As provide chain issues persist, the alternatives for ladies to get behind the wheel enhance – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As the discussion of supply chain issues grows louder, so does calls for more women to consider a career behind the wheel.

The number of women handling large oil rigs is growing all the time, and there’s a particular reason trucking companies greet them on the road.

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Right now, about 10% of the country’s truckers are women, and Women in Trucking President Ellen Voie says part of the reason the number isn’t higher is because of truckers’ Hollywood image.

“That’s the challenge, the image of the industry, a lot of women talk about getting into the trucking industry because they think they have to be big and stocky, or think they have to be mechanically adept, or they think they have to be “Need to know how to shift gears and guess what, there are now automatic transmissions in these trucks,” explains Voie.

According to Voie, a study by the American Transportation Research Institute shows that “women are actually better drivers than men. Women are risk averse. Male professional drivers are 20% more likely to be involved in accidents than female professional drivers in every statistically significant area. “

Angelique Jones thinks so.

She has been driving accident-free for “21 years. I’ve traveled over two million miles. ”

Jones says it can be very rewarding.

“I would say between 70 and 100,000 is the average I see from the people I know who work in the corporate driver industry,” she says.

Voie says it all depends on what you’re willing to haul and who you’re working for.

“Private fleets tend to pay more, with Walmart drivers starting at 90,000,” she says.

Encouraged by her husband Robert, Carla Holmes left her behavioral counseling job to be with him as a passenger. She enrolled in a driving school to get her commercial driver’s license (CDL).

“Probably half the guys there were supportive and the other half meant whatever!” Holmes says. “You’re just a chick, you won’t make it.”

She says the drivers took the training more seriously. While the male drivers had to take the final exam several times, she and the other women passed the first time.

Angelique has seen the number of harassment or harassment go down a bit over her years on the street, but it’s still there.

She says it’s all about rapprochement.

“You have to get out of here and claim your respect,” says Jones. “Do your job and show them well that they have to look at you first as a driver and then as a second woman.”

Carla says that because she is out with her husband, she doesn’t hear too much “stuff”.

“I have purple hair so I get a lot of people complimenting my hair, that’s most of the harassment I get,” she says.

Carla has been riding Robert for a year now and only topped 100,000 miles behind the wheel last week. She says it’s the best decision she ever made.

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“There is freedom in how I can, I see the open country, I see different weather, I experience different weather and there is calm and serenity when driving,” she says.

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Both women love their life on the street.

Angelique made $ 114,000 last year driving for a company and this week she is starting her life and as an owner / operator expecting an even bigger paycheck.

“We calculated at least 250,000 and that’s just based on my personal running,” she says.

Carla says she and Robert will likely be in the 200-250,000 range. She says her truck “never stops” and she does the midday and midnight shift.

“From seven to midnight, you know, when it’s just me and there aren’t a lot of cars, I get a lot of what I call ‘God-time’,” she says. “You know, I have a lot of time to just sit and really meditate and think about my day, what’s going on in my life.”

Carla, 42, and Robert, 54, both have four children from previous marriages, and the youngest of the eight is Carla’s 17-year-old son who lives with his father.

Angelique is 45, so she has spent almost half of her life collecting her paycheck from the street.

“I love independence, I love the fact that I have raised six children behind this wheel for most of my life and have been able to offer a fabulous lifestyle by their feelings,” she says. “I felt like, ‘Hey, we can do it today and they said no, we look good. We look good. ‘”

Voie says while women are considering getting behind the wheel, there are plenty of women truckers with growing families.

She says they even have some out and about and their husbands are at home with their children.

But not all jobs mean being away from home.

“There are intermodal jobs where you pick up, you know, shipping containers or rail containers, there are delivery jobs, waste disposal, waste transport, I mean, lugging rubbish, you can put your children on the bus in the morning, you know? , hauling trash during the day and being home to their baseball games, ”says Voie.

Angelique says driving a truck is a job to love because it can get tough.

Voie says they are working with truck manufacturers to make rigs more gender-friendly, and she points out that the job opportunities for women are endless given the current supply chain problems.

Both Carla and Angelique love the way they look out of the windshield.

“I’ve always been fascinated by sunrises and sunsets,” says Carla.

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“When I look out the window, and I say overall that endless possibilities are like the sky is the limit because you never see where the road ends, so there are no limits,” adds Angelique.

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