(Image courtesy of: Medill Reports Chicago - Northwestern University)
Two years ago, Ryder System along with the help of several OEMs and the Women in Trucking Association, a non-profit organization that encourages the employment of women in the trucking industry, came up with the idea of a custom vehicle design to better meet the needs of female drivers. This design included 15 unique specs that would be better suited to women -- as well as some men. Two years ago this was big news. And, in our opinion, it still is. We encourage fleet owners and managers at every opportunity to take advantage of Ryder’s female-friendly vehicle lease packages, if they haven’t already.
Why Female Friendly Trucks?
Can female friendly trucks help attract more women to the industry? Possibly. Every little bit helps when it comes to improving our driver shortage situation. Ryder has demonstrated their commitment to pinpointing truck design gaps and continues to lead the way towards influencing OEMs to make improvements in truck designs that may make driving a more attractive career option for women.
“As an industry leader, we feel a responsibility to leverage our influence and find creative ways to deal with the professional truck driver shortage,” said Scott Perry, Ryder’s Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products.
What Specs Are Available?
Ryder’s female-friendly truck design includes 15-unique truck specification features like the adjusted placement of cab grab handles, adjustable seat belt shoulder straps, better placement of dash cluster gauges, and better access to oil and coolant checks and fill ports.
“Addressing driver comfort and truck cab design to accommodate the typically smaller stature of women is one of the areas where Women In Trucking Association is prompting changes,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO, Women In Trucking. “We are so pleased to see Ryder’s effort.”
Ryder also said it can include the following options upon customer request and depending upon the vehicle OEM model:
- Ergonomically designed seats and an adjustable armrest
- A hood lift/closure assistance mechanism
- Automated transmissions
- Fifth wheel configurations with lower pull pressures to open the locking mechanism
- Automated fifth wheel locking mechanisms
- Automatic landing gear operators for trailers
- A cab security system for added protection while a driver is in his/her sleeper berth
Building trucks that are more ergonomically friendly for women and smaller-statured men can not only make a career in trucking more attractive and viable to these types of drivers, but also make these vehicles easier and safer to operate.
Be sure to check out our blog for more trucking industry news and trends from the team at Thunder Funding!