It’s the first day of Spring
so let your engines sing
roll your windows down
and feel the breeze as you drive through town
the days are finally bright
bringing the flowers in the median to light
take in all the open road’s amazing view
Spring has sprung just for you
Happy Thursday to the entire Trucking Nation – it is officially Spring. Some places may still be feeling the cold shoulder of nature, but do not fret warmer weather is on its way.
There is a lot going on in the trucking industry for Spring, but Women In Trucking Association is making a big impact.
Ryder is introducing female-friendly trucks to its fleet based on recommendations from Women in Trucking (WIT), to encourage more women drivers to join the ranks of fellow truckers. It isn’t new that there is a driver shortage within the trucking industry and more and more women drivers are taking to the road.
Scott Perry – VP, Purchasing and Supply Management of Ryder System, Inc.- says, “It’s important for manufacturers to take women’s needs into consideration when designing and specifying new vehicles, and we are encouraging all of our major suppliers to do so.”
What is to be considered when designing and specifying new vehicles with women’s needs?
WIT and Dr. Jeanette Kersten – Assistant Professor of Operations and Management Department for the College of Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin – whew how do they fit that title on a business card, anyway…
The study Dr. Kersten and her graduate students developed explains, that the average female driver is six inches shorter and 50 lbs lighter than the average male driver, so some female drivers have challenges with setting their seats for easy access to the pedals, maximum visibility of the gauges and mirrors and with regard to cab accessibility, such as getting into their trucks. According to their study, women are more prone to slips, trips and falls because steps and handrails are placed in locations designed for men. Changing handrail placements and adjusting the seat settings are simple design specifications truck manufacturers can implement to create a safer environment for women in trucking.
Scott Perry says, “ Many of the same design changes will also support the needs of men who are smaller in stature, as well as the growing population of aged male drivers. With the current industry-wide shortage of professional drivers, this is a strategic initiative that can have far-reaching implications for truck fleets.”
To sum it up…
Ellen Voie, CEO of Women In Trucking provides the perfect words to sum up what Ryder is trying to accomplish, and hopefully more truck manufacturers will follow, “There are close to 200,000 women truck drivers, and that number is steadily growing. Having Ryder’s support, particularly given their strong relationships with top vehicle manufacturers, represents a significant step forward to help the industry attract more female drivers and improve the work environment for the thousands of women who’ve already established careers as professional drivers.”