Less than 6% of long-haul drivers are women, and we want to change that! We think that female truck drivers are fantastic and we love our women drivers at K&J Trucking! If you are one of the women who have chosen this rewarding, freeing and important career, we think you can benefit from these great tips gathered from a few of our women truck drivers! Even if you aren't a woman in trucking, these are great tips!
1. Have Wipes With You at All Times
Baby wipes are great for so many things! Not only are they helpful for the times when you need a little "extra cleanup" after nature calls, they are also helpful for taking a quick "bath" when you can't get to a truck stop. They even make awesome baby wipes that are lavender scented to help you clean up and get relaxed before bed!
PRO TIPS: If you don't want to smell like a baby, there are several other options out there. If you are trying to be more naturally minded, these EO wipes are lavender scented and biodegradable, but there are a lot of cheaper options out there too, like these Kleenex brand Splash and Go wipes! (Click the pictures to visit Amazon and see the prices).
2. Have Alternate Bathroom Options
When nature calls, you have to answer. Sometimes the place where you are stopped makes this convenient, but many times it is not. When you think about taking the time to pull off the road, find parking and hike into the rest stop or truck stop, you are looking at quite the wait. So one of the first things you need to square away is how you will take care of your need to "go" on the go. When we asked our women truck drivers for recommendations we got a few suggestions for bathroom options.
Laundry Detergent Bottle
A wide mouthed laundry detergent bottle makes a great place to go #1. The bottle is opaque so no one will know you aren't just bringing in detergent. Dump it in the bathroom toilet at your next stop and rinse it out at the sink with water and antibacterial soap.
PRO TIPS: It takes a little while to get used to utilizing a small container like this, so make sure you try it in a place where you can easily clean up. If you leave a little of the soap suds in the bottle that will keep it smelling fresh! And even if it is tempting, don't cut back on your water intake in an effort to save on bathroom breaks. There are tons of health conditions that are linked to dehydration, and it also impairs your judgment and reaction times which can make a big difference on the road! Plus, your urine has less smell if you are well-hydrated!
2 Gallon Bucket
Many hardware stores sell 2 gallon buckets. They are (obviously) a little smaller than the usual 5 gallon bucket but still quite sturdy and usually cost under $5. Our drivers recommended using 4 gallon trash can liners inside the buckets. This works well both as a garbage and as a "sorta" potty for the times when you can't leave your truck to go #2.
PRO TIPS: Purchase some cheap non-clumping kitty litter to add to the bag after you go. This will help absorb some of the smell if you aren't in a place where you can immediately dump it. It is NOT illegal to dump human waste in a trash can (otherwise diaper companies would be in big trouble), but you should be a good citizen and always use bags.
3. Project Confidence
There are a lot of women who think they are just as safe as the next guy and that they aren't more at risk than the male drivers out there. In general, we believe they are probably right, so if you feel safe, that is great! Like one of our drivers said, "I really don't think that I am in any more danger of being victimized because I drive a truck than I would be in my minivan.
But if you are a little apprehensive in regards to your safety, go through this little exercise.
For just a moment, imagine you are a creep who is looking to attack a female driver at a truck stop or rest area, which of the drivers below would you likely attack?
A. Woman steps out of her truck, looks right at you, smiles and says hello. She keeps her eyes up and scanning her environment. She walks with purpose and confidence.
B. Woman steps out of her truck and looks down at her phone. She refuses to make eye contact and looks scared. She walks with her head bent down and isn't aware of her environment.
You would probably go for Trucker B, right? She is least likely to be able to identify you, she is clearly scared so she might be less likely to fight back. Trucker A is confident, so as an attacker you might be wondering why. Does she know self-defense? Is she carrying a firearm? You probably won't want to take the risk.PRO TIPS: If you get a creepy feeling from a rest station or truck stop, keep on moving if you can. Trust your intuition. One of our drivers purposely leaves a little wiggle room in her schedule so she can afford to move to a new location if necessary.
4. Baby Powder Isn't Just for Babies
When you sit in a truck all day, you can get a little sticky at times. One easy way to prevent this is using baby powder or body powder to keep things dry even on the most humid summer days. After a shower or "truck bath" use it in sticky spots and it does the rest of the work.
There are also a wide variety of lotion-to-powder products that some people enjoy. It is less messy in your truck, but some people think the lotion-to-powder products are less effective than traditional powder.
PRO TIPS: One of our drivers mentioned that Monkey Butt Powder is particularly awesome for keeping you dry and comfortable between showers. Funny name, but it works (click picture to see prices on Amazon)!
5. Choose Parking Wisely
Plan your route so you can park outside of the city, if possible. This will ensure you have more privacy. Some drivers like rest areas and some like truck stops. It is completely up to you what you prefer; the biggest thing to remember is to choose an area that is well-lit where you aren't the only truck. There truly is safety in numbers.
Choose a location that has at least 10 trucks and park directly under a light if the spot is available. Most women truck drivers avoid the back row because it has a reputation for being less safe. However, if you have a dog that can travel with you, the back row can be a good option so your dog can easily do his business. Traveling with a dog has a lot of benefits and adds a little peace of mind and safety.
PRO TIPS: When you park for the evening (or whenever you rest), make sure you shut your privacy curtain to prevent any weirdos from looking in.
6. You Control Your Hygiene & Health
When you are an over the road driver there are a lot of things out of your control, but one thing that isn't is your self care. Take a few extra minutes to take care of yourself and stay clean and put together. You will probably find that you are happier, healthier and feel better about yourself. Bonus - all of these things improve your work performance, too.
Don't let the realities of road life prevent you from living the life you want when you are at home. Trucking is a sedentary job, but you can choose to incorporate exercise and diet changes to make sure that you stay physically active even when on the road. You can choose to use trucking as an excuse to eat poorly, or you can plan ahead and save on both money and calories by eating out of your cab and choosing healthy options. One of our female drivers is currently on a journey to better health, to follow her journey, click here!
PRO TIPS: Make a list of the things you miss most when you are on the road. Now think strategically. There are usually ways you can make these things (or a close approximation) happen, even on the road. If you love bubble baths, you won't be able to take one on the road, but you CAN invest in some nice shower products to make you feel pampered, even in a truck stop shower.
Are you interested in learning more about K&J Trucking? It is an awesome and supportive environment for all drivers, including female drivers! Let's start the conversation!