There’s a reason there are blogs, social media pages, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to the safety of female truck drivers. While safety should be every driver’s top priority, women in the trucking industry face unique discrimination and threats to their safety that are serious and continuing to evolve.  


Although women have been pioneers in the commercial driving industry since its origins in the early 1900s, they have had to fight for progress and recognition, as well as for support against safety threats. Modern times have seen improvements in equality behind the wheel, but many female truck drivers still feel like they’re on their own to protect themselves at truck stops and in other industry settings. Keep reading if you’re looking for necessary tips to avoid dangerous situations as a woman in the trucking business.  


Modern Times Means Modern Threats 

Unfortunately, as technology and ideas continue to develop over time, so do the people who abuse them. One threat that is increasingly dangerous for women in the trucking industry is human trafficking 


Truck stops are often safe, relaxing places that give all members of the trucking community a much needed recharge and refuel point. However, they can also be used as points to mark and target solo truck drivers as potential victims, and as stopping points for traffickers already transporting kidnapped women and children.  


Many veteran female truck drivers have potentially life saving tips to avoid dangerous situations that they use no matter where they are.

A solo female truck driver found this zip tie on her air line at a truck stop in the eastern US, a known signal for human traffickers marking a potential victim.

One driver, who will not be identified for her safety, was recently at a truck stop and noticed a zip tie had been put on her emergency air line while she was sleeping. This is a known signal for traffickers, along with tissues, paper, and other small, intentionally placed markers.  


If you encounter something like this, do not attempt to remove the marker on your own. Traffickers sometimes use drugs that can be absorbed through skin contact alone. In a situation like this, it is recommended to get to a safe location immediately and call the police. If this seems dramatic, consider that making a decision like this could be the difference between life or death.  


Tips and Tricks from Women in the Field  

Human trafficking is not the only safety threat that female truckers face. Here at Drive My Way, we have compiled advice that real women in the trucking industry have shared on social media and blogs for how they remain safe and comfortable while still getting the job done.  


Some of the most important and widely shared tips explain how a woman driving solo can make it appear as if she isn’t alone. Making it appear as if you have a driving partner, husband, or even dog can be an easy and effective way to protect yourself at truck stops or in other uncomfortable situations.  


  • If someone asks, say your partner (or dog!) is sleeping in the cab. For this to be the most effective, keep the curtain drawn on your sleeper so no one looking in can tell. If you’re feeling especially uncomfortable in a setting, you might want to pretend to have a conversation with whoever is “behind the curtain.” 
  • Wear a wedding ring. 
  • Order two plates of food/drinks to bring back to the cab.  
  • When entering your cab, knock on the door as if someone is inside, then discreetly open the door yourself.  


Many women have also shared tips that they practice at all times to maintain their safety.  


  • Always check your trailer when you come back for anything out of the ordinary, and lock it before you leave, even if just fueling.  
  • Park as close to the truck stop as you can, and only in well lit areas.  
  • Limit your distractions when outside of your truck, so you can always be aware of your surroundings. This might mean staying off your phone and always being alert.  
  • Consider protection for yourself, such as bear/wasp spray, mace, or a dog (if your company allows it!) 
  • Wear baggy clothing if you are especially uncomfortable in a setting.  



It is a sad reality that female truck drivers face threats to their safety across the country. However, it is important to be aware of this disparity to continue the fight for increased safety regulations and improvements to truck stop security. Women are a fast growing minority in the trucking industry, but there is still a long way to go.  


Are there any safety tips we missed? Which truck stops make you feel the most comfortable and safe? Please let us know on our social media so we can continue to share information that helps make the trucking industry equal for every driver.  

Operation Safe Driver Week takes place every year to create awareness around safe driving habits for both passenger and commercial motorists. In honor of Operation Safe Driver Week taking place July 9-15, 2023, the team at Drive My Way compiled this list of essential tips for truck driver safety from pre-trip planning to post-trip inspections.   

When it comes to protecting yourself on the road, there are several factors to consider before you leave, while you are traveling, and once you reach your destination.  

Prior to Hitting the Road  

Truck driver safety starts before you even turn your rig on and get out on the road. By following these tips before you leave, you can help set yourself up for a successful haul.  

  1. Prioritize Your Health: Regardless of what happens on the road, you will be better prepared to handle whatever comes your way by ensuring you get enough rest prior to leaving. By taking good care of yourself, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, you will be physically and mentally ready for your next trip. 
  2. Have a Game Plan: It is important to take time before your trip to plan your route, check weather forecasts and road conditions, make note of any areas with construction or low bridges, and plan for any alternate routes should adverse conditions occur. If you are traveling a route that is known to have high winds for example, it is important to remember to stay close to the shoulder and reduce your speed. It is also important to know when to wait out poor conditions rather than pushing through and putting yourself and others in danger. Now is also the time to make sure your rig is up to date for maintenance, and you have an emergency kit on board.
  3. Create a Comfortable Environment: No matter the distance, you want to make sure you are comfortable for the trip. We recommend having good music/podcast to listen to, plenty of water and healthy snacks, and making adjustments to your seat to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Mapping out locations for your breaks will also help you stay on track and avoid being behind the wheel for too long at once. 


Truck Driver Safety on the Road  

Once you have begun your trip, there are several ways to ensure that your drive is as pleasant as possible, with few complications.  

  1. Pay Attention to the Little Things: While there are basic practices that every trucker knows like the back of their hand, it is also a good reminder to pay attention to the routine behaviors such as doing your pre-trip inspection, wearing your seatbelt, turning headlights on at appropriate times of day, using turn signals, and checking your mirrors. Some of them items seem so routine that they may get missed, especially if you are feeling fatigue, but they are something police officers are heightened to checking during Operation Safe Driver Week, and during summer travel in general, so it always good to be take note.Rookie drivers are especially susceptible to these types of errors, so whether you are mentoring a new driver, or working a team driving job, it is always helpful to remind your partner. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has several tips like these to help truckers stay safe on the road.
  2. Stay Alert: It is vital to stay alert during your drive to ensure you are able to handle changes as they come on the road. Whether it is safely changing lanes, watching blind spots, driving in construction zones, or practicing defensive driving, you will want to make sure you are alert and ready to handle evolving conditions. Defensive driving equips you with the tools needed to stay as safe as possible, reducing the risk of an incident by taking control of how you show up to the day’s drive. Unlike offensive driving, defensive driving allows you to let others adjust their driving based on your actions, rather than you reacting to them. This can reduce road rage, as well as reduce questionable liability in accidents with four wheels.

Staying alert also applies to stops just as much as it does while driving. Single drivers, especially women, are often targets on the road, so it is important to take note of your environment, report strange people or incidents to the proper authorities, and avoid truck stops that are not well-traveled.  

  1. Maintain Speed and Distance: The foundation of safe driving is consistency, so maintaining your speed and distance will go a long way in creating a safe drive for not only yourself, but for all the other drivers on the road with you. According to the FMCSA, two significant factors in large truck crashes include drivers traveling too fast for the conditions and drivers following too closely. Other common moving violations include:
  • Improper lane changes 
  • Improper turns 
  • Failure to yield to right of way 
  • Reckless driving 
  • Failure to obey a traffic control device  
  • Railroad grade crossing violations  

Safety Doesn’t Stop at Your Destination  

Even after you reach your destination, there are several truck driver safety tips to consider. 

  1. Check for Safe Parking: Once you get to your destination, make sure you have a safe spot to pull into before parking your truck. A previous truck may have even left a path that you can follow to safely park your rig. Once you have parked, make sure that your headlights are turned off and that you have locked everything up. 
  2. Take Care Unloading Freight: Your cargo may have shifted during the drive, so it’s important to take care when opening the door. If you are lifting any items, make sure to bend and lift with your knees to avoid throwing your back out. It is also vital to remember to check for workers and other drivers before closing doors or moving your truck away from the dock. 
  3. Inspect Your Truck and Call It a Day: Every company requires post-trip inspections, so it is important to complete these before retiring for the day. Items on these inspections may include checking for flat tires, checking fluid levels, ensuring all headlights are working, etc. You may also need to record any damage that your rig sustained during the trip, especially if you encountered poor weather conditions, such as hail or high winds. For new truck drivers, these steps are especially important as you familiarize yourself with your truck and completing hauls. 

Operation Safe Driver Week is an opportunity to remember these truck driver safety tips to ensure safe hauls every time you get out on the road.  

night truck drivingSome truck drivers love being on an empty highway at night, while others prefer to do their hauling during the daytime. No matter which you prefer, most truck drivers will put in their fair share of night driving at some point in their career.  

Depending on what you drive, what you’re hauling, and who you drive for, night shifts might be your normal routine, or something you only do once in a blue moon. If you’re a new driver looking for information about what it’s like to drive at night, here are 7 things you should know about night truck driving.  

1. Your body’s natural rhythms are at a lull

Most people’s energy level and alertness will drop during the late night and early morning hours. If you stay up throughout the night consistently, your body will eventually adjust to the change, it just takes a while.  

While you’re in that period of adjustment, it’s important to do whatever you can to stay alert. Caffeine can help, but overreliance on it can cause its own issues. Consider listening to an audiobook or podcast to keep your mind active and engaged. A good diet and exercise can also help your body adjust to night driving faster.  

2. Your visibility is weakened

Night Driving

Humans don’t have great night vision. When the sun goes down, your peripheral vision weakens, and you won’t be able to see as far ahead. This can make it hard to see animals that jump out at the last minute or other obstructions in the road. It also means your response time to other drivers and events on the road is likely to be a little slower.  

This is why you should leave yourself extra space whenever possible. The normal stopping distance that trucks need during good weather conditions is around 370 feet. When you’re driving at night, try and give yourself even more than that, closer to 600 feet.  

3. Traffic is usually lighter

Much of the world operates during the day, so if you’re night driving, you will rarely have a problem with traffic.  That said, the other drivers who are out are also at a low point of alertness. Keep your distance and drive defensively. You never know what other kinds of drivers are on the road.

4. Deliveries can be more dangerous

night deliveryAt night, there are fewer people around, and you’re more likely to run into bad charactersSome drivers say this is especially true in urban areas when you’re making a delivery.  

Always stay alert and take every precaution you can if you need to get out of your cab. If you’re traveling to a new area, try to learn what you can about the drop before you go. Street view on Google maps is a great resource to see exactly where you’re going.

5. You’re on your own

Most dispatchers and customers aren’t operating 24/7. This means less after-hours assistance if you run into trouble or need last-minute directions to the customer. 

If you’re an independent driver who loves being self-reliant, this most likely won’t be an issue for you. If you’re a new driver, don’t let this scare you. As long as you’re sufficiently prepared and keep a few essential tools in your cab, you’ll be good to go.

6. Parking options are better

Night drivers aren’t competing for parking in the same way that other drivers are during the day. Most of the time, you won’t need to dock early or plan your route around the places you know you can stop.  

That can be a huge time saver (not to mention the headache you avoid!). If you do need to look for parking or gas, try TruckerPath or GasBuddy to get you where you need to go.

7. You should keep your windshield, headlights, and mirrors clean

Glare can be a big problem for night truck driving. Luckily, a little glass cleaner and elbow grease usually does the trick. Reducing glare from your mirrors and windshield will go a long way toward increased your visibility and keeping you safe.  

Similarly, try not to look closely at oncoming traffic. The bright white lights will temporarily impair your vision. Look slightly down and to the right (or at the white road line) to avoid the negative effects. 

Like everything, night truck driving has its pros and cons. Having less vehicles on the road is a huge pro for many drivers, but it comes at the cost of increased danger. There are three times as many crashes that happen during night as opposed to during the day.  

If you’re ever in a position where you feel that you’re not sure if you can stay awake, pull over immediately. No load or deadline is worth your life or the life of other drivers on the road.

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driver-facing cameras

Driver-facing cameras have become a hot button issue in the transportation industry over the past few years. Truck drivers are understandably wary about having recording devices pointing at them while they drive, but are there any benefits to these cameras? Here’s everything that drivers should know about driver-facing cameras.  

What are Driver-Facing Cameras?

Driver-facing cameras are just what they sound like; cameras that are installed in a semi-truck cab that face the driver.  

Why are Carriers Installing Driver-Facing Cameras?

There’s a lot of reasons that carriers are installing driver facing cameras, but the biggest one is it gives carriers a better chance to avoid liability in the case of an accident. Like seemingly everything else, insurance premiums for trucking carriers are on the rise, and installing driver facing cameras is just one way that carriers can reduce these costs.  

Why are Drivers Against Driver-Facing Cameras?

The reason that drivers are against these cameras is pretty simple. Would you want to have a camera directly in front of your face during your work shift? The answer is probably, “no”.  Truck driver’s feelings on front-facing cameras have been well-documented, but do they get a worse reputation than they deserve?  

Are There Any Benefits of Driver-Facing Cameras for the Driver?

The main benefit of driver-facing cameras is that they can help prove a driver’s innocence in the case of an accident or traffic violation that otherwise wouldn’t have been seen. Most drivers will point out that that’s what dash cams are for (cameras that face the dashboard and show what the driver would see), but driver facing cameras can absolve a driver in the case that they’re being accused of distracted driving.  

Aside from that, the other benefit to driver-facing cameras is that it can lead to safer driving for newer drivers. A driver whose only been in the industry for 6 months to a year might have learned or adopted a bad habit that wasn’t noticed during CDL training or during their time with a driver trainer. Driver-facing cameras could in theory alert the carrier to this habit so that the driver can be coached on avoiding it. This, of course, is a debatable benefit to truck drivers.  

The reality, whether drivers like it or not, is that driver-facing cameras are becoming more and more popular for both commercial carriers and private fleets.  

With this in mind, we talked to Erin Lynch, Customer Success Manager with Drive My Way. We asked her thoughts on driver-facing cameras and what drivers should know about the new practice. 

Erin Lynch, Customer Success Manager, Drive My Way

When did driver-facing cameras start to become popular in the trucking industry, and why do you think they did?

“The trucking industry saw a huge shift in technology when the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate started in 2016. As the trucking industry rushed to comply, technology evolved very quickly to make devices as simple as possible to install and be compliant with the mandate.

By 2018, many fleet management systems offered complete telematic management solutions, that included ELD’s and many other features. We’re now at a point in the last 3 years where efforts are being directed to measure safety, which includes driver-facing cameras.”

Are trucking carriers using these cameras to watch drivers at all times?

“No solutions have the capability, bandwidth, or storage, to watch and store videos 24/7. Typically, they record on a loop, recording over previous footage. The cameras are only activated if an “event” or incident occurs, such as speeding or hard breaking, and records 10 seconds before the event and 10 seconds after. The driver-facing camera will capture these incidents but can also be configured to capture such events as a driver using a phone or eating/drinking.

The videos are available to view immediately and are usually stored for a specified time period. However, it is important to note that typically it is only the incident videos that are stored and available. Carriers would have to request non-incident videos from their system provider and, for privacy reasons, that’s typically not done unless in very specific situations.”

Is there a good compromise for drivers wanting to protect their privacy and carriers wanting to increase their fleet’s safety?

“I think most solutions do offer a good compromise between those two. It’s the communication between carriers and drivers that cause the biggest issues. While carriers may use these systems to lower insurance costs, they are built with the intention to measure safety, and that’s good for everyone involved. Carriers need to clearly communicate what the cameras can and cannot do, what will be recorded, how it’s stored, etc.

A driver should be very clear about the camera’s intentions and limitations. The best telematic solutions for carriers will have ways to positively reinforce good driving behaviors and to help correct poor behaviors such as training, not just as a monitoring or penalizing device.”

Erin finished with these thoughts,  

“Drivers, if you’re unsure of why driver-facing cameras are being used, you have a right to ask questions and understand what is being done with the recorded video. Carriers, if a driver has to ask you why cameras are being used, then better training and communication is needed. Being clear on intentions and capabilities of driver-facing cameras is key.”

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This blog is offered by our friends at The National Transportation Institute. NTI compiles, tracks, and analyzes data on hundreds of attributes of driver pay, wages and benefits at thousands of motor carriers per quarter. Learn more about NTI at  

With competition for drivers heated across nearly all industries and the bullwhip effects of the COVID-19-era economy still lingering, the 2020s have been and will continue to be seminal years for truck driver wages. 

Per-mile and hourly base pay has certainly grown, and all factors point to continued momentum for those attributes of a driver’s paycheck. Beyond simply raising pay, however, fleets are also evaluating and implementing structural changes to how — and why — they build their driver compensation plans.  

From more frequent adjustments to base pay to recalibrating bonuses, incentives, and benefits, motor carriers and private fleets are striving to find compensation solutions that work to attract new hires and to retain their existing personnel. 

An analysis of driver wages and benefits data compiled and reported by The National Transportation Institute reveals five important trends evident across segments, region, and fleet type that should be on every fleet and driver’s radar.

1. Rapidly Climbing Driver Pay for New Entrants

trucking carrierNo trend in 2020, 2021, or 2022 has been more pronounced than the rapid pace of wage growth for newer drivers — those with two years of experience or less. By percentage, the growth in mileage and hourly base pay for drivers with just one year of experience is more than double that of the highest-paid drivers with the most experience and tenure.  

For perspective, drivers with just one year of experience in late 2022 are earning more than the highest paid drivers in late 2018.  

Newer drivers expect this type of rapid and frequent wage growth. Fleets must be cognizant of this trend and ensure they offer a pay progression model that meets those expectations. 

2. Incentivizing Safety Over Productivity

This trend is starting to become clearer in NTI data on driver wages and benefits, but increasingly, motor carriers will move toward pay packages that promote safety and move away from pay packages that promote productivity.  

Pay by the load, standalone productivity bonuses, and even the predominant mileage pay model will decline in prevalence and instead be replaced with compensation programs that promote safer operating standards, such as beefier and more frequent safety bonuses, hourly pay, and even salary pay.  

Productivity will become a personnel management issue, rather than inherent to drivers’ paychecks.

3. Smoothing the Bumps with Guaranteed Driver Pay and Transition Pay

ltl truckingA frustration long held by professional drivers is inconsistent and lumpy paychecks week to week — particularly for causes outside of their control, such as detention time, weather delays, traffic congestion, deadhead miles, and other unpaid or unproductive time that chips away at their earnings. 

Over the past half-decade, there’s been a pronounced trend of motor carriers offering guaranteed weekly pay options for drivers to help make their paychecks more predictable and to support driver’s week to week through whatever issues may arise on the road.  

Nearly 40% of carriers surveyed by The National Transportation Institute in late 2022 are offering guaranteed weekly pay programs. That’s up from just 15% five years ago, in late 2017. Look for this trend to continue. 

Also, look for a rise in transition pay incentives in the coming years. Transition pay is either an upfront payment or a weekly paycheck addition that helps bridge gaps in drivers’ pay when they are transitioning into a job at your fleet.  

Due to onboarding time and paycheck schedules, drivers transitioning jobs from one fleet to another could go weeks without a full paycheck, leaving them cash strapped and making it difficult to meet their monthly bill obligations.  

Transition pay helps solve that issue, and it gives fleets another incentive to market in their recruiting programs. Like guaranteed pay, transition pay helps support drivers and their paychecks by offering consistency, reliability, and preventing early-tenure pay gaps that contribute to turnover in the first 90 days.

4. Weighting Bonuses Toward Retention and Tenure — Not Sign-on

buying a semi truck

Sign-on bonuses have long been a mainstay in the driver recruiting world. However, they’re not effective tools for long-term retention, and they often can exacerbate churn of short-tenured drivers.  

The average amount paid out in sign-on bonuses is more than double that of referral bonuses, but more fleets have been placing a greater emphasis on referrals rather than sign-ons over the past year. The number of fleets offering referral bonuses is now nearly 90% in 2022’s fourth quarter, whereas 70% offer a sign-on bonus.  

Also, the dollar amount offered for referral bonuses on average has climbed nearly 10% year over year, while sign-on bonus amounts have grown just 4%.  

In lieu of sign-on bonuses, more fleets are evaluating and implementing retention bonuses, tenure pay, and referral bonuses that put a greater emphasis on keeping their existing drivers rather than relying on hefty sign-on bonuses to bring in new hires to replace departures. 

5. Meeting Demands for Schedule Flexibility

Truck Driver Hiring Events: What to KnowScheduling flexibility may not sound like it’s directly tied to a driver’s paycheck — but it can and should be viewed as an element of a fleet’s driver compensation package and a vital component of recruiting and retention programs.  

Increasingly, due to both generational shifts in the workforce as well as a greater desire by most workers for better work-life balance, demand for scheduling flexibility is becoming a force that fleets must reckon with, whether by altering routing and shift options to meet expectations for greater work-life balance or putting resources into incentives and bonuses to compensate drivers for the tougher and more undesirable schedules. 

For example, for schedules that aren’t desirable (especially for the many fleets that have a seniority-based bid system that consistently leaves less-tenured drivers with the least undesirable schedules), fleets increasingly are building incentive programs that make those schedules more lucrative and help alleviate resentment by drivers working those shifts.  

To learn more about the trends impacting driver pay and to gain benchmarking insights into how your fleet’s driver wages and benefits compare to peers and within markets where recruiting and retention are vital, visit NTI’s website,

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Tips for Women Truck Drivers Driving provides women truckers with many of the same advantages as it does to men—independence, flexibility, and the opportunity to travel across the country.

But being a woman driver in the male-dominated trucking industry comes with a unique set of challenges. Women truck drivers have to think about the job, safety, and hygiene differently. While the industry is starting to change to become more friendly towards women, there’s still much work to be done. Until then, here are 6 tips for women truck drivers.

1. Work-life balance

While work-life balance should be important for all truckers, it’s sometimes not as important to men. Carriers may become used to offering insufficient home time and opportunities for balance simply because men aren’t as vocal about these concerns as women. Women truckers may find themselves on the short end of the stick simply because their male counterparts aren’t asking for more.

We spoke to Heather, a trucker with 2 years of experience. She said,

“I did OTR just long enough to get a little experience to find a local job. I have 3 boys so I wanted to be local as soon as possible. It was a vey long 7 months, and I learned everything in the winter months in the snow and ice.”

Communication with your fleet manager or leader is essential to ensuring that you get the work-life balance you deserve. In fact, women drivers shouldn’t be waiting that long to start discussions around home time. Communicating with recruiters that this is a priority for you will set you on the right path to achieving the kind of balanced lifestyle you’re looking for.

2. Safety at a truck stop

truck stop safety tips

Truck stops are notorious for being minefields for women truck drivers. Although many truck stops are taking measures to improve conditions and become more woman-friendly, they can’t control the behavior of the characters who lurk around.

We encourage women to know precautions to take to stay safe at truck stops. Heather said,

“When walking through the truck stop at night, have something handy in case you need to protect yourself.”

Women truckers should also take precautions to protect themselves when they’re in their cab for the night at a truck stop. We also spoke to Michele, a trucker with a few months of experience so far in the industry. She suggests that solo drivers keep their bunk curtains closed at all times.

“Let people think there’s someone sleeping in the back even if you’re driving alone.”

Michele also notes that placing a team driving sticker on your truck will also create the impression that you are not traveling alone, and she highly recommends this trick to other women drivers.

3. Behind the wheel

Some of the women we spoke to had specific advice while behind the wheel. Road conditions can become dangerous during nighttime or the winter season. Michele recommends that women truck drivers pre-plan and keep checking their routes, especially in the winter.

“Just because it was open 2 hours ago, doesn’t mean it’s open now.”

Heather listens to forensic files and chews gum to help keep her awake during night driving. She encourages women drivers to pull over if needed and states,

“If road conditions become too treacherous, just stop! Freight can wait.”

4. Hygiene

Women truck drivers will have specific concerns about hygiene that male drivers won’t. And unfortunately, sometimes male drivers, fleet managers, or truck stop employees may be unaware or unsympathetic to these issues.

Heather said that one of the biggest lessons she learned from her OTR driving days is to always have baby wipes handy. She also recommends to keeping an empty big gulp cup in your cab in case of a bathroom emergency.

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but with OTR driving, the stops can be few and far between, so it’s better to be prepared in the case of emergencies.

5. Reach out to other women truckers

women truck drivers

While it may seem easy to understand the concerns of women drivers, or imagine what the job will be like, there’s no way to know until someone has done it. We recommend completing some research about what to expect, but there’s no substitute for speaking with other women truck drivers who’ve been there themselves.

Reaching out to other women truck drivers will give you an inside look at what issues they’ve been facing and how they’ve handled them. As you speak to more women drivers, you’ll build a network of colleagues who have each others’ back and can work together. You may also want to connect with organizations like Women in Trucking, which focus on addressing these obstacles.

6. Find the right carrier

While women truckers can take certain measures themselves, they can’t do it all alone. It takes a community that values women’s issues and concerns in the trucking industry. Before signing with your next carrier, do some research and find out which carriers value their women drivers.

Some carriers will do more to promote career opportunities, improve conditions, and deliver resources needed to address women’s issues in trucking. A company’s culture can have a large impact on a woman truck driver’s sense of belonging, identity, and purpose. Finding a carrier that aligns with your own values will help you feel comfortable and secure in a male-dominated industry.

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city truck drivingIf you were to ask truck drivers where their favorite places to drive are, chances are that most would say on the open road, with empty highways and clear skies. What they wouldn’t say is during rush hour in a congested city. Unfortunately, as a truck driver, you’ll have to drive in all types of places, even the latter. 

If you’re a new truck driver worried about city driving, you’re not alone. New truck drivers experience this fear every day. But they also overcome it and drive through crowded city streets with no problem. Here are 5 city truck driving tips for new truck drivers.  

1. Try to be early whenever possible

This is easier said than done, but whenever you can control it, try and be early for your drop and hook appointments if you know they’re in a crowded city. By being early, you can scope out where you’ll need to pull in and how you’ll need to maneuver your truck and trailer. Being early also gives you the time needed to deal with any traffic or construction delays you might encounter in the city. 

2. Use Your Mirrors

Using your mirrors isn’t just a tip for city driving, it’s important at all times you’re behind the wheel. That being said, mirrors become much more useful in a crowded city. Check them often to look out for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars attempting to merge. They’re especially useful when there’s two lanes of traffic turning at the same time.  

3. Keep Extra Distance if You Can

There’s a lot of stop and go traffic in cities. If you’re not giving the proper amount of stopping distance, taking your eyes off the road for even half a second could be enough time for you to rear end somebody. 

4. Be Cautious

More cars and pedestrians, with less room to drive means that you should have a general sense of caution when driving in the city. Don’t try to eyeball sharp turns and difficult maneuvers. Always use your mirrors and, if you’re able to, get out of the cab and check what you’re doing if you’re feeling uneasy about something.

There are some drivers who think this makes them look like a newbie or unskilled, but that’s far from the truth. The best drivers are the ones who put safety above all else. 

5. Know Your Route

If you’ve never been to a customer’s location before, don’t just rely on Google or Apple maps to get you there. While these apps are usually fine to show you which highway or route to take, they’re a little less reliable when you need them to plan routes in cities. They may not tell you about one-way streets, roads with weight limits, construction, and other road disruptions.  

Instead, give the customer a call to get directions. They’ll know the best route to get there and will even give you directions for where and how to park when you get there.  

Driving in the city for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for new truck drivers, but as long as you’re cautious, and keep your wits about you, you’ll be out of those congested streets and back on the highway in no time. 

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truck driver gear

For many truck drivers, especially those running OTR and regional, their cab is their home. This means that they need to keep it stocked with everything they could possibly need while on the road. We were able to talk to a few CDL drivers who shared what truck driver gear they always bring with them.  

What are CDL Drivers Bringing With Them?

For CDL Driver, Brandon C., it’s better to have some things you might not need, than to find yourself without the thing you really need.  

“I always make sure to have anything and everything I might need in my truck. Non-perishable food, like canned or dry goods is a must (and a can opener). Spare clothing as well, as truck drivers are called upon to traverse varied and unpredictable climates.

Basic hand tools are a must. Ex. multi-tool hammer, screw drivers, electrical tape, flashlight & batteries. Anything can happen out there. A burned-out bulb, poor electrical connection, a frozen padlock; the list goes on.  

If you keep a decent set of even the most basic tools to address these random bouts of misfortune, I promise you will be rewarded with extra money and home time by avoiding long delays at the service counters.

Also, a good old fashioned Rand McNally atlas comes in handy when (not if) our digital devices let us down. It also has a wealth of info beyond the cardinal rose, like weight limits lengths & GVW data.” 

Another CDL Driver, who goes by e18hteenwheelin shared his thoughts on what gear is essential, 

“The big three for me are headset, GPS, and Raincoat. Never get in my truck without them.”

Truck Driver Gear Checklist

Here’s a list of items that it might be good to bring with you on the road, if you’re not bringing these already.  


Studies show that living in a clean environment can have great effects on your productivity, stress level, and overall mood. That holds true for truck drivers and their cabs as well. 

  • Disinfectant Wipes 
  • All-Purpose Spray
  • Paper towels Truckers spill things too. The last thing you want to do is spill your soda and have to clean it up with your last good shirt.  
  • Handheld Vacuum/Dirt Devil
  • Broom & Dustpan
  • Garbage bag – It can be tempting to toss wrappers and empty cups onto the passenger seat and say “I’ll get it later”, but having a small garbage bag next to you is a much better option to avoid clutter and keep your cab nice and clean.  


While you won’t be able to fix everything on your truck, having the right tools to tighten, straighten, or replace something in a pinch can be the difference between waiting hours for roadside assistance and getting back on the road in a matter of minutes.  

  • Work Gloves 
  • Flashlight 
  • Tool Kit – Extremely important. Make sure you have everything you need in case something small happens with your truck that you’re able to fix. Hammer, screwdrivers (both Phillips and flat), vice grips, duct tape, adjustable wrench, etc. 
  • Replacement Bulbs
  • Extra fluids – Windshield Wiper Fluid, Oil, Coolant, etc. 
  • WD-40 

Toiletries/Personal Items

The importance of taking care of yourself on the road can’t be overstated. While most of the items on this list seem like common sense, it’s never a bad idea to double check to make sure you’re not missing anything important.  

  • Electric/Disposable Razor 
  • Shaving Cream 
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Floss 
  • Kleenex 
  • Loofah/Washcloth 
  • Body wash 
  • Deodorant  
  • Shampoo 


Getting stuck on the side of the road during winter isn’t fun. Getting stuck on the side of the road during winter without the proper clothes is even less fun. As a truck driver, having the right clothes can make all the difference, especially when you’re driving in the northeast or pacific northwest.  

  • Jacket 
  • Underwear 
  • Socks 
  • Thermal long sleeve shirt 
  • Steel Toe Boots 
  • Rain jacket 
  • Sunglasses – Aside from looking good, wearing sunglasses when needed can provide protection from harmful UV light and reduce the risk of developing certain eye conditions. 


For most drivers, their smartphone is all they need for entertainment when stopped for the night. But if you’re looking to spend less time on your phone, there are a number of options for entertainment that don’t involve your smartphone.  

  • Books/Magazines 
  • iPod – It may seem a bit old school at this point but having all your music without having to rely on streaming services and Wi-Fi/data is a great feeling. 
  • Portable DVD Player 
  • Nintendo Switch/DS/GameBoy – This is for the truckers who double as gamers. And if you’re not one, with the handheld systems that are out right now, it might be time to consider. 
  • Word Search, Crossword or Sudoku

Misc. Gear

Here are some other things you might want to add to your list.

  • First Aid Kit 
  • Canned or non-perishable food 
  • GPS – If not using your phone
  • Atlas – For when your phone or GPS doesn’t work
  • Headset
  • Cellphone charger 
  • Written list of important phone numbers 


two men in a truck

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can truck drivers use cbd oil

Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in the popularity of medicinal marijuana-related products, specifically CBD. Truck drivers may be thinking of turning to CBD oils and lotions for relief from aches and pains that come from the job, but they should know all the facts before they do.  

The issue is that the legal waters surrounding the use of CBD are a bit murky. This is especially true for truck drivers as they need to not only think about the legality of it, but about drug screenings from employers and the new clearinghouse regulations as well. 

So, you’re probably wondering, “can truck drivers use CBD?” The answer depends on if you think it’s worth the risk. But before you make your decision, here are 4 things you need to know first.

1. CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA yet

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. There are over 113 such compounds in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol).  

THC is the psychoactive agent in marijuana that is responsible for producing the sense of euphoria or high that people feel when using it. THC is also measured in drug tests and will lead to a positive result if detected. CBD on the other hand is a non-psychoactive compound—it won’t make you feel high, anxious, or bring redness to your eyes. 

CBD is being researched and used for a variety of different medical purposes, and is said to help relieve anxiety, muscle and joint pain, depression, migraines, and other ailments common to truck drivers.  

Despite these claims of health benefits, CBD products haven’t been regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As of right now, there is no consensus in the medical or regulatory community about the effects of CBD on the body, so it remains a gray area.

2. CBD may cause individuals to test positive on a drug screening

There are many CBD derived products that are available for use on the market. For example, CBD oil is made by extracting the compound from either hemp or marijuana plants. These products of course contain CBD, but other things as well, including trace amounts of THC. 

Most states require that commercial CBD-derived products contain less than 0.3% THC. That’s such a small amount that it’s not going to have any psychoactive effect on your body or get you high. The bad news is that even a trace amount like that could be detected on a drug test. 

Some CBD products claim to be “THC-free”, but it’s not clear whether this is actually the case since regulation on CBD products is so lax. In fact, many CBD products companies will state disclaimers like, “We cannot make any claims on whether or not any of our products will show up on a drug test. We are not legally able to make any recommendations or guarantees regarding drug tests on THC free or full spectrum products.” 

Basically, this means “buyer beware” if you have a job like trucking, where you’re regularly tested for THC.

3. State laws differ on CBD products

It’s important to remember that while marijuana and its derived products are becoming legalized in more and more states, it’s still illegal on the federal level. This means if you are drug tested using the federal drug testing panel and use CBD, it will be reported out as a positive drug test. The recent clearinghouse regulations mean that this test result data will be available to other employers in the trucking industry.  

4. Bottom line for truck drivers

So, what’s the bottom line for people wondering “can truck drivers use CBD?”  

While there’s a possibility that a truck driver could use CBD products for the rest of their trucking career and never have it show up on a drug test, it’s just not a risk worth taking. For whatever benefits CBD products are said to have, it’s not worth your career. 

CBD lotions may be a better option than CBD oil, but even these can’t guarantee no trace amounts of THC. For those truck drivers hoping for pain relief, they may want to look elsewhere. 

Of course, the situation surrounding CBD products is bound to change. Every year, more and more states choose to legalize marijuana (and CBD) outright, so it’s very possible that marijuana and marijuana products in all forms could be legalized federally within the next 10 years.  

But drivers should remember that it’s not just the legality they need to worry about. If you drive for a private carrier, they can still choose to test for it, regardless of if it’s legal or not. 

two men in a truck

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This summer, Drive My Way client, NFI set out to celebrate their drivers who reached an amazing milestone. They inducted over 80 drivers into their One Million Miles club. But these aren’t just drivers who’ve driven one million miles, it’s drivers who have driven one million accident-free miles.  

NFI President, Bob Knowles had this to say,

“We are proud and honored to recognize these drivers as they join the elite Million Mile Accident Free Club. They represent the best of NFI and professional truck drivers throughout the industry. We truly appreciate everything they do for NFI and our customers on a daily basis.”

This is a huge accomplishment that not many drivers can say they’ve achieved. To commemorate the occasion, NFI held 6 events all across the country where these drivers and their families were honored. Here are their names. 

  • Arlington, TX – July 16th
  • Braden M.
  • Garry M.
  • Jerry T.
  • Kevin M.
  • Martin R.
  • Milton F.
  • Rickey H.
  • Sergio T.
  • Tim H.
  • Willie S.


  • Bethlehem, PA – July 22nd
  • Doron E.
  • Eric T.
  • Jesus S.
  • Joe E.
  • Joe W.
  • John C.
  • Johnny G.
  • Johnny H.
  • Kenneth N.
  • Mark S.
  • Melody S.
  • Paul O.
  • Robert K.
  • Sandra W.


  • Columbus, OH – July 29th
  • Ben W.
  • Bryan W.
  • Eric S.
  • Jerry B.
  • Loren G.
  • Mark W.
  • Randall Y.
  • Russell E.
  • Thomas L.
  • William G.


  • Cherokee, NC – August 6th
  • Anthony R.
  • Danny F.
  • Dearrell G.
  • Donald B.
  • George K.
  • Jeffrey D.
  • John L.
  • John R.
  • Johnnie S.
  • Joshua C.
  • Kimberly N.
  • Mark S.
  • Michael J.
  • Michael Jo.
  • Michael M.
  • Paul P.
  • Randall R.
  • Reginald E.
  • Richard J.
  • Shawn S.
  • Tommie B.
  • Tracy N.
  • William L.


  • New York, NY – August 12th
  • Albari N.
  • Anthony N.
  • Dean B.
  • Ernesto R.
  • Henry W.
  • James S.
  • Jeffrey H.
  • John G.
  • Jose G.
  • Jose P.
  • Mark L.
  • Phi T.
  • Tyler S.


  • Chicago, IL – August 20th
  • Cesar C.
  • Derrick R.
  • Greg D.
  • Jammie S.
  • John T.
  • Marlin F.
  • Mathew O.
  • Richard G.
  • Ron N.
  • Roodachus S.
  • Salvador S.
  • Wade C.

Congratulations to these drivers on this amazing accomplishment!


two men in a truck

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