuel you are going to need to move it. Sure, having all those accessories inside of the truck is nice, but if you want to make a decent profit you need to compromise. Make sure you have plenty of comfort since you will likely spend a great deal of time in your semi truck. However, you need to make sure you are getting one of the higher rates when it comes to your fuel mileage.

Incorporating these various types of ways to increase your fuel mileage in a semi truck is very important. Even increasing it by one mile per gallon will significantly add up fast if you drive several thousand miles per month. The cost of fuel continues to get higher and higher so you need to do all you can to keep overhead costs as low as possible.

Valuable Skills you need to Succeed in the Trucking Industry

Valuable Skills you need to Succeed in the Trucking Industry imageValuable Skills you need to Succeed in the Trucking Industry

Being a truck driver involves much more than sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving all day. There are plenty of skills needed in order to do a great job at it. The image of truck drivers isn’’t the best in society, and many drivers strive to change that mentality by always offering fast, friendly service.

Excellent communication skills make a great truck driver. You have to be able to talk with your dispatcher in order to get the right loads and to work out any delivery or pick up problems. You will also encounter people as you go about your job and you need to be able to get along well with them.

Navigation is a large part of driving a semi truck as there are particular roads that can be used and those that can’t. Truck drivers have to be able to read maps so they can find their destination. They also need to look for clearance information relating to bridges and bypasses to ensure their truck and trailer aren’’t too tall to fit under them.

Truck drivers need to be responsible and reliable. Driving a semi truck can be dangerous for yourself and for other people on the road. Paying attention to the activity going on out there is going to help prevent accidents from happening. Obeying the rules on the road and following the speed limit is very important.

Motivation is very helpful for truck drivers because it helps them to get their job done correctly. It can be too easy to turn off that alarm and go back to bed when you are tired, but knowing you have a delivery to make is going to help you get moving. Truck drivers also need to be motivated to take care of their own health needs so they can perform as best as possible out there.

Organization is a key skill for successful truck drivers to do. There is plenty of paperwork that has to be done on a daily basis. The log book needs to be filled out correctly or you can end up in trouble with the law and with your employer. Trip packets have to be completed with all of the necessary paperwork or it can delay your pay for the work you completed. You also have to keep track of your expenses so you are able to use them as deductions on your income tax return.

It is useful if the truck driver has a basic understanding of how their semi truck operates. This way they can identify any problems that may be prevented as well as complete some of the necessary repairs. While this isn’t a necessity of the job, it definitely comes in handy and it can save a great deal of money for expensive repairs by a professional.

Truck drivers may be male or female, and they vary in age as well as experience. Having many of these skills will help ensure the individual does well in their role as a professional truck driver. These skills will also help keep the job enjoyable because no one wants to work in a profession where they aren’’t happy. Working to improve any of these skills will result in parts of the job becoming easier and completed more efficiently.

Trucker Talk

trucker talkTrucker Talk

Truck drivers are professionals who have their own terminology for many different events that take place. They often talk to each other on the CB to offer assistance and information to each other. The most common phrase that truck drivers use that most of us are aware of is the term 10/4. This basically means they have acknowledged what was said and they are signing off.

Truck drivers generally warn each other about road hazards and safety issues. The term four wheeler refers to a regular sized vehicle on the road. They may want to let other drivers behind them know about a car on the side of the road ahead or other concerns. They also notify each other of cops by various terms – a smokey is a cop on the ground in a car, Evil Kinevil is one on a motorcycle, and a bear in the air is in reference to speed being monitored by aircraft.

We have all seen those large pieces of rubber from semi truck tires on the highway. They are referred to as alligators. Road kill is a common site on many roads, and truck drivers refer to it as road pizza. Flat bed trailers are often referred to as skateboards. Tractor trailers are commonly referred to as a box.

If you see a truck moving without a trailer attached to it, truckers call this bob tailing. While it saves them of fuel mileage, it is a bumpy road without that trailer on the back to help smooth things out.

At truck stops you may hear the term lot lizard. This is in reference to the girls who are wondering around in the parking lot trying to get paid to perform sexual favors for truck drivers. They call them lizards because they scramble when they see light from security or the cops. You can even see them dangerously walking underneath moving trailers on semi trucks to avoid being caught.

Some of the lot lizards stay in their vehicles to avoid being detected by security. They use codes on the radio asking if someone wants their chrome polished or their truck detailed. These are code words for various types of sexual favors – yet they can’t be charged with anything if a cop hears them say these terms over the CB radio frequency.

You will find that some of the slang used on the CB’s varies by location on the country. There are many different variations and many of the long term truck drivers are able to correctly identify the region another driver is from just by the terminology they use. For the most part though trucker talk is common knowledge among this profession.

The truck talk that pertains to safety issues seems to be more standardized across the board. It is the terms that refer to other aspects out there that seem to come with the most variations associated with them.

While most of us have no reason to learn truck talk, it can be interesting to understand what they are talking about if you work in a truck stop or you have a CB in your vehicle. I have learned various types of trucker talk listening to my husband and other drivers talking around me. While I find some of their terminology to be silly, it serves its purpose.

Truck Driving Shows

Truck Driving Shows

Truck driver’s work very hard for a living, and this is a fact that deserves some appreciation. There are truck driving shows held in various locations around the country in order to recognize them. These are events that generally last for several days, and the whole family can attend. The cost is generally free to encourage more truck drivers and their families to show up.

Most of these truck driving shows are held at large event centers or convention centers. They feature food, entertainment, and even live concerts by well known bands. There are booths that offer various information on insurance, laws that will affect truck drivers, and information. There are also vendors selling custom made hats and accessories for semi trucks and trailers.

Many of the different vendors offer brochures, informational packets, and even have drawings for various prizes. You can take your time looking around and seeing what options you have. Chances are you may discover some very useful information that you can use to make your truck driving profession easier or to safe you money.

These are popular events for the manufacturers of semi trucks and trailers to put on displays as well. They bring out the latest models they have to offer as well as feature new engine designs. They offer brochures and even excellent financing options that you can take advantage of during the course of the truck driving show.

This is a great opportunity to tell these various manufactures what needs aren’t being met for the truck drivers out there. They will take that information back to their company and hopefully start looking for ways to meet those needs. They know if they can offer something for the trucking industry then it will sell well so they aren’t too worried about taking a risk when the requests are coming from those in the industry.

There are generally various classes offered at most truck driving shows as well. There is usually a charge for them but they are well worth the investment. Some of the hot topics covered include the new hours of service regulations, filling out log books properly, hauling hazardous materials, fitness for truck drivers, safety, and changes in the trucking industry. You will find these courses to offer you valuable information that you can use.

You will also find a Show and Shine competition at the various truck driving shows. This is an event that gets plenty of attention for the drivers and the investments they have made in their trucks. Many of them offer amazing quality and detail to every aspect of the truck. To enter the competition each truck must be used for work purposes and not simply put on display at the various truck driving shows.

If you have never been to one of the various truck driving shows, you are missing out on an opportunity to spend some time finding out what is going on with everyone else in the industry. You may be surprised when you realize just how much support truck drivers really have.

While you will find a truck driving show very educational, it will also provide you with a chance to relax and enjoy others with similar interests. In most instances various portions of your visit to a truck driving show are tax deductible so make sure you discuss this with your tax preparer.

You can find a schedule of the upcoming truck driving shows taking place online. If possible schedule a load to haul that direction and stay for a day or two. There is always plenty of parking and most offer shuttles to local restaurants and hotels for your convenience. You can also plan a great vacation for your family to travel to a truck show in Las Vegas, Nevada; Anaheim, California; our Houston, Texas where there are plenty of other things to spend your time doing as well.

Tips to Help Truck Drivers Stay in Shape

Tips to Help Truck Drivers Stay in Shape

It is hard for most people to find the time in their day to stay in shape, but when you drive a truck it can be even more difficult. Your job is difficult but it also requires you to stay in your seat for hours each day. Over time this can lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle, heart problems, and becoming overweight. There are some great ways for truck drivers to stay in shape though.

Most over the road truck drivers stop to eat and rest at truck stops. Park at the end of the parking lot and walk inside to eat, shower, and relax. This exercise each time you stop will really add up in no time at all. Instead of sitting inside the truck stop and watching TV go for a walk around the area. This will give you some fresh air, exercise, and the chance to stretch out your legs.

Getting in and out of a big truck can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Many truck drivers jump down instead of using the stairs. As a result they risk injuries to their knees and to their back. It is also important to wear quality shoes or boots that offer plenty of support for the arches in your feet.

You might be able to walk when you are making your deliveries as well. It depends on the rules that are set up at the place where you deliver. Many of them have rules in place where the driver’s have to stay in the cab at all times for safety reasons. If that is the case you can use that time to do paperwork or to take a nap.

It is possible to keep some basic exercise equipment in the cab of your truck. Lifting weights is a good exercise routine to incorporate into your day about three times per week. You can easily store the weights under your bed when you aren’’t using them. There are some other types of exercise equipment that fit well into the cab of your truck as well that you may be interested in purchasing.

Getting sufficient sleep each nigh is important, and this can be difficult when you drive a truck. You may have deliveries at off hours and that means your sleep schedule is broken up rather than all at once. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillow so you can sleep comfortably. Never accept loads that require you to work when you should be sleeping. Not only is this going to affect your overall health, it is illegal and you could find yourself in serious trouble if you get inspected or you are involved in an accident.

The foods you eat are very important to your overall health. Instead of grabbing fast food all the time, try to eat a good meal that offers you plenty of nutrients. Look for truck stop restaurants that offer you a quality salad bar full of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also install a small refrigerator in your truck and stock up on nutritious foods for you to eat for meals and healthy snacks.

You need to make sure you eat enough during the day to keep up your energy levels. A person’s metabolism can slow down if you skip meals. Don’t starve yourself all day and then eat one large meal. It will be hard for your body to digest and you won’t have the energy you need to get through the day.

Most truck driver’s have a couple of days off in between runs. Use this time at the gym, playing sports, or doing yard work. There are so many different ways you can get the necessary exercise and stay in shape. Driving a truck is a rewarding career for those who really enjoy it. Yet if your health deteriorates you won’t be able to drive a truck so do all you can to stay fit now.

Tips for Truck Drivers to Save Money

Tips for Truck Drivers to Save Money

When it comes to driving a truck, there are plenty of expenses that come with the territory. The bottom line for a truck driver is the gross amount of money he or she makes less their expenses. Cutting down on various expenses can really help to increase the amount of revenue they are able to keep for themselves.

The most expensive investment for a truck driver is the truck so getting a good deal on a quality piece of equipment is important. The industry tends to have an abundance of used trucks on lots and you can get one that is in good condition for a reasonable price. New trucks are more expensive but they come with a better warranty and you have the peace of mind that it hasn’t been through too much wear and tear.

Getting a good interest rate on your truck is going to lower the cost of your overall payments. It is a good idea to pay extra on your truck towards the principal when you can. This will help you to pay it offer sooner and it will reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

Investing both time and money in routine maintenance is a good way to save money. Your truck will run better with regular oil changes and taking the time to check over all your hoses and lines will prevent you from having to buy expense parts on the road. Having the right amount of air in the tires will also save you on fuel expenses.

Pay close attention to the cost of fuel when you are driving over the road. You may be able to save several cents per gallon by going to another truck stop. Many of the chain truck stops offer fuel cards that will also save you money. Each time you use your card you can save a few cents per gallon. They can also offer a points system where you can buy meals or other items from inside.

Showers can become expensive for truck drivers, with many truck stops charging up to $7 for one. Most of them offer the shower for free if you get a set amount of gallons of fuel. It may be more cost effective to get fuel each morning instead of filling up at one location so you can take advantage of free showers. That is one expense that really adds up fast.

Food is another cost that truck drivers find puts a dent in their wallet. It is a good investment to get a small refrigerator for your cab. You can store lunch meat, fruits, snacks, and drinks in there. This is also more convenient than having to stop to get something to it. This will also help you eat healthier because many truck stops offer fast food options as well as a restaurant.

Truck drivers do need some hot meals though, and these can be eaten at any truck stop restaurant. There are also small stove tops that operate on butane you can buy for your truck. They work great for heating up meals you can enjoy in your truck instead of having to pay for a meal in the restaurant.
There are plenty of personal supplies a truck driver needs to carry with them. Paying for these items at a truck stop is very expensive. Pack plenty of soap, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, and razors so you won’t run out. You should also carry plenty of clothing so that you don’t have to pay to do laundry at truck stops.

A good way to prepare is to pack a very large duffle bag with all of your travel supplies. Carry a smaller duffle bag with one change of clothes, your personal hygiene items, and a couple of towels. You can conveniently carry in the small duffle bag and leave the majority of your supplies in your truck. This is also a good safety measure in case you happen to leave your bag behind.

Choosing the Right Trucking Company to work for

Choosing the Right Trucking Company to work for

There are so many different trucking companies out there that the chances of you finding a job you enjoy driving a semi truck is very high. Yet you need to know that these companies all have different recruiting techniques that they use to entice new drivers to sign up with them. It is to your advantage to take a close look at the various trucking companies out there and see what they have to offer you. Since you won’t be comparing apples to apples you need to evaluate each one on an individual basis.

You want to find a trucking company that offers a terminal in your general area. Otherwise you are going to find you have to drive endless miles empty in your own vehicle if you are using a company owned semi truck. If you are an owner operator with your own truck then you will be driving these additional miles in the big rig without pay, and that is quite expensive.

Many of the larger trucking companies have terminals in many locations while the smaller ones may only offer one or two terminals. This will generally be the location where you drop of your paperwork, attend safety meetings, and take care of other essential tasks related to the trucking industry.

The amount of money you will get paid is very important, but you need to evaluate this carefully. Many trucking companies offer a sign on bonus if you agree to a contract of one year or more. This may be payable when you initially start or when you reach the time mark outlined in your contract. You need to find out if you will get paid by the mile or by the hour for your work.

It is important to find out when you will be paid for your work. Some trucking companies pay you a set number of days after you turn in paperwork for a load. Others have set pay dates. You also need to find out if you will get a check or if the funds will be direct deposit. If you are an over the road truck driver the direct deposit option generally works best so you can access funds even when you aren’’t in the area.

Inquire about various benefits that the trucking company may offer you. These include health insurance, 401 k plans, and bonuses for attendance and safety. All of these items make up a complete employment package and they are worth investing in. It isn’’t a good idea not to have health insurance and you should always have some type of savings plan in the works for your future.

The way dispatch works for different trucking companies can make getting loads a smooth process or it can be a nightmare. Look for a trucking company that has plenty of freight to offer. This way you can deliver your load, call dispatch for another load, and be on your way again. You will be wasting your time and your money if they continually leave you sitting around waiting for a load.

Find out how the company handles time off. You may be offered paid vacation time after you have been with the company for a set period of time. However, you may need to take a couple of days off to deal with issues that have been piling up or for a special occasion. Look for a trucking company to work for that understands these things arise and they are willing to work with you to get your personal needs met.

You also need to inquire about the equipment they operate because it needs to be up to date and safe. Even if you have your own semi truck you will be hauling their trailers so make sure they are well taken care of.

Semi Trucks and Terrorism

Semi Trucks and Terrorism

After the world was taken by surprised with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 significant changes were implemented in the United States in regard to semi trucks. There is a possibility that the use of large trucks could be used for terrorism and that is something that needs to be carefully guarded against.

The United States government closely guards against those with a CDL accessing hazardous materials. They require a background check with fingerprinting to be completed for anyone with a CDL that wants this type of endorsement. There are plenty of flammable and toxic materials hauled in semi trucks that need to be protected.

There is also the problem of terrorists taking semi trucks that have such products on them in route. They can kill the driver’s and take the trucks if they really want to access the various materials they are hauling. The potential scenarios that could result from such materials being used for terrorism are too many to mention. Yet it is likely that they could result in mass deaths and even contamination of the water and the air.

There have already been some semi trucks involved in various terrorist attacks. In 1993 they were used to engage in the attack on the World Trade Center. The fact that there are so many semi trucks out there hauling dangerous materials makes them a viable weapon for terrorism. The fact that placards have to be in place on semi trucks hauling these materials is supposed to be for safety but they also identify them as easy targets for terrorists.

One of the ideas the Department of Homeland Security has been considering is placing GPS on all trucks that haul hazardous materials. This way it would be very easy to identify those that are off course. It would also be possible to identify any semi trucks hauling hazardous materials into areas where they are not allowed.

In the event of a semi truck hauling dangerous materials, being involved in an accident, the GPS could result in clean up crews being sent to the scene immediately. All of the information relating to the types of materials being hauled would be available so crews would know how to proceed. Yet the cost of implementing such a program would be very expensive. There would also be ongoing costs for monitoring the activities of all these semi trucks.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has also come up with a device to prevent terrorists from using semi trucks. This device can be mounted in various areas of the truck. If it is believed the safety of the semi truck has been compromised the device can be instructed to come to a full stop by activating the air brakes. There is still more research that needs to be looked into for this type of concept to be realistically installed in all semi trucks.

We have all seen the effects that terrorist attacks can have on society. Protecting semi trucks from getting into the wrong hands is very important. Most truck drivers are trained in the possibility that their truck could be taken for such a purpose. Many trucking companies have procedures in place for the driver to follow if such an event occurs. Many of the reports of suspicious activities relating to semi trucks are reported by truck drivers themselves as they are the eyes and ears of the open road.

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