The amount of traditionally male-dominated profiles that women are able to take part in is at an all-time high, and truck driving is no exception. The #MeToo Movement has helped industries recognize the unequal treatment that women face in a variety of professions and motivated them to change the way their work environments function, providing services such as healthcare sexual harassment training.
This issue has slowly started gaining the attention that it needs in the truck driving industry, and cases involving sexual harassment in this profession have revealed how much work is still needed to ensure gender equality. However, there are still steps that female truck drivers need to take to ensure their own safety and respect is preserved so that they are not solely reliant on their employers being fully aware and acting on injustices.
If you’re a woman in Louisiana who just started your truck driving job, here are three tips that you should follow to ensure that you enjoy your working experience.
Know When to Converse
Situations involving sexual harassment don’t just pertain to co-workers and the office, especially in a profession that includes traveling as much as truck driving. If you’re out on your own, it’s best to keep certain information to yourself. Being quick to trust someone is not the best way to act in this environment, and not letting strangers know that you’re by yourself, where you’re staying or which truck is yours reduces the chances of you getting robbed or assaulted. Having a dog come along for the ride could come in handy, as it’s alertness could serve as an alarm for when someone is near your hotel/motel room.
However, you have to open when it comes to the workplace, as communicating with your co-workers will not only help you improve your performance, but it will allow you to build relationships so that you have someone to talk to in case someone does make inappropriate remarks or suggestions. This gives your co-workers someone to trust, as well, just in case they experience the same issue. It is also important to learn from men so that you know how to perform at their level and they can rely on you to do their job in case one of them is sick or on vacation.
Adjust to Being on the Road
Traveling and seeing new places sounds like fun if you just started truck driving, but being on the road for weeks on end and hardly getting to see your loved ones can take its toll overtime, both physically and mentally. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, being alone for a long period time could increase your chances of experiencing depression, anxiety and loneliness. For those who are married, you and your spouse should build an understanding that not being home as much is part of the job.
Those who are new to truck driving will have a harder time getting used to driving one, and considering how many people in this profession are men, female beginners face a bigger challenge in adjusting to being behind the wheel of such a large vehicle with less support from peers. Part of the adjustment involves avoiding accidents, which can save you plenty of trouble in the long run. One of the hardest hazards to avoid can be motorcyclists, there are thousands of incidents of motorcycle accident negligence each year, as they dont always follow the rules of the road and can be more difficult to see in blind spots. Not only do accidents cost money, but they can be seen on your DAC or CVOR report, thus affecting your employer’s ability to trust you for certain jobs and even keep you in the company.
Managing Your Finances
The truck driving industry isn’t known for making people millionaires overnight, so it’s best to get into this profession because you want to and not because of the money. Expect to get the small loads at first, which is known for not being the most enjoyable among these drivers. However, take them with pride and determination. This could lead to a better future for you financially because if your boss sees that you love your job, are constantly raising your performance level, and trying to improve, they will trust you to handle better loads that pay more.
Knowing the right insurance policy to take for driving trucks will also help you save money in the future in case you get sick or there is an accident, and there are services like commercial truck insurance in Mandeville, LA that operate throughout the southern region of the United States so that your choices aren’t restricted to just Louisiana. It’s also best to have contact information of specific health professionals, such as this gynecologist in Covington, LA on hand at all times to make your recovery process as quick and easy as possible.
Truck driving is not for the faint of heart, and women across America are getting more chances to prove that they are up for the job. There are important tips that women must follow to ensure that they not only become members of healthy work environments, but that they can handle the harshness of life on the road and are able to learn and showcase their skills behind the wheel.
Keep these tips in mind when you get behind the wheel of a truck for the first time so that you can win the trust and confidence of your company right off the bat.
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