Tuesday, July 28, 2009

warning!...woman at the wheel.....

my friend, salena, over at The Daily Rant had another excellent blog post recently about being a woman truck driver....her post was inspired by a newspaper article she'd received from a friend about a woman driver who had died in a truck wreck near tuscon, az last week...the woman had been a team driver with her husband for the past 10 years....her husband had survived the crash.....aside from the sadness felt over the loss of this life, the offending part of this article is that the writer chose to use the fact that it was a woman driver who died in the headline, and, as salena says, it somehow seemed to imply that her gender was to blame for the accident.......i find it relative to mention that the writer is a man.......



i've been out here on the road for over 10 years now....the first three as a solo driver and the last 7 as a team driver with brad.....back as a solo driver, every now and then i'd run into some prejudice, but it was mostly minor and usually it was more that some guy was just trying to "get your goat" than being seriously against women, although occasionally you could tell your critic wasn't joking....since i'm fairly proficient at the snappy comebacks, i usually just struck back and laughed it off, thankful that my self-worth is not determined by idiots.......i kinda feel like i had a little bit of a head start on alot of my fellow female drivers out here, in that i'd been around trucking most of my adult life and embraced the fact that i was entering a profession dominated by men, that i was not easily offended or embarrassed by moronic male behavior, and that i have always had good report with my male counterparts........as for why women go into trucking, well, i know there is the exception to anything, but i don't think most women are out here looking for a man......it's a job that pays enough to pay the bills, there are usually benefits, there's the travel......kinda sounds like the same reasons you'd get from a man, eh???


most of the guys i've talked to out here, have, at least at face value, been supportive and willing to share their knowledge although the reverse has not always been the case.....it took me a little while to learn that not everyone wanted my help in backing up or sliding their tandems, etc.....

i've always been a rather independent person and the first year i was a solo driver i stopped at the truckstop in missoula, mt to get a mud flap for my tractor.....when the parts counter guy asked me if i wanted that put on, i told him no, i'd already taken the torn one off and just had to bolt the new one on....he looked impressed.....i commented that well, i didn't always wanna look like a girl.......he said, honey, you can put on a thousand mudflaps, but you're always gonna look like a girl......being rather well-endowed, i couldn't help but chuckle.........

i pretty much thought that over the last few years things out here had evolved a little better, but just a couple of weeks ago, i was driving thru construction on 294 in the chicago area.....the speed limit was 45, trucks were posted to use the left lane and i'd already passed 3 or 4 bears working the area......i was in a line of trucks in the left hand lane doing the 45 limit and minding my p's and q's .....about a quarter-mile space had developed between me and the truck in front of me.....all of a sudden a couple of trucks pulled out of the row behind me and passed on the right at about 55 or 60 and when they got up near me, they commented on the cause of the "hold-up" being my company truck...(i get that alot).....i said yeah, that was me, running the speed limit and obeying the lane restrictions......when they heard my female voice, the one driver proceeded to explain to me that if i was "afraid" of my truck i should get back home and have babies and clean my house.......well, my babies are grown and my house...and my truck...are clean......

i'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination and that includes my driving......i'll sneak a few extra mph's on there when i can......but in all the years i've been out here i've never had a preventable accident and i've never had a speeding ticket....frankly, i'm not gonna start changing that anytime soon, as long as i can help it......i mean, i'd much rather take my money to the mall than hand it over to illinois.......that has nothing to do with being a scared or inept female at the wheel, that's just common sense......

i'm not advocating that women are better drivers than men......but neither are they less capable......i do feel that women pay more attention to details and by nature, are not as aggressive which can lead to better driving habits.....

i guess i'm just saying to men, don't hate us coz we can bring home the bacon and still fry it up!

3 comments:

CRAIG and DIANE said...

Well said. As a professional passenger in an 18 wheeler, and being exposed to the lifestyle for over three years, my hat is off to all that take on this profession, but most certainly the females. I consider myself an adventurous person, but driving a truck would not be on my list of things to do. I am always in awe of the women that do it!

The Daily Rant said...

RuthAnn,

Thanks for picking up on my story and thank you so much for adding to it with a peek into your experiences and time on the road.

I am often in awe of the women who do this on there own. I'm sure I COULD do it without Eddie, I'm just not sure I'd want to. Sliding tandems and installing mudflaps? No thanks.

Great post!

Stace said...

Great post, Ruth Ann. I second everything you said here.