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Murphy Legal Blog

17Apr

Trucking Industry Opening to Women

The stereotypical face of a truck driver is changing.  In recent years there’s been an uptick in the number of women joining the trucking force. Despite the increasing numbers, however, women comprise less than 8% of the total driver population.  Trucking companies are working hard to attract new drivers, but in order to attract more female candidates, changes will be necessary.

Why are companies actively recruiting so many new drivers?

The drivers of past generations are retiring.  With the increase in online shopping and on-demand delivery, there has been a sweeping increase in the number of professional drivers needed. "It's not like these folks are making horseshoes," says Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. "Trucking is an absolutely essential, critical industry to the nation, to everybody in it.”  In order to keep up with truck driver demand, companies are offering new benefits and hoping to appeal to a broader demographic.

How are trucking companies working to entice new drivers?

  • Increased pay - Pay rates have gone up approximately 10% in the last year alone. The average driver now makes about $60,000 a year.
  • Competitive benefits - Many companies now offer 401ks, health care, and PTO.
  • Bonuses - Some trucking companies sweeten the deal with bonuses for signing on, referring people, or just staying with a company.
  • Tuition Reimbursement - Some have begun offering free, online college tuition for drivers.
  • Better Communication with Shippers - When drivers are stuck at a loading dock waiting because the shipping company is delayed, understaffed, or unorganized it eats into the driver’s bottom line. Because drivers are usually paid by the mile and not by the hour, many trucking companies are investing in technology and other solutions to ensure timely loading and unloading.

What changes does the trucking industry need to implement as the workforce becomes more diverse?

  • A Focus on Safety - Because long-haul trucks both live and work in their trucks, it’s becoming more important than ever to focus on safety at truck stops. Companies are working with state agencies and truck stops to help enforce safety for women and minorities. It is important that truck stops have adequate lighting and fencing and that security checks are in place. A recent WIT [Women in Trucking] Best Practices Survey conducted by Sawgrass Logistics and The Women in Trucking Association found female truck drivers rated how safe they felt in their job a 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 10; companies and state agencies have word to do.
  • Flexible scheduling – Women often are primary caregivers for children and even elderly parents. Companies must offer flexible schedules and PTO to support work-life balance.

As this inclusive industry grows, more vehicles will be on the road to meet the ever-increasing consumer and corporate demands, creating a greater potential for even the most well-trained and experienced drivers to be involved in a collision.  If you or your company are facing a legal claim due to a trucking accident, Murphy Legal is ready to defend you. To learn more about our passion for the trucking industry, call us at 979-690-0800 or visit us on the web at Murphy Legal.

If you need assistance in an emergency, call our 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at 979-209-2173. We’re here to help.

Be sure to check our Refuel blog series for additional resources and information about rig and driver safety. Click here to sign up for our newsletter covering a wide variety of topics to help protect owner-operators and trucking companies from liability in the event of an accident.

 

Additional source:

https://www.fleetowner.com/driver-management/safety-major-concern-women-trucking

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