Women truck drivers have historically made up a very small percentage of drivers in the U.S. Truck driving has, like many fields, traditionally been dominated and run by men, and in many ways women have shied away from trying to break into the industry.
In reality there is very little difference in the approach that women take when considering a driving career. In fact, with the rise of instant electronic communication, constant monitoring of public spaces, and changes in cultural gender roles, women and men stand on level ground in terms of chances for success in trucking.
Not many. Women make up a small, but growing, percentage of truck drivers. Many may just not have considered it, but with the uncertain economic climate and aging workforce, more women are entering the industry.
Women truck drivers make up around 5.8% of the 3.5 million drivers in the U.S. which is up from 4.8% in 2010.
BloomBerg Business - Truckers Smash Stereotypes With Boost From Women
"More women are willing to go solo on the road, said Swift Transportation Co. COO Richard Stocking. He estimated that 6 percent to 7 percent of his 19,000 drivers are female, and about half of those drive alone."
CNBC Transportation - The next big thing in US trucking: Female drivers
"Executives say a big challenge in the recruiting process is just convincing women that they're welcome. "There have been a lot of stereotypes over the years about the independent, male truck driver in a macho industry, a macho career"
Bureau of Labor Statistics - Nontraditional Occupations For Women (pdf)
Nontraditional (male-dominated) detailed occupations by women's share of employment and median weekly earnings, 2014 annual averages
Fortune - This company's solution to the shortage is to recruit more women
"The trucking industry, facing a growing labor shortage, wants to remove challenges keeping women from getting behind the wheel. "
In short, not really, or not any more than their male counterparts. Women drivers are no more or less likely to be victims of crime, violence, etc. on the road than men. As with any situation, always be aware of your surroundings, stay vigilant, and if the situation doesn't feel right, get out of it.
Forum - Female truck driver safety
"My family has concerns about me be safe. Not only driving but at truck stops, along the highway and staying by myself. Btw I am a female. Tell me what you guys think. Is this something I need to be concerned about?"
Safety tips for Women Truckers
"While it is ok to be pleasant if spoken to by another driver, don't engage in conversation standing in the parking lot after dark. Never get into another driver’s truck. Keep a list of the safe truck stops you find. "
Article - Women In Trucking: Tips For Safety and Comfort
"Driving on the highways for a living is not as scary as you may think. Yes, there are safety concerns for all who share the road. But if you use common sense and good judgment you'll do just fine."
Again, not really, other than everyday issues that they would deal with in any job. We do have resources specifically for women in trucking below:
Trucker's Forum: Ladies Of Trucking
This board is for the ladies! Whether you're a driver, a driver's wife or girlfriend, a truck owner, or you're on the way to becoming any of these, this is where you'll find friendship and support. The ladies are welcome in the other boards, of course!
Forum - The good, the bad, and the ugly about women in trucking
I have a question for everyone. I am interested in truck driving, but before I try to invest in this new career, I would like for everyone to be honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly about driving trucks.
Forum - New Female Truck Driver Training Question
Unfortunately female trainers are very hard to come by throughout the industry. Prime has over a year waiting list I've heard for female drivers because of this, though that could have changed recently - I don't know.
This is a video by a female truck driver giving tips for female truck drivers.
There really isn't anything about the physical aspect of truck driving that women should be concerned with any more than men. Certain types of trucking jobs, like flatbedding, will require a certain amount of physical strength to lift and move tarps, etc., as well as the general endurance it takes to drive a truck all day, but overall female drivers are on even footing with men.
RealWomeninTrucking.com - Female CDL Students Frequently Asked Questions
"This page has been set up to help prospective new students understand that there are MANY reasons they will fail if they do not research the process of entry level truck driver training before they make the commitment."
Forum - Older female seriously considering being a trucker needs advice
"Hello Ladies- I'm 58, recently laid off and looking for a new career. The thought of driving OTR appeals to me although there's a lot more to it than I thought - I have to say I'm a little scared, but still definitely interested."
Another option for women interested in becoming truck drivers is team-driving with their spouse. Many couples, in addition to being joined in matrimony, have made the decision to also work together driving truck.
Additional considerations that need to be made involve, obviously, the family aspect if there are any children involved, and whether both spouses will train at the same time or separately, considering bills to be paid, running a household, etc. For better or for worse, every couple is different and makes decisions in different ways, so there is no right answer.
Forum - Husband Wife Team Help!
We are looking for the best possible route for us to take to get CDL's and find a company. Because we won't have any income if we are both in school/training then we need to take a quicker route to school than a Community College which does have a trucking class in our area.
I also never thought I would find myself living in a semi truck with my truck driving husband, going over-the-road for twelve weeks at a time. What would possess me to do such a thing? I'm glad you asked. Maybe telling you about it will make it a little clearer in my head.
James and Andrea Steward are husband/wife team drivers for Conway Truckload. We deliver *goodies* that make life in America possible for all of us. You are invited to come along and share the ride.
Article - Items To Pack And Other Considerations For Husband And Wife Teams
There is extremely little storage in a sleeper cabin so you must pack lightly. If you are anything like me, you have a wardrobe for every season and enough clothes and shoes to fill at least two closets and a large dresser. You cannot bring most of that.