The demand for truck drivers increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the stay-at-home order imposed by the government, people relied more on online shopping. This meant that more goods are being delivered at all hours of the day. Cargo and freight companies became even more crucial. They make sure that goods are delivered properly to the doorstep of customers. They see to it that U.S. parcels are forwarded to Australia and other faraway places.
This demand for many truck drivers is enjoying this demand. For one, many retailers have invested more in truck transportation. They’re willing to offer higher pay to meet the demand for online shopping. But there’s a faction of truck drivers that are finding the job more challenging. And those are the female truck drivers.
Women in the Truck Driving Industry
Among the 31 million frontline workers in the United States, there are more than three million people working in the trucking, warehouse, and postal services industries. But among the millions of truck drivers, there are only about 200,000 female ones. This means that they make up only 6.6 percent of the total number of truck drivers in the country.
They struggle for representation in an industry that’s largely dominated by men. But there are some women who are banding together to support each other. One such organization is the Women in Trucking Association. By being a member, women can better understand the issues that they’re facing in the trucking industry. They also get to be part of a community that gives advice to one another. They even mentor each other! With this support surrounding them, female truck drivers get to have more knowledge of driving safely, and, most importantly, have a stronger representation in the industry.
Frankly, it’s not surprising that there are more female truck drivers than there were before. According to the American Trucking Association, from 2010 to 2018, there was a 68 percent increase in female truck drivers in the industry.
This increase is influenced by the appealing salaries of being a truck driver. Before the pandemic, truck drivers earn around $45 thousand a year. About 90 percent of them are given paid leaves. Some even have a 401(k) plan to set their future. And with the pandemic going on, truck drivers are set to earn more. This is because retailers are shelling out 30 percent more expenses on truck transportation.
Facing the Long Roads Ahead
Being a truck driver has many risks. Truck drivers are vulnerable to road accidents more often than other professions. This is why it’s considered among the most hazardous jobs in the United States. But now, the job has become more hazardous as the COVID-19 pandemic goes on. Now, with their constant traveling, truck drivers have also become more vulnerable to the threats of the coronavirus.
This is why it’s crucial for everyone to know the measures that they have to take to remain safe from the coronavirus. The most important thing is, of course, maintaining the truck. If the truck is in top shape, then truck drivers will have more successful and efficient trips. They’d get to spend more time with their families instead of dealing with truck repairs while on the road. Always check the maintenance log of trucks to see the issues that it has. Then it’s crucial to conduct tests first before going on long trips to deliver goods. Then, check the condition of the specific aspects. Check the engine, brakes, and tires.
Another thing that truck drivers should do while on the road is to maintain social distancing. Yes, truck driving is a very solitary job. But that doesn’t mean they don’t interact with strangers at all. They eat their meals at roadside diners. They stay in motels should they feel the need to. They take their breaks around the towns that they’re driving through.
Being a truck driver has its many ups and downs. For one, it’s one of the best job choices if you love to travel and go on road trips. After all, there’s something about driving in the quiet of the night with nothing but the long road ahead of you. It’s calming. In a way, it can also be a bit spiritual. You can listen to your favorite music or podcasts as you drive for thousands of miles. You can also enjoy the solitary.
For female truck drivers, the job could also lead to a sense of empowerment. They get to tell people that they drive a massive truck for a living. They’re very much qualified to commandeer such a large and intimidating vehicle. They feel independent and confident in a job that’s no longer exclusive to men.