It comes as no surprise that the driver pool in the trucking industry is dominated by males. In fact, while gradually increasing, still only 5.8% of truck drivers are women. But why? We reached out to truck drivers and industry experts asking them what they believe to be the challenges women are currently facing in the industry and what needs to be done to attract more females into the driver’s seat.
Drivers are said to be one of (if not the most) important asset for trucking companies. Not only are they responsible for the successful and safe transportation of products, but overall act as brand ambassadors for their company, often spending more time with customers than traditional salesmen. The impression they leave behind plays a large role in customer retention as a negative experience can lead to lost future sales while a pleasant and memorable experience can cause a shipper/consignee to want to increase their business together. Knowing this, it comes to question as to why many carriers would hire less than qualified drivers to represent their company. Perhaps to fill capacity restraints? Or maybe because they do not have to pay them as much as they would an experienced/skilled driver? Whatever the case, industry experts agree that the quality of drivers is decreasing.
Last May, Otto’s driverless truck performed a test drive on Nevada’s roads and in October, the first ever shipment to be delivered in the U.S. via a driverless truck was made, traveling 120 miles throughout Colorado to deliver over 51,000 cans of Budweiser beer. The following month, Ohio became the third state to have driverless trucks travel its roads.