Women Progress Trucking
Because of technological advancements and improvements in modern machinery, an over the road (OTR) trucker is an attractive profession. Drivers will experience quality training as well as have a dependable schedule and income.
TanTara’s Minimum Driver Requirements are:
- Clean driving record with respect to accidents and traffic violations
- Must meet all D.O.T. requirements
- Must possess a positive attitude and customer service skills
Drivers have a wide range of experience prior to joining the industry.
Jennifer Rodgers started out as a bus driver which allowed her to compile many hours behind the wheel, which built her confidence on the road. She was also driven enough to pursue experience behind the wheel of a semi and obtain a CDL.
In contrast, Wendy Coulter has been driving truck for 18 years! After watching her Godfather drive truck, she became interested and started her career as a truck driver.
Although Jennifer and Wendy came to TanTara with experience driving semi-trucks, many drivers start out with no experience at all. Luckily, companies such as TanTara invest in their employees and provide high-quality training.
Maru Chapa did not have an abundant amount of experience with driving truck before working for TanTara but now, she is trained, on the road and enjoying her job. Maru aspires to be an expert truck driver, and TanTara is happily giving her the opportunity to grow in that role.
How Long are You Away?
This is highly dependent on where you work and the type of hauling you’re doing. There are drivers that choose over the road driving and are typically only home a few days of the month while other drivers make it home every week; your preference is the overall determining factor.
Jennifer runs a dedicated route which means she’s able to make it home at a consistent time each day. This schedule allows her to spend quality time with her family, which includes her children.
Also appreciating her freedom of working with TanTara, Wendy enjoys driving truck because she can pay the bills while spending time with her family, including her daughter.
Maru remarks, “The owners of TanTara think about your family.” She drives to Milan three or four times per day, every day, but she is home every night and on the weekends to spend time with her children.
Similar to their male counterparts, women with grown children, single women, and entrepreneurs looking to take on owner-operator roles are a good fit for a career within the logistics industry. However, Jennifer, Wendy and Maru should serve as prime examples of the ability to have a young family and a career you’re passionate about.
Interested in women-specific trucking articles? Check out Women In Trucking.
The Benefits Package
Working within the trucking industry is no different than working in an office or factory since many employers will offer a competitive benefits package.
TanTara’s benefits package may include some or all of the following:
- All miles paid, both loaded and empty
- Highly competitive loading, unloading, and stop pay rates with every load and every stop
- Detention pay as tendered through the customer
- Performance & safety bonus
- Referral bonus
- Paid holidays
- Paid vacation
- Health (Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield), dental, and life insurance
- 401 (k) with company match
- Earned bi-annual pay raises
- Direct deposit
- Excellent home time (potential to be home every weekend)
- In-house maintenance shop
- Regional and national lanes
- No Hazmat required
- Reliable equipment
- Flatbeds and Conestoga trailers
- Family atmosphere
Trucking and logistics require a lot of planning, foresight, and problem-solving on the fly which makes it an exciting occupation to be in. TanTara is well known for hiring great drivers who take excellent care of the fleet equipment. Drivers are responsible for keeping equipment in good condition whether that means reporting any mechanical issues, structural damage, or simply keeping everything clean. Getting a truck to the shop is the responsibility of the driver; however, when it comes to A-B service and repairs, we rely on a well-rounded team of TanTara diesel technicians.
Although drivers aren’t typically required to fix the equipment, they are the ones driving so it’s a good idea to know as much as possible about how it operates. Knowing the proper way to change lights on a truck, de-ice brakes, adjust brakes, or even air up tires can prevent you from being stranded if issues arise.
Time is money when driving truck which makes mechanical knowledge a huge asset. If a driver can handle a quick fix on their own while on the road, they won’t have to wait for help to arrive. The ability to problem-solve and fix small issues will also help you get home on time.
Jennifer takes every opportunity she can to chat with fellow drivers about problems their equipment has had, how they diagnosed it, and how to perform the repair. Also, all drivers are able to communicate mechanical issues to TanTara’s Diesel Technicians to effectively communicate issues.
A Changed Culture
The trucking industry has undergone a cultural shift in the recent past and has continued to move away from being a male-dominated profession. Entrepreneurial owner-operator women have been continually shifting the numbers as well as husband and wife driving teams. This industry was historically perceived as a strenuous one which was beyond the comfort zone of women. As time passed, training practices improved, recruitment efforts widened, and technology evolved which led the trucking industry to become less male-dominated. Make no mistake, individuals who seriously consider a career in trucking are dedicated individuals looking for a challenge and this industry will undoubtedly provide it for them.
In Jennifer’s time behind the wheel, one thing she has noticed during her 16 years as a commercial driver is the importance of relationship building. The majority of her interactions with fellow drivers have been positive; talking politics, family life, industry news, or anything in-between allows drivers to pass the time and make new friends.
When you need advice, have an emergency, or just need someone to help keep you alert by talking while driving, having close friends within the industry is very important.
Over the road (OTR) travel can be dangerous for drivers unless rigorous planning and forethought are put into each trip. It’s common practice for drivers to carry high-grade mace and other personal protection tools to ensure their own safety while on the road.
Jennifer has traveled with tools for protection at times, but she suggests there are several other measures that can be taken such as:
- Taking note of safe rest-stops and gas stations on roundtrips
- Stop at gas stations during the daytime
- Park in well-lit areas
- Sleep with your windows up
- Use triangles or road flares for safety precautions on busy roadways
By familiarizing yourself with your surroundings, you will begin to know what areas are safe and get to know regular workers at rest-stops and gas stations in case you need assistance.
In the end, women and men interested in a trucking career overwhelmingly have one thing in common—personality type. People that are driven (no pun intended), independent, and enjoy the challenges of problem-solving are generally the ones that will be in the industry for years to come.
Contact TanTara today to learn more about how to become an elite woman driver of the trucking world!
Looking for more information and testimonials? Take a look at Real Women In Trucking.