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Advice for women wanting to drive a truck for a living

The government says that longer lorries could be on the UK's roads from early 2022.

There’s no point trying to dress it up: trucking used to be a man’s game. But, thankfully, things are starting to change.

It’s not before time. According to the Freight Transport Association, there’s a 60,000 shortfall in truck drivers. It’s a similar story throughout Europe.

So, the haulage industry has a vested interest in attracting and training up female truck drivers. But that’s not to say it’s made easy for women to build a career as a trucker.

If you’ve decided that trucking is the career for you, we’ve got some tips to aid your entry into the industry. Read on…

1 Build yourself up

Studies have shown that there’s something of a confidence gap between men and women. Where women might question their ability to perform a task or job – even if they’re qualified to do so – men generally go through life with an air of (sometimes unqualified) confidence.

Whether you believe that theory or not, it can be difficult for anyone to make their mark in an industry that traditionally hasn’t been particularly accommodating. As a budding female trucker, you’ll need to build up your confidence so that you can overcome any challenges that might lie ahead.  

2 Seek out trailblazers

You might look around you on your HGV driver training course and find that you’re the only woman in attendance. But rest assured, you won’t be the only woman in the trucking industry. In fact, you’ll be one of many, and if you think it would be useful, you should seek out some of those other women, who will be able to answer any questions you might have from their unique female perspective.

Although it’s US-centric, the Women in Trucking website is worth checking out, too. With a primary aim to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, it also has lots of great resources to point you in the right direction.

3 Find an employer who respects you

Once you’ve completed your HGV driver training course, it’s about finding an employer who respects you; not just you specifically, but women in general. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that you’ll occasionally run into certain people who still hold out-of-date views on whether women should be truck drivers.  Don’t give them your time.

It can be hard to turn a job down when you’re a budding female trucker, but if you’re getting bad vibes from someone, it’s for the best. Wait out for an employer who already employs female truckers – you might want to ask to speak to them first before accepting the job.

If you’re going to make a living out of something, it needs to be on your terms!

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