Facts About Women In Trucking

Women play a vital role in the trucking industry, despite it being a traditionally male-dominated field. The truck driver shortage is causing an increased demand for new drivers of both genders, and continuing to welcome women into the industry is a promising way to meet this demand. Continue reading to learn about the role of women in trucking.

Truck Driving Jobs For Women

The number of women in the trucking industry is growing every year. In October 2022, the number of women in the profession hit 1.6 million, a record since the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started tracking in 1990.

Some other statistics about women in trucking are:

  • Women account for 15.7% of professional truck drivers.
  • Approximately 23% of all carrier employees are women in management positions.
  • The average age range for women to enter the trucking industry is 39-59.
  • Women make up about 35% of truck dispatchers
  • 7.2% of all CDL drivers in the United States are women.

The History of Women in Trucking

The history of women in trucking began with World War I. During this time, women had to fill the jobs of the men who were at war, including commercial truck driving. Several women contributed to the early days of female trucking. Lillie Elizabeth Drennan, the first licensed female truck driver in 1929, was also the first female trucking company owner, founding Drennan Truck line.

Another famous name in female trucking history was Luella Bates. Bates began driving as one of 150 women hired in 1918 for the Four Wheel Drive Auto Company as a test driver. She enjoyed her position so much that rather than returning home after the war ended, she continued driving. Bates’ passion for the transportation industry led her to become one of the faces of female trucking.

The Future of Women in Trucking

There is a bright future for women in the trucking industry. Women in all sectors of the industry are growing at a steady pace each year. Although the truck driver shortage eased slightly as of last year, it is still short about 78,000 drivers. This high demand for drivers and the high pay that accompanies the job make it an outstanding opportunity for women to level the wage gap. Female truck drivers can also reap other rewards like travel, freedom, and flexibility.

Interested in Truck Driving as a Career?

If you are interested in starting a career as a truck driver, applying to Yuma Truck Driving School is the first step. Our commercial driver’s license (CDL) programs welcome all students and strive to provide a supportive environment no matter your gender. Our classes are taught by skilled instructors with real-world experience and teach valuable skills that will help you succeed as a trucker.

To apply to our CDL program, contact one of our advisors today.


The Ultimate Truck Driver Packing List

Life on the road for a commercial truck driver can be demanding, so you want to make the journey as comfortable as possible. Before any long haul, you should prepare by loading your truck with all the essentials for your trip. The following truck driver packing list is a great place to start for new truckers setting out on their first solo route. Then, as you gain more experience, you can adjust it to better fit your preferences.

1. Important Papers and Documentation

It is crucial to have all your important papers and documentation on hand and well-organized in case you get stopped for a roadside Department of Transportation (DOT) inspection. An expanding file folder is a light and portable way to keep these items protected and in the same place.

If a DOT officer stops you, you should have your:

  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance 
  • State permits
  • DOT medical examiner’s certificate
  • Shipping papers
  • Vehicle inspection reports, if applicable 
  • Special endorsement certifications (tanker, hazmat, doubles/triples, etc.), if applicable

2. Personal Care Products

Showering at truck stops along your route is part of the life of a long-haul trucker. Although you may be able to purchase some of the items necessary for personal hygiene at gas stations, it is best to come prepared with your favorite brands from home.

Some personal care items you should bring along are:

  • Shower shoes
  • Two or three towels 
  • Basic hygiene items such as shampoo, body soap, and deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • A shower bag or caddy 

It is also crucial to bring along any medication you regularly take, along with a few extra doses, just in case. 

3. Food & Beverages

While you can certainly stop at fast food restaurants and gas stations for your meals, many truck drivers prefer to prepare meals ahead of time or cook on the road to beat the cravings. Having a cooler and portable cooking appliances in your cab is worth the investment when you spend a lot of time on the road.

In addition to homemade meals, some healthier snack options to bring along are:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Jerky
  • Granola or protein bars

You should also have a supply of non-perishable food and plenty of water available in case of an emergency, especially if you are driving during the winter.

4. Clothing

Before you head out on your route, make sure to pack enough clothing to last for the length of your trip, as well as a few extra options. 

This includes:

  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Sleepwear
  • Socks and underwear
  • Layering options
  • Hats
  • Boots and tennis shoes
  • Sunglasses

In addition to regular clothing, you should keep emergency gear on hand, such as gloves, waterproof boots, and a high-visibility jacket. 

5. Emergency and Maintenance Items

From winter blizzards to summer rainstorms, you never know what road conditions you will face on your journey. Keeping a well-stocked emergency and maintenance kit in your truck will ensure you can get yourself out of a less-than-ideal situation.

Here’s what to include in your emergency kit:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Space blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Road cones and flares
  • Basic tools like wrenches, a hammer, and a screwdriver
  • An up-to-date road atlas
  • Pocket knife 
  • Tire pressure gauge 

5. Other Truck Driver Essentials

In addition to the list above, here are a few more items to add to your packing list:

  • Entertainment items (laptop or tablet, books or an e-reader, headphones)
  • Cleaning products (disinfectant wipes, air fresheners, portable vacuum)
  • Chargers for all of your electronic devices
  • Bedding, a pillow, and extra blankets
  • Cash and checks 

Earn Your CDL Today

The life of a truck driver is adventurous and exciting. If you are interested in earning your CDL, Yuma Truck Driving School can educate you and put you on the path to a rewarding career in trucking.

Contact us today to learn more about our available training programs.

A Day In The Life Of An OTR Trucker

Over-the-road (OTR) truckers deliver freight across the nation. These drivers have the opportunity to see the country from behind the wheel of their semi-trucks and provide an essential contribution that keeps our economy moving forward. The life of a truck driver is very different from someone working a typical 9-to-5 office job, and it’s as much a lifestyle as it is a career. If you’re interested in becoming a trucker, it’s helpful to understand what day-to-day life on the road looks like.

Starting The Day

Exactly when a trucker wakes up to start the day depends on many factors. Some types of freight require more frequent night driving. Team drivers also typically have one individual driving at night while another drives during the day. Many solo OTR drivers are able to choose their own schedule and can choose to wake up and get going whenever they prefer. In general, waking up earlier helps drivers beat traffic and find parking, but this isn’t necessarily the case for every driver.

No matter what time a driver starts their day, they’ll need to perform a pre-trip inspection of their vehicle to ensure it is safe to operate. They may have additional tasks to complete in the morning and outside of any specific requirements for their freight, they can tailor their morning routine to their preferences.

Driving And Breaks

Truck drivers spend the bulk of their time behind the wheel, and most of this is on highways. Drivers have to be able to stay focused and drive safely in a variety of conditions. Each day is a bit different for long-haul truckers depending on the route they are driving that day, the time of year, weather conditions, and other factors.

The trucking industry has safety requirements drivers must follow, including limits on how long they can drive before taking a break. This includes a 30-minute break during the driving window, as well as a long break once the limit for daily driving time is reached. Beyond these required breaks and necessary fuel stops, individual truckers can determine how often they’d like to stop and where in order to meet their delivery deadline and maximize their mileage.

Pick-Ups And Deliveries

Not every day on the road involves a pick-up or delivery, but when this does occur, a driver will need to follow directions for that particular customer. Some loads are drop-and-hook, meaning the driver simply drops off a loaded trailer and picks up a new one. Live loads, on the other hand, require a driver to wait while loading dock staff unload the trailer.

Ending The Day

By the end of the day, an OTR trucker is in a new location entirely from where they started. Once they’re ready to shut down for the day, they’ll need to find a place to park. Truck stops are the most popular, and typically the safest, destinations for this. They also have amenities truckers can take advantage of like showers, lounges, and even gyms in some locations. Many truck stops also have restaurants, although bringing pre-prepared food on the road is often a healthier option.

Getting high-quality sleep as a trucker can sometimes be challenging, but drivers have many methods to make this easier. They may customize their sleeper berth, use methods to block out light and sound, or add comforts from home. Having a regular routine also helps.

Interested In A Trucking Career?

If you’re interested in becoming a truck driver, Yuma Truck Driving School can help you get started in as little as four weeks. We also offer job placement assistance so you can start earning as soon as possible.

To learn more about our CDL training in Yuma, contact us today.


Tips For Trucking With A Passenger

Trucking is often a solitary profession, but there are many ways to stay connected with friends and family back home. Depending on your motor carrier, you may even be able to take a loved one along with you for a haul so they can see what your life on the road is like. Trucking with a passenger can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to plan ahead for a successful trip.

Here are some tips for bringing a passenger on the road with you:

1. Know And Follow Your Company’s Policies

Motor carriers typically have a written policy outlining whether they allow passengers on board and any rules you must follow. For example, there are typically restrictions for the minimum age of passengers and you’ll need to document that your company has approved of your passenger.

There are also Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations that allow regardless of which motor carrier you work for. These include having written authorization from your motor carrier and having documentation for your passenger. Failing to follow these regulations could result in a ticket and other consequences.

2. Make Sure Your Passenger Is Up For The Trip

Some individuals find the idea of taking a trip in a semi-truck exciting. Others may not be as interested. Even if you really want a specific friend or family member to come on a haul with you, it’s important to consider whether this is something they also want and are ready for. This is especially relevant if you are taking one of your children with you. Even if they meet the age requirement, you’ll need to make sure they are mature enough for and interested in the experience.

3. Prioritize Safety

Safety should be your priority any time you’re behind the wheel, whether you have a passenger on board or not. If you are trucking with someone else, you need to maintain your focus on safety. Make sure your passenger understands that they can’t distract you while you’re driving and continue to follow all relevant trucking rules and regulations.

4. Choose A Suitable Haul

If possible, your first trip with a passenger should be a shorter haul, preferably in an area you are familiar with. This makes it easier to make your delivery on time and safely while also keeping the length of time on the truck manageable for your passenger.

5. Remember That You’re Still Working

Even if you have a passenger on board, a haul is different from a road trip. You can enjoy your time with your loved one while remembering that you’re still working. If you aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to get to your destination on time and safely with a passenger, you shouldn’t bring one on board.

Interested In A Trucking Career?

Individuals from all walks of life are drawn to the trucking industry due to its competitive pay and unique lifestyle. If you’re interested in becoming a trucker, Yuma Truck Driving School can help you get started in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about our commercial driver’s license training, contact us today.

Differences Between Rookie and Experienced Truckers

There are more differences between rookie and experienced truckers than the number of years they’ve been on the road. As drivers gain experience, there are many skills they can build that help them perform better. If you’re just getting started in the trucking industry, it’s helpful to know what separates rookies from experienced drivers so you can start working toward becoming the best trucker you can be.

Here are some of the key differences:

1. Relationships

Trucking may seem like a solitary career at first, and while there is some truth to this, there’s also a great deal of communication and teamwork involved. Experienced truckers have taken the time to build relationships with their dispatcher, driver manager, shippers, receivers, and other individuals. These relationships can make your life easier on the road, and if you build a strong reputation, you’ll notice the benefits over time.

2. Stress Management

There’s a certain amount of stress in any job and almost anything else in life, for that matter. In trucking, there can often be a lot of pressure to get in miles and arrive on time for deliveries. Anything that interferes with these goals, such as traffic or bad weather, can cause stress. Experienced drivers learn over time to focus on what is within their control. That doesn’t mean they never get stressed, but they are often better equipped for potentially stressful situations and can focus on staying safe and doing their best.

3. Getting Miles

Long-haul truckers are typically paid per mile. It can take time to get the hang of how to do this effectively to maximize earnings while staying safe. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service (HOS) regulations truckers must follow. Rookie drivers may struggle to keep track of their HOS compliance, but over time, experienced drivers learn how to stay compliant and safe while still maximizing their miles.

4. Finding Balance

In many ways, trucking is about balance. You’ll need to learn to prioritize your health while still getting the miles you want and making deliveries on time. You’ll also balance your home time with time on the road. Rookies can take some time to get used to this. As you gain experience, finding a balance that works for you is easier as long as you are willing to put in the necessary effort.

5. Growth Mindset

Some individuals think that once they get through their first year (or another set timeframe), they will no longer be rookies and know all they can about the trucking industry. The truth is that while many things get easier after you’ve gained some experience, the best truckers realize they always have more to learn. They view every day as a new opportunity to improve and continue growing.

Start Your Trucking Career

Before you can get out on the road and start gaining trucking experience, you’ll need to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Yuma Truck Driving School can help you do this in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about our CDL training program, contact us today.

Pros and Cons of Team Trucking

One decision you will have to make when entering the trucking industry is if you want to work solo or with a driving partner. A solo truck driver is solely responsible for transporting their freight, while team trucking involves a pair of drivers taking shifts in the same semi-truck. Both driving styles have pros and cons, and we have laid a few of them out to help you decide which type suits you best.

Pros of Team Trucking

The Road is Less Lonely

One of the hardships of a career in trucking is all the time spent alone. While some truck drivers love alone time, others crave moments at truck stops where they can socialize with other drivers. If you are the second type of trucker, then a driving team may be well suited for you. Being away from your family while you’re on the road can be difficult, but sharing the experience with another trucker can make the trips less lonely. It is also comforting to know someone has your back while you’re on the road. 

You Can Drive With Your Spouse

Another perk of team trucking is the opportunity to partner with your spouse. Some of the most successful trucking teams are husband-and-wife teams. Not only do you have the opportunity to earn more money, but it also allows you to spend more time together. Depending on your schedule, you can sightsee or try new activities during your downtime. 

Team Drivers Typically Make More Money

In many cases, team drivers earn more money than solo drivers because they can log more miles. A truck driver can only drive for 11 hours during one shift. With team trucking, however, truckers take turns behind the wheel, meaning their rig is on the road at all times. Although teams split their total pay, they can cover far more distance than a trucker driving on their own, making more money in the process. Trucking teams are also given more high-priority loads, which typically pay more.

Cons of Team Trucking

You May Frequently Be Away From Home

Team truck drivers often see their families less than solo drivers because they transport high-priority loads. Depending on the trucking company you work for, you and your partner could be away from home for weeks or even months at a time. If you want to be home most nights of the week, solo driving may be a better career choice for you. However, this depends on the company, so be sure to ask about the home time policy for the specific motor carrier you are interested in working for. 

Sleeping Arrangements May Be Difficult

Another possible downside of team trucking is the sleeping arrangements. To maximize your hours, one driver will have to sleep in the truck while the other drives. You may also have to adjust to sleeping during the day. It may be difficult to make this switch, especially with the rhythm of the road and sound from the cab. Some drivers find this more challenging than others. 

Drive Your Future Forward

If you’re eager to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) to get started on your new team or solo truck driving career, consider Yuma Truck Driving School. We offer several options for aspiring truck drivers, including classes with flexible schedules, training for military personnel, and financial assistance for qualifying students. We can get you on the road in as little as four weeks. 

Contact us today for more information on our CDL training programs.