Parking, truck stop safety, pay discussed by women who drive

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Finding safe parking is a concern for woman truck drivers, just as it is for men. Some woman say they are upset with the increasing number of locations that charge for parking, profiting from drivers’ need to stop.

Kim Hasbrouck, a driver who participated in a recent online chat, said there are a lot more trucks than spaces, and more parking needs to be built.

Parking — especially the lack of it — was a topic of conversation in a recent online chat.

Hasbrouck was one of the participants in the She Drives Trucks online launch party June 15. Woman drivers, members of the She Drives advisory board and the newsletter’s editors gathered online to discuss the concerns of women in the trucking industry.

“They know you are a captive audience, so you pay,” Hasbrouck said of places that offer parking for a fee.

Maggie Riessen, a She Drives advisory board member, said she think states and shippers should provide parking. “They are taking out rest areas. Where do they expect us to park?” Riessen said.

Hasbrouck feels receivers should offer parking, as well. “I love to go in early to avoid rush hour, but (often) can’t because there is no parking,” Hasbrouck said.

The online conversation covered a variety of topics, including:

Truck Stop Safety

Kim Hasbrouck: “Don’t get out and be seen a lot, keep windows closed, doors locked.”

Brooke Moseley: “Proper lighting, safety locks on showers, clean restrooms, security cameras, friendly staff is what we tell our drivers to look for when deciding where to park.”

Joanne Mackenzie: “I will stop along fuel pumps and go inside and do my business before parking, and don’t sit there with a full view of inside my truck.”

Truck Stop Food and Cooking

Joanne Mackenzie: “I find most are gearing more towards healthier eating unless it’s only a fast food location.”

Catna DaUnique Jon: “Very expensive but I’m glad they’re letting you use your fuel points to buy food now.”

Kim Hasbrouck: “I have a fridge. I’m getting better at cooking stuff, too, now that I have e-logs again, and time, so I’m eating a little better.”

Negative reactions to women drivers

Joanne Mackenzie: “Not as much anymore. Most are pretty respectful towards women. There are still the few that are a pain.”

Maggie Riessen: “I’ve had them tell me I’m taking a man’s job. I tell them I provide jobs for men, when I had a fleet of trucks. The guys I load with all have respect for me because I do my job. I don’t ask for help.”

Recommending trucking to other women

Maggie Riessen: “I don’t think it’s for everyone.”

Kim Hasbrouck: “Have to be a certain breed.”

Joanne Mackenzie: “Unfortunately, you either see them coming into trucking at an early age or older when their families are grown.”

Pay

Anne Slone: “Trucking is the one job where I have found it is equal pay based on experience.”

Charlotte Hudson-Ertel: “Most, if not all, lady drivers make the same pay as their male counterparts.”

Maggie Riessen: “I’m my own boss, but I’ve noticed rates hardly ever change.

Joanne Mackenzie: “Pay will always be an issue and when there are cut backs usually the drivers are the first affected. One plus is women drivers are paid the same as men.”

GPS

Charlotte Hudson-Ertel: “I trust my Rand McNally GPS to get me there but I still have an atlas for backup and most of the maps are in my head. I’ve been driving for 15+ years before GPS.”

Joanne Mackenzie: “Atlas is always best! We depend too much on GPS nowadays. So many new drivers do not know how to use a map.”

Anne Slone: “I don’t trust GPS. I’ve been sitting in our shop when companies call in needing a tow because GPS told them wrong.”

Editor’s note: Quotes from the chat have been edited for clarity.