Commercial truck driving is a historically male-dominated industry, with women comprising only 5.1% of today's truck-driving workforce. It's a tough job, requiring extensive CDL training, finely-honed skills, and physical strength. But as history shows, women who are determined to succeed in this industry are unstoppable.
Truck-driving Women Who Made History
Luella Bates (1897-1985) - During a time when women were expected to be homemakers, Luella refused to be restrained by tradition. She joined the labor force during WWI, driving trucks for Four Wheel Drive Auto Company in Wisconsin. After the war most women were fired, but Luella was so good at her job that she remained employed as a driver. She was also charismatic, using spectacle to promote Four Wheel Drive's line of commercial and fire trucks. This bold pioneer paved the way for other women by achieving mastery in a field previously thought to be the exclusive domain of men.
Lillie Elizabeth McGee Drennan (1897-1974) - Known for her signature ten-gallon hat, loaded revolver, and tendency to curse, Lillie was truly a force to be reckoned with. She owned and ran the Drennan Truck Line, and in 1929 she became the first woman to be granted a CDL after successfully suing the Railroad Commission for "sex bias." This lawsuit set the legal precedent against sexual discrimination in the trucking industry.
Adriesue "Bitsy" Gomez (1943-2015) - Described as a "gear-jamming gal with white-line fever," Bitsy founded the Coalition of Women Truck Drivers. Using their influence and the courts, they challenged the sexist practices and attitudes pervasive in the truck driving industry at the time, and encouraged more women to take on CDL training.
Recruiting more women - Thanks to pioneers like Luella, Lillie, and Bitsy, modern trucking companies are making big changes to attract female drivers. Carriers are offering more practice time in truck driving simulators, female driver liasons, internal support groups, and classes on sexual harassment awareness and self-defense.
Female-friendly trucks - Ryder System Inc. has redesigned their cabs to be more ergonomic or women, with adjusted seat height and more accessible placement of handles and gauges.
The trucking industry still has a long way to go to achieve gender equality, but thanks to bold, capable women past and present, the future looks bright. For every woman who obtains her Class A CDL, another will be inspired to enroll in truck driver training.
To sign up for the Advanced Career Institute California Truck Driving School Program, contact us today!
If you have a professional truck driver in your life, finding the perfect gift is easy. Truck drivers have a specific set of needs and always appreciate presents that make their time on the road roll a little smoother. Here are some holiday gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on a truck drivers face.
In today's technology-packed world, drivers rely on their smartphones for communication, entertainment, and GPS apps. A quality power inverter in the cab ensures that phones, laptops, and tablets stay charged and ready to go.
Putting together a full shower kit for your favorite trucker is a very thoughtful gift. Make rest stop showering a lot more comfortable and include:
shampoo and conditioner
Audiobooks are a welcome gift for professional truck drivers. They keep boredom at bay with captivating stories, biographies, and histories. Audiobooks are an affordable option and a fantastic choice for drivers.
Truck Route GPS
Not all GPS apps were created equal. For your trucker, be sure to buy one that has a truck atlas. This will help them stay on track and provide information like truck prohibited routes and height clearance restrictions.
Sometimes truck drivers have no choice but to sleep in their cabs. An electric blanket can make that a better experience on cold nights. Choose an electric blanket with a long cord so they can easily plug it in.
If you're looking for a new career as a Class A CDL truck driver, get professional truck driver training at Advanced Career Institute. Contact us today to find out how to enroll. Veterans assistance and other financial assistance are available to those who qualify.
When winter weather arrives, it presents a big challenge for professional truck drivers. Here are some winter driving tips that will help keep drivers safe and warm.
1. Carry proper supplies
Truck drivers should make sure they have cold weather essentials on hand. These include:
extra clothing layers
bag of sand or salt
snow scrapers and brushes
2. Slow Down
The slower you drive, the more time you have to react. Hydroplaning is also caused by going to fast. Avoid winter accidents by watching your speed.
3. Keep A Firm Grip On The Wheel
Grip the steering wheel firmly to maintain control. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times to guide the vehicle through snow and ice.
4. Allow Safe Space
In the winter, truck drivers should increase their following distance. Be sure you have more than enough space to stop and maneuver in unexpected traffic situations.
5. Watch Out For Bridges
Bridges, highway overpasses, and other elevated surfaces freeze faster than the regular road. They also may not be salted. Use caution when approaching bridges to avoid spinning out of control on black ice.
6. Avoid Black Ice
Black Ice is not just found on bridges. It is a layer of transparent ice that makes the road look wet. Drivers can spot black ice when the spray from other vehicles stops. You can also watch for frost on your truck antennae and mirrors.
7. Brake Slowly
In winter, accelerate and brake slowly. If the truck is not equipped with an ABS braking system, lightly pump the brakes when you need to slow down.
Always remember, a good truck driver shuts down when there is too much ice, snow, or driving winds.
If you're looking for a new career as a Class A CDL truck driver, get professional truck driver training at Advanced Career Institute. Contact us today to get details about Veterans assistance and other financial assistance that are available to those who qualify.
Safe Driving Techniques for Professional Truck Drivers
Tire maintenance is vital because it can help improve fuel economy in your truck as well as reduce the possibility of roadside emergencies. Check out these 3 easy tips to keep your load running smooth and efficiently.
Take Advantage of Pre-Trip Inspection
Prior to beginning every route, truckers holding a California CDL should perform a pre-trip inspection. A pre-trip inspection includes ensuring your tires are in good condition and are working properly. At this time, truck drivers should focus on inflation and inspection of their tires.
It is crucial to monitor tire pressure. When tires are overinflated, less of the tire touches the ground resulting in reduced traction, which negatively affects stopping distances. However, underinflated tires result in increased friction between the tires and the ground causing them to wear prematurely. Low tire pressure may also cause tires to overheat, which could potentially lead to an accident. Tires preform best when the truck’s recommended tire pressure is maintained. Tires are created to hold a certain amount of air to efficiently carry the load. It is advised to avoid fluctuating from the recommended tire pressure.
Clean Tires & Wheels
Not only are clean tires necessary for a trucks visual aesthetics, but they ensure durability. Washing wheel and tires should be a key component in every truck driver’s maintenance routine because brake dust and other elements on the road including salt can eat away at the rubber causing them to crack and deteriorate. The next time your tasked with cleaning your truck, ensure your wheels are squeaky clean.
Pay Attention to Driving Habits
Last but not least, poor driving habits are a leading issue in tread wear. Habits to break include speeding, last minute braking and excessive tire spinning in snow and ice. These habits often result in curbing and the creation of flat spots.
An easy way to break these poor driving habits is to consider brushing up on your truck driver education through a CDL Refresher Course. Advanced Career Institute offers hands-on Class A CDL Training and CDL Refresher Courses to brush up your California CDL skills. ACI offers a variety of options for Professional Truck Driver Training. To learn more about brushing up your California CDL skills, head over to our CDL Refresher Course page!
Factors to Consider When Establishing Your Trucking Schedule
Whether you decide to drive your truck during the daytime or nighttime is dependent on a variety of factors: your pick-up and delivery schedule, traffic, available parking, and your personal preferences. Adjusting to new work and sleep schedules can be challenging for professional truck drivers, so it’s important to consider these factors when setting your game plan for transporting each load. Continue reading to learn more about creating a schedule that works for you!
Pick-Up & Delivery
The freight you’re hauling has a lot to do with the schedule your truck must follow. Refrigerated and dry goods oftentimes follow different schedules. This means that if your freight is refrigerated, you typically have a specific time that your load must be delivered. You will need to work on strict deadlines. Therefore, your truck will need to be running both during the day and at night. However, sometimes if you are delivering dry goods, you will be given a range of time, such as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to which the load must be delivered to the customer. This allows you to create a schedule that runs mostly during the day. It is important to remain flexible because your schedule and loads may change at any time causing you to adjust your sleep and driving routines.
Potential Traffic Jams
Another factor that may affect your driving schedule are potential traffic jams. If you are set to drive through major cities such as Los Angeles or Atlanta during peak driving hours, you can expect to be sitting in your truck for extended periods of time. Time is valuable in the trucking industry. Truck driving is a competitive field, so you always want to keep your truck moving. Ultimately, time is money.
To avoid sitting in traffic, it is important to plan out your routes ahead of time. If you know you will need to travel through major cities, it is vital to plan your route accordingly, so you hit these areas at low driving times which typically are during the nighttime. Again, be flexible and willing to adapt to necessary schedule changes.
Oftentimes, parking is the last thing on your mind during your delivery. However, parking is a major factor that affects the schedules of many truckers. Typically, all professional truck drivers would love to run a 9 to 5 route, and then turn in for the night. However, this cannot be the case because when you go to park your truck at a truck stop, you will be stuck in a congested area attempting to find a spot. Many times there will not be a safe place for you to park, so you will be left parking on a wide area on a shoulder or an off-ramp.
To avoid the hassle of parking, many professional truck drivers recommend that you begin your route early and finish at an earlier time to ensure you always have a place to park. If this is not a viable option, many truckers often recommend parking in the customer’s lot. If you’re considering this option, it is crucial that you contact the customer to ensure they have room for you to park your truck overnight.
The final factor affecting your trucking schedule are your personal preferences. Maybe, you thrive during the nighttime, or consider yourself to be a morning person. You may also choose to drive during the daytime, so that you are on a similar schedule to your loved ones so communicating will be easier. Whichever you choose, remember to remain flexible, but also choose the schedule that best fits your lifestyle. Ultimately, a successful freight delivery is dependent on how healthy, dedicated and well-rested you are.
Want to learn more about the truck driving industry? Advanced Career Institute offers training courses to assist you in earning your Class A CDL or Class B CDL. ACI has three campus locations throughout the California area in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. To learn more about earning your California CDL, head over to our Truck Driver Training Programs page!
Truck driver fatigue can lead to unsafe road conditions and increase the possibility for accidents. As a professional truck driver, it is your responsibility to maintain your health and sleep schedule in order to ensure safety on the road. Read on to learn more about how truckers can master to art of the long haul trucking!
1. Keep It Cool
When nightfall or cold weather hits, we have the tendency to crank up the heat because the warmth reminds us of our cozy beds. This is the opposite of what truckers should be doing and thinking during the final hours of the long haul. Turn the heat off! By keeping the temperature down in your truck, you will be more alert and concentrated on the road.
2. Sing Along to The Radio
The hum of quiet music can actually put you to sleep. So, pass yourself the aux cord, and crank up your favorite tunes. No one can hear you, so don’t be afraid to sing along!
3. Swap Coffee for High Energy, Healthy Foods
We suggest that truck drivers avoid inhaling large amounts of caffeine. Too much coffee can be unhealthy, and coffee is not a sustainable source of energy. Eventually, you will crash as some point during the night. We recommend that truckers swap at least one cup of coffee for a high energy, healthy snack such as fruit, almonds or protein bars.
4. Take Mini Naps
On top of maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, California truck drivers should also take power naps throughout the day. If you feel yourself becoming drowsy, pull over and rest. Additionally, taking short naps can actually give your body the extra boost of energy that it needs. So give in to your body, and take a little snooze before you get back on the road!
5. Open the Window
Let the oxygen and cold air flood into your cab. The cold air will shock your senses, and give you additional energy. This only works temporarily, so make sure to stop at the next rest stop to rest up.
6. Stay Hydrated
Water is your new best friend. We understand that drinking lots of water can result in numerous bathroom breaks during your drives. However, becoming dehydrated is a major cause of fatigue. Not only will drinking water keep you alert, but it will help you to maintain your health as well.
7. Listen to Audiobooks
Listening to an audiobook or podcast will help keep your mind active during the long haul. Take this opportunity to learn something new, possibly even a new language! This will help keep you interested and engaged during your drive.
8. Stretch Your Legs
When you start feeling tired, get out of your truck and move around. Getting the blood flowing will give your body the extra energy that it needs. You can use your truck and trailer inspection as an opportunity to get your body moving.
9. Don’t Exhaust Yourself
This tip is crucial. Truckers must listen to their bodies! If you begin feeling tired, don’t hesitate to pull over. Ultimately, safety is the most important factor will inside your truck. Making sure you are in prime condition to navigate the roads not only ensures your safety, but the safety of all other drivers.
Are you interesting in becoming a professional truck driver? Advanced Career Institute offers California CDL Training Programs to help aspiring truckers receive their Class A CDL. Professional Truck Driver Training is held at three locations in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. To learn more about Long Haul Trucking, head over to our Class A CDL Training Program page.