Women In Trucking: Tips For Safety and Comfort

by Rhonda

For women who are thinking about entering the trucking world, do not let anyone tell you that you can not succeed in this business. You can read about Lillie Drennan who was the first woman truck driver in 1929 to receive her CDL. This is great reading for men and women both. Many women also own their own trucks, their own trucking company, or are involved in other "more elite" truck driving jobs and careers. Even I rose to Safety Director and I loved that job. Pick up the free trucking magazines at most truck stops and read about the industry. Lots of great articles in them to help drivers.

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. As far as your safety when you're off the highway, women think about this more than men. I know I did. Again, safety while away from your family and friends is important to all drivers.

Safe Parking For Women In Truck Stops


Because I was focused on finding safe parking, I rarely drove the number of hours I legally could have driven in a day. For starters, I always tried to pick truck stops that were open 24/7 if at all possible. Since there is generally not enough parking available for trucks, I would shut down a bit early in order to find a safe spot. I normally didn't drive those extra few hours and wind up in a small "mom and pop" truck stop that was closed or out of parking. If I had to be in a truck to make a living, I was going to have the security of a place that was open for food and restrooms. This did not work all the time, but things don't always go as planned. Stopping early may have cost me a few miles each week but I was willing to accept that trade off.

I also did not park in the back of the lot if my preferred spots in the front or middle were open, especially the ones that were next to the lights. I never, ever parked on the on ramps. Since I drove for a big company, I tried to park next to the other company trucks. In my mind it helped knowing that my co-workers were parked right next to me. I also parked as often as possible at my company's terminals. Again, this may have lowered my mileage some, but the trade-off was that parking was available along with food and showers. I could also get my truck serviced if need be.

Another thing I tried to do was act and walk with confidence even though I may have been shaking on the inside at certain truck stops. I never had anything happen to me, and maybe it was not my time for it. I've found that most truckers stick together and want to help each other. A woman driver gave me a tip that I used each night. Besides locking the doors at all times, I took the passenger seat belt, put it thru the door handle, and then fastened it. I liked that idea. I even did it with the driver's door. This gives you the extra few seconds you need to act by blowing the horn and making lots of noise. An air horn going off at 2am is going to get a lot of attention, and likely bring help.

Staying Comfortable and Safe In Your Truck

I always had some extra gallon jugs of water with me. You must stay hydrated. Paper towels and moist towelettes also came in handy for a quick cleaning. I always had snacks handy because you will sometimes either break down, be waiting for your load, or simply not have enough time to stop for a "grab and go."

I was never without a flashlight or boots and rain gear, either. There might be a drought where you are now, but you never know what awaits you up the road. Sometimes I had bad luck and the trailer that I was picking up or dropping off wound up in a mud hole. Sometimes the dock you're at is an inclined dock and it has water six inches deep where the landing gear is. Then, of course there's always the unexpected things that happen like water main breaks. Lastly, you need to keep your feet warm in the winter time with a good pair of boots. My tire thumper was also handy, along with my cell phone. It was also suggested that I might want to wear a whistle around my neck for more security, so I did that for a while.

Truck driving in general is a safe career for women, and if you'll use common sense when you're out there on the road, you'll likely do just fine.


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.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

by Brett Aquila

Related Articles:

Maintaining The Equipment: The Driver And The Company Share The Responsibility

by Rhonda

Whether a trucking company or bus company does proper maintenance is a great way to determine if it's a good company to work for or not.

Driver Error

by Rhonda

Truck drivers have a ton of responsibilities when it comes to safety, and patience is key. Here's an example of how quickly things can go wrong.

The DOT Recertification Physical

by Rhonda

I am just thrilled that I get to have my DOT physical done again. Mine expires tomorrow. The medical card I carry is good for 2 years. Bummer.

Your "Other Half" In A Truck Driving Career

by Karen

This story is based on my life, my emotions and my experience. I know there are “other halves” out there that will be able to relate.

Dealing With Load Planners

by Karen

Truck drivers often have a tough time dealing with dispatch because of misunderstandings. But for new truck drivers it can be even tougher to handle.

I Want Out Of Trucking As A Driver

by Rhonda

Truck driving is not an easy career, and I got into it because I needed to make a better living. Now it's gotten old, and I'm looking for a way out.

My Overweight Ticket

by Rhonda

Your axle weights have to be legal before entering the highway, but what can a truck driver do if you're not sure and there's no scale at the shipper?

Inside Trucking Part 3: Life On The Road

by Rhonda

An inside look at life on the road from a trucker's perspective.

Working My Way Back Into The Trucking Industry

by Rhonda

I got out of the trucking industry back in 2009. Almost two years later I'm ready to get back in but I'm facing a few hurdles along the way.

Over The Road Challenges

by Becky Prestwich

Truckers face a litany of challenges on the road every day and new drivers often learn about them the hard way. Here's a few of the big ones you'll see.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More