EDITOR’S NOTE: She Says is a personal commentary by women truck drivers. This week’s is by Joanne Fatta a veteran company driver at Sunrise Transport in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Joanne is a member of RoadPro Driver Council Board and winner of Overdrive’s Most Beautiful 2015 contest.
If you have ever thought about becoming a truck driver, now is a great time to jump in. While this She Drives Trucks goes to women who are already driving, many of us are asked to give our opinion about what it’s like to be a woman trucker. Here’s what I say to women who ask me about my work.
1. Go for it! Take the opportunity to go to a CDL school and get the training you need to start your trucking career.
2. Use any financial aid you can find, if you need to. There is funding available just for women (I used the Pennsylvania Department of Education)
3. Opportunity is knocking. Trucking companies are desperate for drivers and women are the wave of the future for the trucking industry.
4. Show you are a good employee. Comments made to me from other drivers and supervisors at trucking companies lead me to believe women are being hired because they have a good work ethic, positive attitude and skills needed to be a safe, reliable part of their team.
5. Look for a company that respects women drivers. One fleet owner I know says he will adjust certain things to help the women do their job without getting hurt. Also, male truckers attitudes are changing. Recently, I ran into a driver who chatted with me about the women drivers that are part of his company. His attitude towards these women working side-by-side with him was very positive. I’m impressed that he took the time to stop his truck, walk over and discuss this with me. It lets me know how important this subject was to this driver. It made me happy to see an example of an older generation male driver who is no longer doubtful of women drivers, but respectful.
6. If you decide to go forward, remember to stay strong, stay positive, keep a good attitude and work hard. Success will come with time behind the wheel and experience.
Remember ladies you will never know until you try. Take a chance!