Survey: Old year was good, new one ought to be better


For most women truck drivers, 2018 was not a bad year, and they’re optimistic 2019 is going to be even better. The vast majority of them expect to make more money in 2019 and stay in their current jobs and not make a change.

Those are some of the findings of a recently completed online survey conducted on She Drives. A total of 73 percent of respondents said 2018 was either great (33 percent) or good (40 percent) for them as a truck driver. More than half of those responding said they were either very optimistic (26 percent) about the year ahead or mostly optimistic (26 percent). Another 40 percent said they were optimistic.

2018 2019 Sd SurveyPart of that optimism may be because of their pay and job prospects. Some 67 percent said they expect to make more money in 2019 and fully 80 percent said they do not expect to change jobs in the new year.

When we asked, “Why do you feel the way you do about 2018?” responses were mixed. For some, the year was good and had much to do about their pay. They said, “Two pay raises and brand new equipment.” and “Made more, worked less.” and “We got a huge raise.”

However, 2018 was not a bed of roses for all women drivers. One said, “Lots of ups and downs. Some weeks with plenty of miles, others barely enough. Uncertainty isn’t easy to deal with when it comes to your next paycheck.”

While most are optimistic about 2019, there were some concerns expressed. One said, “Trump’s economy is NOT going to be pretty.” while another said, “The regulations. Discourteous drivers. The conditions how we live on the road.”

And, their hopes for how things will be better in 2019? They are diverse, and for the most part fairly simple. Responses included, “Better weather, more hometime.” and “More parking spots opening.” and “Stability. Better pay, benefits.” and “Hope to eat better and work out more.”

Of course, for many, a new year means an opportunity for change. We asked, “What one thing do you plan to change in 2019?” And, responses included, “To lighten up.” and “Start a new life.” and “Take a vacation on a train or ship anything away from trucking as I have been at it for 28 years.”

Here are the complete results, including a sampling of responses.

How was 2018 for you as a truck driver?

  • 33% great
  • 40% good
  • 20% fair
  • 6% awful

Why do you feel the way you do about 2018?

  • Better work-life balance.
  • Had a wreck.
  • Good company employs me.
  • Used to feel safe around other drivers. Wonder how some get their license. Being a woman and over 34 years driving I feel there are too many regulations, harassment from some officers, no respect from fellow drivers and other motorists on the highway.
  • Worked hauling mail, 645 miles round trip daily, home every night. Good $, good hours. Til we lost the contract and our company didn’t even tell us, we had to hear it from a competitor.
  • We got a huge raise.
  • Was in training, broke my leg and was laid up for months. Now have CDL A and loving it!

How optimistic are you about 2019?

  • 26% very
  • 26% mostly
  • 40% optimistic
  • 6% not

Why do you feel the way you do about 2019?

  • Staying with the same company.
  • Our president.
  • Trump’s economy is NOT going to be pretty.
  • The regulations. Discourteous drivers. The conditions how we live on the road.
  • Starting booking freight in mid to late 2018 for 2019.
  • Starting anew with competitor company, we keep our seniority, same route, days and hours, just took a $2.00/hr pay cut!
  • Faith in God.
  • Looking forward to a busy year of seat time!

What do you hope is different in 2019 than how things were in 2018?

  • Less mandatory six-day weeks.
  • Let drivers work and drive when their alert let them sleep when you’re tired. Not everyone has the same sleeping habits. Having more respect for the fellow driver. Keeping off cell phones, computers while driving. 
  • More money for the runs.
  • Better parking.
  • Be able to get lots of good drive time, and plan for future over the road.
  • Better insurance benefits.
  • Steady miles.
  • More parking spots opening.
  • Stability. Better pay, benefits.
  • Hope to eat better and work out more.
  • Better miles.

Do you expect to make more money in 2019?

  • 67% yes
  • 33% no

Do you expect to change jobs in 2019?

  • 20% yes
  • 80% no

What one thing do you plan to change in 2019

  • Drive safe.
  • Living arrangements.
  • To lighten up.
  • Going from regional to local.
  • Start a new life.
  • Save more $$$, make more $$$.
  • My eating.
  • Get positioned financially to go OTR.
  • Can’t think of anything. Stuff’s OK.

What sort of driver are you?

  • 80% company driver
  • 13% owner operator
  • 7% private fleet