If you’re like many of us, you probably made at least one New Year’s resolution recently. According to TheQuint.com, the most common new year’s resolution is to get in shape, or at least, to make an effort to work out. That’s probably why January is the top month for sales of exercise gear and clothing.
Why is January 1st such a popular time for us to try and make changes in our lives? A new year offers us a fresh start, and a way to put our past behaviors to rest. In 1740, John Wesley, an English clergyman, held the first Covenant Renewal Service on New Year’s Eve. The service was a time for thinking about past mistakes and resolving to do better in the coming year.
Each year the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) asks drivers and carriers about their top concerns. As you can imagine, the drivers list differs from the trucking companies’ list, but some issues do affect both groups significantly.
Detention and delays at customer facilities was one of the issues that was important to both groups. It was the fifth concern for drivers and number sixth on the list for carriers. Delays at the loading docks reduce a driver’s productivity and decrease the level of compensation for both drivers and their companies.
ATRI gathers date through an online survey website but they also collect responses in person at the Mid-America Trucking Show each spring. This year they received over 1,100 responses from drivers. Thirteen percent of the drivers were female, which is actually much higher than the industry average of ten percent. Most of the respondents were company drivers, but surveys were collected from owner-operators and independent contractors as well.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright once said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
In this age of social media which allows anonymity and seems to breed contempt, there are too many people who hurl insults at one another without much thought to how it reflects on her (or him).
I read some of these nasty or offensive comments and it makes me wonder: What is the intent? Is the poster trying to offend people or is she just a negative person all the time? Is everyone so angry they just react to everything with rage?
We just wrapped up the 2019 Accelerate! Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas. If you weren’t one of the 1,123 registered attendees, you missed one of the most inspiring, educational, and motivational events of the year.
The presentations ranged from driver recruiting (with a focus on female drivers) to communication styles to self-defense. Every speaker was a recognized expert in her (or his) field.
Your 24 year old daughter calls you with the exciting news that she has completed her training and is ready to start her new career. She worked hard to earn her diploma and is anticipating her first business trip.
Although she is eager to start her new job, she expresses her concern that her employer has asked her to share a room with a male co-worker. You’re shocked that any business would expect men and women to share sleeping quarters, but she reassures you that the company has very strict policies on harassment and fraternization.
Then, she tells you that her co-worker is actually her superior and he will be evaluating her performance and reporting back to the company.
You find the entire situation discomforting and you worry about your daughter’s safety.
Regan is a professional driver for YRCW. When she started working for the carrier, she identified as a male but has since transitioned into a female. She is one of the members of the gender diversity task force recently formed by the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) to understand the needs of the LGBTQ community better.
We realize there is a growing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer professional drivers and other transportation workers. As the voice of gender diversity, we want to ensure we are inclusive and to create an awareness within the trucking industry.
For those of us in the trucking industry, we are well aware that the four-wheeler causes most crashes involving a commercial truck. It’s frustrating for all of us that student drivers to senior drivers are unaware of the blind spots, stopping distances and the massive weight of a tractor-trailer.
Every time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates (or changes) regulations that affect professional drivers, I hear complaints that they are the safe drivers and someone needs to educate the motoring public. These drivers feel as if the rules should apply to all drivers and not just those in 18-wheelers.
What they don’t understand is that the FMCSA CANNOT regulate cars. They were designed to regulate trucks and busses, and that’s why they have “Motor Carrier” in their name. The states have more authority to regulate automobiles, but the only federal agency that creates rules to govern cars is the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
This week I traveled to Australia to speak at a conference. On my flight from Sydney to Perth, I was pulled aside for additional screening for explosives. The agent passed a wand over my luggage, my shoes and my hands. He then put the wand into a reader before he let me go. I thanked him for doing his job and went on my way.
On my return flight, I was again “selected” for additional screening and went through the process again. I made a point to thank the agent for doing his job.
Many people would feel inconvenienced for being pulled aside for additional screening. However, these people are only doing their job. They are asked to pick travelers at random and check them for explosives. Did I enjoy the process? No . Did I appreciate the delay? No . However, I did appreciate the fact that these people were helping to keep us all safe by looking for potential explosive material. Continue reading →
March is Women’s History Month, so I thought this blog should be about the history of the Women In Trucking Association through my experience as the founder. I am repeatedly asked the question of why I started the organization, so here is my story.
First, I’ll go back many years to “set the stage.” I was one of the lucky people whose mom told me I could do anything I wanted, and there were no “girl” careers. She encouraged me when I took shop class instead of home ick (okay, home ec). I learned woodworking, welding, drafting and auto mechanics. Continue reading →
This blog is a little more personal than most. This morning I learned a first cousin (Rick) passed away, alone, in his apartment. He was divorced, and his children had moved on. He was found by a colleague who was concerned. He died alone. The details are still sketchy, but it’s still a sad story.
What makes this more tragic is that another one of my first cousins (Dave), on the other side of the family, passed away in the same way only a year ago. He was younger than me, but he drank heavily and made a lot of bad choices when it came to relationships. In fact, he had been separated for decades, but never made an effort to get a divorce. Yep, you got it; the ex-wife inherited everything, including the house and what little savings he had accumulated. Continue reading →