Number of women truckers revs up

Workforce |  2 min. read

If your picture of a truck driver is Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit, or Elvis Presley (he was a truck driver before his first hit single).

Meet Deb La Bree.

La Bree, and other women are starting to change the face of trucking.  Literally.  That’s the news from a recent Wall Street Journal story that caught our eye.

As La Bree told the Journal, “The steering wheel knows no gender.”  And while it is still mostly men behind the wheel, the number of women drivers has gone up SIXTY-EIGHT PERCENT since 2010.

And that’s a good thing for the rest of us, because a truck is how most of what we buy gets from here to there to us.  Almost three-quarters of the country’s freight (by weight) travels by truck.  That’s everything from our computers and our phones, to our jeans, to our groceries and our medicines.

Just an aside.  Another good thing is that diesel fuel and diesel engines have been getting cleaner and more efficient.  MUCH cleaner like an almost 100 percent reduction in sulfur emissions, and up to 90 percent reduction in particulate emissions. 

And if trucks are that important to keeping everyday life going that makes truck drivers pretty important too.  So with demand for drivers high, more women going into driving is a good thing.

And why are women climbing into the cab?  The Journal put that question to Bob Costello, an economist at the American Trucking Association:

“There are many different types of driver pay in the industry, including  by the mile, per load, hourly, and even salary in some cases.  In all cases, there is no distinction between male or female.”

So in a word, or two words:  equal pay.  Now if you like driving, there are other attractions to being out on the road but at $43,680 a year, the average pay for a big rig driver is a pretty good reason all by itself.

And that’s a 10-4 from us.


Up Next

Leslie Sullivan always loved science. Now she’s the General Manager of a refinery

Early on, when she said she wanted to be a chemical engineer, she would often hear, "I don’t know if you can do that, little girl."