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A Bit of This and That

By Sandy Long

One of the most popular topics for discussion on WIT’s Facebook Group is all sorts of tips to make drivers’ lives easier or better. The tips range from health, to safety, to making the truck homier, or adding storage.

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Effecting Change

By Sandy Long

As an old hand lady driver, myself and other sister drivers back in the day broke the path for other women to enter the trucking industry. While we made a dent in hidebound traditional thinking towards women as truck drivers, those thoughts remained within the board rooms, shops, and dispatch offices throughout the industry. To name a few of these thoughts: Women should be at home cooking supper and raising babies. Women were too weak to hold up to the rigors of the job. Women were too emotional to handle the stress of the job. Women would cause trouble amongst the male drivers. If we changed companies, no matter how many years we had been driving, or how clean our records, we continuingly had to keep proving ourselves. We lady drivers did our best, but we hit a wall at some point. We could not reach the boardrooms where further change needed to start.

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How Much is Too Much

By Sandy Long

There is a lot of talk going around about driver pay … nothing unusual really … has been talked about for decades. Drivers have never thought they were paid enough for what they give up to be truckers. People who are home every night do not understand the driver’s wanting more money. Average pay for truckers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $37,000 a year. What more do they want?

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Today You Eat Chicken, Tomorrow You Eat the Feathers

By Sandy Long

When I traveled with carnivals, there was an old saying, ‘today you eat chicken, tomorrow you eat the feathers.’ The saying referred to the vagaries that could affect the money one could make. Trucking shares those vagaries with carnivals, the weather, the economy, costs of goods and services, and breakdowns, all conspire to affect income.

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The Pros and Cons of Pets on the Road

By Sandy Long

Sit back in any truck stop or rest area and you may see a vast array of pets, from birds to snakes, brought out of trucks for a bit of fresh air. The most common are dogs and cats, though I have seen some exotic pets on the road.

 

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Taking Negativity Too Far

By Sandy Long

Everything a truck driver does is based on performance, the miles they drive, utilizing their time wisely, they money they make, fuel savings, and safety to name a few things. There are variables beyond a driver’s control involved. It is easy, if one area gets out of kilter, to allow negativity to enter into other areas, even into one’s personal life.

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Woman Driver Finds Value in J.B. Hunt’s Women In Trucking Sponsorship


(Reposted with permission from Jobs by J.B. Hunt Blog)

Local intermodal driver Julia appreciates the impact that the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) is having on the trucking industry and is proud to be a member. “They are letting women know it’s a choice… that truck driving is a possibility for women. They are changing the mind set of what can be a woman’s job,” she said.

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Trucking, The Great Pride Builder

By Sandy Long

March brought the International Women’s Day to the forefront of the news, celebrating the achievements of women. Here in the United States, a movement was formed where women were urged to stay at home for the day to show how much they contribute to the workplace and the economy. On the Women In Trucking Facebook Group, a question was asked about how many women truckers were taking the day off. Over one hundred and twenty responses came in.

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Planning for Murphy’s Law

By Sandy Long

Murphy’s Law is not a real law, but a rule of life for some. When bad things happen, one can blame poor old Murphy for it. The law reads, “if something can go wrong, it will.” As truck drivers, planning for those Murphy’s Law times makes dealing with them easier.

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Sharing the Road with Semi-Trucks

By Sandy Long

According to statistics, 79% of all accidents involving semi-trucks are caused by car drivers. Few, if any states, require car drivers to learn during license testing about sharing the road with semi-trucks. This is an area that patently needs addressing. Who better to do so than a truck driver.

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Life Saving New Year Resolutions

By Sandy Long

Listening to satellite radio in the truck, I am appalled every time I hear of another major pileup involving multiple semi-trucks along with cars. People are dying, rigs are destroyed, lives are changed, all unnecessarily in my opinion. We had a very rare pileup back in the day, maybe one a year that I remember, what has changed?

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Dangerous Places

By Sandy Long

With more companies going to ELDS, the limits of the Hours of Service and lack of quality parking, drivers are more at risk than ever before having to find anywhere they can to park. Recently, another driver was shot as he parked in a vacant lot near his customer. At last report, he was still alive even though he was shot in the head. While he was parked, a man came up to his truck and asked for money. When the driver said he had none, the man took out his gun and shot him.

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Respect Received is Respect Given

By Sandy Long

In a recent poll on the Women In Trucking Association Facebook Group, the overwhelming response to the question of what a driver looked for from a carrier was that they wanted respect.

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Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving Season

By Sandy Long

Holidays are hard for many truck drivers of both genders. Thanksgiving is one of the two worst holidays. Thanksgiving is all about family getting together for a big dinner, football games on the television, and catching up with little seen relatives. Many truck drivers have lost touch, or actually have lost their family, so are alone. Then there are those who have to keep working through the Thanksgiving holiday so cannot get home. Granted, some truck stops offer really great deals for CDL holders on the road for Thanksgiving dinner. However, it is not quite the same as having a home to go to.

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UV Rays and Trucking

By Sandy Long

UV Rays and Trucking

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The Quest for Excellence

By Sandy Long

A good trucker knows that no matter how long they drive, there is always room for improvement. There are many ways a driver continues to hone his/her skills. Recently, I asked the question on the Women In Trucking Facebook group “How do you try to keep improving your trucking skills?” Following are some of the member’s answers.

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Protecting Yourself

By Sandy Long

Trucking is dangerous in many ways. Accidents with other vehicles can happen in a heartbeat. Occupational injuries often happen to truckers. And to criminals, truckers are attractive targets. Protecting yourself from danger takes common sense, knowledge, and attention to everything in your environs.

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Opportunities in Trucking

By Sandy Long

When people think about the trucking industry they think about the jobs of truck driving and perhaps dispatching. They do not know of the many other jobs available in the industry. Many do not want to drive a truck, so due to lack of knowledge on their part, the industry loses the opportunity to hire what could have been a great employee.

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African-American Women Consider Trucking

By Ellen Voie, President/CEO, Women In Trucking Association

If you’ve ever attended Women In Trucking’s “Salute to Women Behind the Wheel” in Louisville, Kentucky, you’ll find the largest gathering of female professional drivers in the United States. These women come from all parts of the country, as well as Canada. Some are in their seventies; others are in their twenties. Some have been driving for decades, others are newcomers to the industry.

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Working Together Through Tough Times

Watching the news, I am reminded of the Vietnam War protests of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, also of the civil rights protests that occurred when I was young. People are angry and some carry that anger too far. This time, while African Americans are fine-tuning their civil rights, instead of only knowing what is going on through the television, radio, or newspapers, information and speculation is instantaneous through the Internet. Emotions run high on all sides … black, white, police, and yes, truckers. These emotions run the gamut from fear to anger to outright terror.

Reginald Denny was severely injured in the riots after the Rodney King verdict in Los Angeles in 1992. Denny was a concrete hauler who took a shortcut through the riot area and subsequently was pulled from his truck and beaten. The memory of this long ago act has come to the forefront in the current protests in truckers’ minds, even though no truckers have been physically harmed currently as of yet. The recent misinformation has it that Denny had died in the attack. He did not, Denny lives and works in Arizona.

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