Any Female Flatbed Haulers Here

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Grandma Day's Comment
member avatar

Was wondering if there were any women flatbed haulers on this site.

I am considering this option.

From anybody doing flat bed how often do you actually have to carry the tarps to the top of the load?

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

I am not a female obviously but I did flatbed my first 8 months or so with Prime. It is honestly rare that I had to put my tarps on my load. Almost all places I went to would be nice and set them up top for me. By the way I seen a lot of female flatbedders out there and they were doing just fine. So it’s definitely doable.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Terri, we don't have too many female flat-bedders come through here, but they are definitely around. I have seen a good many of them all over the country. There's not a reason in the world to keep you from doing this if you want to. Don't let the issue with the tarps hinder you from pursuing what you want in this career. As for your concern in this post, I think you will find that 99% of the places where you load a tall load will have some sort of system in place to assist you with getting those tarps on top of your load. At the other 1% you will find that the other flat-bedders will help you. If you want to know the truth, they will be tripping over themselves to help out a lady flat-bedder - don't let that little problem keep you from doing this if it is what you want to try. If you don't like it you can always go to some other form of trucking - that's the beauty of this career. There is plenty of work out there to be done, and none of it is gender specific.

Here's a link to one of our favorite lady flat-bedders. We affectionately call her "Little Syster." She is a member in our forum, but she doesn't seem to participate anymore. We miss her cheerful attitude. If you Click on This Link it will take you to a history of her comments in the forum. Go down through there and read the things she has to say, but even more helpful would be to click on the title of the thread that the comment comes from. That would be a blue highlighted box up to the left hand top of each comment with an arrow looking graphic in it next to the title of the thread. That will take you to some of the threads that she initiated and/or participated in. You will get to see a lot of perspective from her as a female flat-bedder.

Here is one of my all time favorite pictures that she posted...

0308136001513625684.jpg

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Grandma Day's Comment
member avatar

Thank you both for responding. I do have an itch to do flatbed it’s just appealing to me. I know it is not for everyone but I won’t know if I don’t try. If I don’t I would always wonder if I could have. TMC recruitment said just email them a video of me lifting 100 pounds up to my shoulder. Trying to figure out something to substitute a tarp for the video. I have a bit before I finish school actually until March as I am having to start over at the school next class as I had some issues that caused me to have to leave before qualifying. Already have DOT pre trip and skills testing under my belt and on file so I won’t have to repeat those I just need to road test.

I will check out Little Syster’s post. Thank you.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Terri D., since you handled being a paramedic AND a firefighter, I don't think you'll have any problems doing flatbed tarping.

Iron Emu's Comment
member avatar

I've seen a couple female flatbedders out there, not a ton, but enough to make me believe not only is it possible for you to do it, but you should if you have the itch. TMC is a good company, probably the nicest company trucks on the road honestly. I've got a friend of mine that went with them and the only issues he has are they won't allow a pet, and they are extremely thorough in the cleanliness of their trucks. I'm talking you have to get it washed every single week. The founder is prior service Marine Corps First Sergeant if I remember right and my friend and I are prior service Marine Corps as well. It wouldn't bother me about the cleanliness thing but it has the potential to cut into your overall profit without good planning. That being said, something I've learned in my short 27 years on this planet, if you have an itch to try something and you doubt yourself, you will always be left wondering what if? I think you should go for it. Side note: My company, in the last two weeks, I've only had one pretarped load. None of them were very tall, but the tarps are quite heavy, and is probably the most physically exhausting part of the entire process. Not trying to deter you, just my experience. Go for it!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Terri, here's a little piece of advice that I think you should consider. I've been pulling flatbeds for a good many years now, and while I've seen and interacted with quite a few TMC drivers, I've never seen or heard of any female drivers in their fleet. I attended two orientations at TMC and never saw a female.

I'm not making any implications concerning their hiring practices, but as a female entering a very much male dominated industry, you should be prepared to experience some push back, especially as a flat-bedder. Unfortunately it's reality out here.

My point is that it is a very good practice to go ahead and have three or four back-up plans in place just in case your first choice doesn't work the way you expect it to. There are some really great flat-bed operations that I've seen out here with female drivers. Systems is one of them - that is who "Little Syster" worked for. I've also met some very nice ladies working for "Jordan."

As you pursue this first trucking job, get several pre-hire letters in your possession. It will ease your mind and your attempts at getting that first job.

Also keep in mind that it might be more prudent to start out with less of a learning curve by doing something less physically demanding at first (like reefer or dry van). That way you allow yourself to concentrate on building your basic trucking skills without the added stress of trying to learn all the load securement rules and practices at the same time as you're getting your rookie year out of the way.

I am in no way trying to discourage you from flat-bedding, just giving you some things to think about as you get started. The great thing about this career is that you can switch into different divisions with ease. By starting with a company that does dry van or reefer, and also flat-bed, you could very easily transition over to flat-bed while not having to actually go to another company. Several companies come to mind when taking that approach. Juust a few off the top of my head are Prime, Swift, and Roehl.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I just now happened across a YouTube channel rather randomly called "The Flatbed Chick" :

The Flatbed Chick On YouTube

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Grandma Day's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for all the replies.

I have not definitely made up my mind. I am also considering dry van as refer really does not appeal to me.

I am aware of the set backs of being a female in a male dominated field. I have encountered this my whole life. Even have experienced diversity during schooling.

As far as TMC they have a grand total of 2 females and as the recruiter stated “they have more facial hair than the guys”. I did take note of the underhanded statement since I am a feminine looking female. He stated they wanted more female but didn’t know how to recruit them. This comment was also noted.

But in the grand scheme of things I should probably focus on getting experience under my belt and feel confident in the daily job before adding additional challenges.

I have time to get prehires from different companies and hauls.

Again, thank you all for commenting and being honest. Keep the advice coming.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Prehires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
But in the grand scheme of things I should probably focus on getting experience under my belt and feel confident in the daily job before adding additional challenges.

See, this is the approach I take to things that are difficult, complex, and dangerous and so obviously I think it's the right approach to take. There's no reason to jump into the deep end on day one knowing how difficult the challenges will be and what the consequences could be. You have the rest of your life to do anything you want. Why not start with something like dry van that's a little less stressful and a little more straightforward and then look into the more specialized and difficult jobs that are available?

You've done a lot in your life so I know you're capable of handling any challenges that trucking will throw your way. The concern is that almost everyone underestimates just how difficult this job is, and even more so what a massive change in lifestyle you're facing. When you put it all together, that first few months of trucking is going to test you as hard as almost anything you've ever done. The failure rate is incredibly high, and I personally believe that a lot of people who fail to make it through that first year in trucking had the ability to do it, but were overwhelmed by the challenges because they underestimated them.

Make sure you read through our Truck Driver's Career Guide if you haven't already. Read through my book too. It's free here on the website: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving. Those will give you a lot of insights in the challenges you'll be facing with the job and the lifestyle of an OTR trucker. You can handle it, I'm certain of that. You just want to be as prepared as you can be for it.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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