According to the American Truckers Association, the trucking industry will begin seeing a massive shortage in the number of drivers by the year 2020. Some regulations have been lifted to allow those with a military driving background to bypass some of the required tests to acquire their CDL in hopes of getting our returning veterans into the industry. But a new group of potential drivers has emerged as a target by companies, associations and trucking schools: mothers.
Currently, women make up just over 5 percent of the trucking force in the United States. This equates to just over 175,000 drivers. While the number of mom drivers are not known, some driving schools are beginning to market to moms with FAQ spots.
Carriers, too, are looking to aid a mother’s entrance into the industry. Some have added extra security measures into their cabs for women, as well as adjustable seats for better ergonomics and comfort, grab bars for easier time in and out of the cab, and various other upgrades to make the job easier. Health benefits are also increasingly more attractive, with several carriers offering eight months of maternity leave.
For mothers with children at home, there are more opportunities. Distribution centers need intermodal drivers who can handle the funneling of goods from water and railways. This is called last mile driving; and if autonomous trucks become more prevalent, last mile driving will become a very large part of the trucking industry. This is because these trucks will be forced to stop at the edge of cities and towns and will require someone in the cab to finish the route.
Carriers are also looking for ways to offset their costs, as well. Most insurance companies have listed mothers as the lowest risk drivers on the roads. Moms tend to be less aggressive and driver slower and, therefore, tend to have fewer accidents and tickets. The accidents they do tend to have are often minimal in cost compared to other groups.
Mother’s Day is Sunday. Thank all mothers for the work they do. If you know a mother who is looking for a career change, mention the trucking industry to them. It is a great way to view the country and get paid while doing it.