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Women entering trucking are at higher risk of meeting obstacles that hinder their success because this male dominated environment is lacking in accountability.

Unethical behavior and misconduct is generally targeted at those least able to fight back, this is the obstacle I have seen most frequently for truck driver students, especially Women.

Sweeping things under the rug like sexual misconduct in truck driver training carriers has created a big lump in the rug. The CRST Sex Harassment case is an example of the ignored lump that eventually created a hazard so great many were harmed. While some claims may have been frivolous, some valid claims are sadly caught in the mess.

The failure falls upon the carrier who did little to properly train their trainers and the industry who looks the other way.

Truck driver training does a poor job to prepare student candidates to become qualified drivers. For females, the highly unusual expectation of the living arrangements can be dangerous.

With the recent rash of reports on the EEOC V. CRST Sex harassment case I was at first stunned that it took until 2012 for the Associated Press to widely cover this massive case, many of the incidents occurred in 2005. It has been sparsely reported on by mainstream media and mostly ignored by trucking media, including OOIDA , trucking radio programs on SIRIUS, publications widely distributed at truck stops where truck drivers might read about this case and trade publications that might make the industry more accountable by creating pressure from other sectors for carriers like CRST to clean up their act.

The recent barrage of reports note that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had filed a “friend of the court brief”. If you are not aware, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the former head of the American Trucking Association, if that does not SCREAM of politics I do not know what more one would need.

Perhaps, this story is all over because some other industry with as much clout as big trucking wants to rattle some cages? Maybe they could care less about Women or the EEOC case. Maybe it’s merely a power struggle between big rail and big trucking OR big labor and labor crushing, I don’t know but it is an issue that should be addressed.

Just 3 days before the AP broke this story, Ellen Voie the self-appointed corporate apologist for big trucking thanked CRST for renewing their corporate membership yet I received a letter from a CRST female student in distress just a few months back. I was also advised that remarks in court documents about an internal CRST crisis line which was somehow the remedy for their “issues” was no longer being used. (more…)

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I’ve been absent from this blog for awhile but I felt I should stop by an make an appearance seeing how a few people have been trying to find out what I have been up to. Well, lots of stuff while trying very hard to do less stuff. I’m sure you know how that is.

I’ve been using you tube more frequently to retell my story to a new audience as the “alleged” driver shortage has reemerged with a vengeance and I have begun contributing to other trucking sites such as the “Life on the Road” blog with an introductory piece about being referred to as a “Trucking Whistleblower”. I am also working on some other non-trucking related endeavors.

Over the past few months I have been frequently contacted about this blog and other blogs where I write about truck driving issues for women, student driver issues, crimes against truckers and a multitude of other topics. It’s not been easy for me to keep up with it all because after all I am just one person. I do the best that I can but I think it is important for others who are as frustrated as I was when I began this writing to understand that one person with a semi reliable Smartphone, a annual income of $35,000 or less which was my case for most of 2010 can have a very long reach. What I accomplished could be accomplished by anyone, even if they are driving full or part time. That was part of my social media experiment, to prove that people outside of trucking would care about safety and training issues if someone could effectively tell them what was going on. This is what has not been done by any organization inside trucking who claims they care about highway safety and driver retention.

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 9 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 80 posts. There were 34 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 7th with 408 views. The most popular post that day was Why did I do it?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, twitter.com, askthetrucker.com, truckerhub.com, and realwomenintrucking.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for arrow trucking, trucker desiree, truck driver shortage, truckerdesiree, and truck driver shortage 2010.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Why did I do it? April 2009
50 comments

2

Truck Driver Shortage April 2010
27 comments

3

Hi,This is me March 2009
53 comments

4

My Arrow Trucking Story May 2010
32 comments

5

Serial Killers and Trucking October 2010
20 comments

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I just returned from Memphis where I gave a seminar called “Social Media and Women Truckers’ at the 1st Annual Memphis Truck Expo.

Two rather broad topics but I decided to include them in one presentation to illustrate the following:

  1. How powerful social media has been for social justice issues.
  2. To demonstrate how influential individuals can be in social media.
  3. To emphasize that persistently covering up issues related to women truckers and to those women entering the industry will eventually come back to haunt carriers who are permitting it to occur.

In the past few months I have been contacted by a number of Social Media Experts & “Guru’s” who have been consulting with various trucking industry entities who are looking to launch social media campaigns.

For someone outside of the trucking industry who is doing research , odds are they will find one of the outspoken social media truckers.

Here is the problem for the trucking industry:

Social Media cannot be “Controlled” the way mainstream media and advertising has been in the past. The trucking industry has been very slow to understand this.

When I spoke to contacts in supply chain / logistics to let them know about my presentation the response was: “Good, someone needs to tell them because they do not get it.

What this person meant was “Transparency” is what the trucking industry does not get. Saying you are being transparent can just as easily mean you are being a transparent liar but for someone who has never had to do business with all cards on the table this concept is difficult to grasp.

The power of social media is enormous. The first thing the trucking industry needs to recognize is that size does not matter. If your organization does not participate in listening and problem solving you are irrelevant.

Isn’t that logistics?

Unless you have a commitment to positive transparency you will fail in social media. Until the trucking industry can digest that transparency can be positive or negative, I do not recommend wasting any money launching a campaign that will fall flat.

If carriers cannot take the heat in a public forum to have their money source (Shippers) see how they treat employees (Drivers) or how they permit drivers to conduct themselves in public they will have a big problem in social media.

Currently, there are a number of mainstream media projects in development that will feature women truckers. This will inevitably create a recruiting boom for the unethical.

By creating the presentation called “Social Media & Women Truckers”, my hope is to help others in the trucking industry understand that corporate responsibility begins with each and every individual.

What I have referred to as my “Social Media Experiment” to see if one person could have a voice and make an impact is now complete.  I achieved my goal BUT I will continue to create a path for others who are searching for accurate information to enter this industry, at least until I see others stepping up to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, Women are still frequently being harmed during their training period, and violence against women in many areas of the trucking industry remains an issue. I will continue to use my social media presence to raise awareness of this fixable problem.

Ironically, Women Truckers to those outside and away from the trucking industry are admired. The image of a woman trucker is held in high esteem as a symbol of resiliency and strength. I have received emails from parents telling me that they hope their Daughters would grow up to be strong like I am, from old ladies telling me to keep talking and heard from Fathers of Daughters who are eager to see who will step up and make the necessary changes to create a more professional environment in the trucking industry.

I’d like to walk away now but it would be irresponsible to do that when few others are stepping forward. Women truckers carry a silent secret, they know others are being harmed in this industry and the truth is it’s best to not get involved for fear of retaliation. Other drivers, both Men and Women have been told “stay out of it” and targeted for retaliation for trying to stick up for someone who has been harmed, this is wrong. This mob mentality, prison inmate mentality, street gang mentality, religion based fanatic mentality must stop. The people being hurt,  retaliated against, shunned are the children of someone.

To me, being silent is not okay when someone is being harmed.

Looking the other way is NOT okay!

One person can have an impact and individual drivers participating in social media have seen this is true.

I will be sharing my presentation called “Social Media & Women Truckers” as a series of posts in the coming weeks on the self help website “Real Women In Trucking

I have included a preview here called:

What are you Sponsoring?”

Sponsoring Diversity is great, but do your homework. Are you sponsoring a cover up, an advocate or simply looking for a smoke screen to ease the impact of impending litigation? Violence against women is an issue worldwide. Silence equals an endorsement of violence in some male dominated industries.
 
 

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                                                                                                                                                        The last ride of Covenant Transport Truck 11438 was as eventful as it was in the beginning of my story when I began writing in 2008 on “Ask the Trucker”.

Generally, my dedicated account kept me east of Texas but as you know I am from California.  One of the reasons I wanted to enter trucking was so that I could run all 48 states because I have friends and family everywhere.  In late May, I got a load assignment from Ohio to Porterville, California and I was thrilled because my oldest Grandson Mason lives with his Dad in Porterville. I have been unable to my family for 4 or 5 years.

I was able to visit Mason at his school for lunchtime and go to his little league practice. You should have seen the smile on his face when I showed him the truck. He was so excited and he saw I had his picture in my bunk. 

A load to central California generally means heading south to get a load back east again. This was perfect so I could see my Mother, Step-Father and Niece. They did not know of the events in my student trucker story until after it was publicized.

I was only able to visit long enough to have dinner because I got a load out of Torrance, California that went all the way to Delaware. It sure was nice to see them again.

My load had a stopover in Chattanooga, Tennessee and I was told Truck 11438 had been sold; I had to come in to our home terminal to move into another truck.  It was time and I knew it was coming because many others on our dedicated fleet had to do the same. My truck had about 550,000 miles on it and it ran like a champ. I had minimal problems with it but I knew it was time for it to be cycled out of service.

Truck 11438 was the headquarters of the world I shared through twitter, it is where I was interviewed by Dan Rather  , plus it was @TruckinDogKarmas first home.

It was bittersweet for me on that last run because there have been so many memories on twitter of people who have come to meet me & the projects launched from inside that truck.  All those provocative tweets that were lobbed from my bunk using only my Palm Treo PDA that reached worldwide to spread my story and conduct my social media experiment.

When I received the number of the truck I was supposed to move into I was puzzled, it was not but 300 numbers different than mine, which meant it was old also and should also be up for sale soon.

Switching trucks does not mean getting a new truck and many of the other drivers were complaining they were being assigned trucks that had multiple mechanical problems which was delaying them from leaving out to roll again.  We do not get paid to move our stuff from truck to truck and we do not get paid to sit and wait for repairs. Some drivers had been there already a week with no pay, yet our terminal had new trucks everywhere.

From what I understand, trucking carriers will bring new trucks to sit on the property to make it seem like they have no drivers and this makes students get excited that they might get one of those brand new trucks.  It is a gimmick and according to Allen Smith on “Ask the Trucker” they often do not have to make payments on them until they are in service. So they are actually just using them as lures.

I could barely find room to park my bobtail there were so many new trucks out on our property when I arrived.  When I checked out the truck I was assigned I saw it had 100,000 miles MORE than my truck.  That meant it would be sold probably in the next go-round and I would be moving once again with no pay.

The interior was brand spankin new, the passenger side was brand spankin new, the back of the cab, all new metal, and the driver’s side old. On the Qualcomm was a message from the former driver that had not been erased, this is what it said: “Steering really starting to pull right on this truck. Did not want to deal with this Sunday evening traffic through mountains with this truck in shape it’s in. Getting ready to head out”, the driver signed his name and the message was dated.

That was the last message on the Qualcomm and this truck had obviously been pulled from a ditch, no way to know what happened to the driver.  I pulled the hood open to see many of the parts I have taken my truck in for that were repeat offenders in other trucks had not been replaced. According to my dispatcher this truck had been inspected and was road ready but the tires had gouges, the horn did not work and there were a number of other items I wrote up to send this truck back to the shop.

There were no guarantees that whatever caused this truck to end up in a major accident was resolved. I adamantly refused to accept it.  Poor equipment ends lives and as company drivers we are held responsible for equipment yet we have little say in repairs we feel are necessary.

Take the case of Daren Baird a female trucker who had 40 years accident free yet in a Tennessee rainstorm her truck crashed, ending her life. The trailer which usually hauled U.S. Mail was empty at the time and she was on her way to the terminal to begin her day. Daren Baird who appeared on the Today Show with host Meredith Viera may have been the victim of faulty equipment according to others who worked at the same company.  I have included the clip here when the crash was reported.

Watch Today Show Report on Crash of Daren Baird with Meredith Viera

The Tennessee company that Daren Baird worked for had a history of operating unsafe equipment according to another former driver for the company. The Department of Transportation rating for this company was a very high 92 with 100 being the worst.  According to sources, this company now has new DOT numbers which would in effect give it a clean slate.  You can read more about this tragedy and comments from other drivers with news stories included about equipment failures from this company in the following link.

Veteran Truck Driver Dies on the Road

There are new regulations coming to the trucking industry called CSA 2010 but unfortunately they have not been perfectly thought out with regards to willful negligence on behalf of carriers. Most people think of truck drivers as being Owner-Operators but this is not true. Many truck drivers are employees who have to argue for repairs on their trucks even though most of our bosses never take the time nor even know how to inspect one themselves.

My dispatcher at least has been man enough to admit he has never inspected a trailer or truck and would not know where to start. He was not happy that I refused the truck assignment but he told me he would assign me another.  I didn’t want to make him unhappy but I did not feel comfortable gambling my life on a truck that made me feel very uncertain of its overall safety.

The second truck option I was assigned had also been in a serious accident and was not even on the property.  It had been assigned to my girlfriend Deborah who had taken it to Detroit Diesel for major repairs and it would not be fixed for several days.  She had already lost many days of work with this truck babysitting it.

I agreed to wait for the second truck because I knew my girlfriend had inspected it with a fine tooth comb and persistently oversaw the many repairs it was receiving. She had been going to check on its progress and was monitoring which parts were being replaced.

My dispatcher issued me an advance to get a room to wait for the truck. It was too hot for Karma & I to sit and we are not supposed to idle. My stuff was half packed and it was a disaster to move around.  The off property mechanics told me the truck would definitely not be ready for a couple days because they were awaiting a part to be delivered. I made the best of it and packed up our bags to go stay at a motel close by our terminal.

I f you have read my student trucker story you will remember a part where I had to get off of the truck from my first co-driver who was a supposed to be a temporary after he became violent and I was shaking so hard I could not shift. He had been badgering me about my sex life trying to find out why I was not interested in him. In his final tantrum he declared I must be a racist because I was not responding to his come on. He proceeded to try to persuade me that he would never force me to have sex with him.

I was fresh out of a very poor training experience and had very little skills to drive on my own. I had no money and no one to call for help.  This guy had flirted his way into the trainer’s program with “MS” just before we had left our terminal despite his admission that his own dispatcher told him he had an attitude problem and should not become a trainer.

Shortly after I was on the truck alone with him he confessed he was only becoming a trainer to “Git a Female on the truck” and proceeded to badger me relentlessly until it reached the breaking point.

I was stunned when I finally got off the truck and I did not know who to call. This was not covered in orientation and it was after hours. Thankfully, the terminal manager gave me a number to call that I was not made aware of previously that was for emergencies. It was called the “Incident Reponse Center” and they helped me over the phone to get a room so I could get off the truck and away from that guy.

Unfortunately, on Monday morning when it was time to pay for the room again no one at my company was answering my calls. I kept being told to call “MS” but she was not returning my messages. I ended up being asked to move out of the room and sit in the lobby with all my stuff.

The lady at the front desk was extremely rude to me and went on and on about my company’s reputation and how they did this all this time. I am formerly of the hospitality industry so I was not amused to see this front desk clerk rant and rave about the company I work for while I sat in the lobby with all of my belongings around me.

At that time, I was new to Covenant Transport and like most students I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt that this was an isolated incident.

I called and called that day trying to find someone to put money on my card so I could go back in my room. I will admit I was also traumatized from the incident with the other driver. I just wanted to be alone while I waited for another truck to come pick me up. 

Most times I could reach no one or got disconnected. If I was able to reach someone, they just transferred me to another dead end where I was disconnected or got the Voice mail of “MS”.

Sitting in that motel lobby listening to the lady go on and on about Covenant Transport while being on hold trying to reach someone to pay for the room as I was told to do was more than frustrating, then a guy with an accent answered the phone. I explained to him the situation and within minutes I had money on my card and was back in my room.

All the excuses and run around about what proper channels I had to follow to get my room paid for and BOOM! One dispatcher who decided to go the extra mile handled in a few seconds. He was not my dispatcher and I have never met him in person but I will always remember his name.

That was over two years ago and I have had few instances where I needed a motel room since then.  I won’t recap it all but my point is that we have issues on the road and we are without home & wheels and we rely on our in-house support.

In a low paying company like mine, it’s true we live check to check. Because I had two very long trips with good miles I had no trip packs in the system, they had not been dropped so I was not getting a paycheck the week I came in to swap trucks.

I was also not eligible for an advance because I was no longer under a load. They had taken my Delaware load because it needed to be delivered before the repairs would be completed for the truck.  This is trucking, fly by night trying to manage life and work in a manner most people could not tolerate.

At least I had a direct number now to my dispatcher and he usually answered the phone so I did not foresee a problem calling to get more money on my card to pay for the room another night, except I was wrong.

A communication breakdown on when the repairs would be complete and one person in a meeting was all it took to derail my day. For whatever reason, no one could give authorization to pay for my room so here I was again being asked to sit in the lobby and wait for my company to pay.

I began calling as soon as the 9-5 staff had come to work that day but here it was past check out time and no one was available to handle the transaction. In a company the size of mine this seems to be absolutely unimaginable!

Having drivers in motels across the country for various reasons in a fleet our size should be a daily occurrence so making sure everyone has money to pay for their rooms before checkout… Come on, … what’s the problem? I mean, checkout time is the same time all over the world so it’s not a big mystery that this should be a first thing in the morning priority for whoever is in charge of authorizing it.

On this occasion, the lady at the front desk was polite and even spoke to my dispatcher to let him know that my stuff had to stay in the room but I had to come and sit in the lobby with @TruckinDogKarma until someone from Covenant Transport paid for the room.

I set up my laptop at a breakfast table and sat with Karma waiting. It was already lunchtime so I had hoped they would call soon but you never know. I decided to get up and walk down the driveway of the motel. Maybe my dispatcher could find someone else to help issue the funds?

I walked down the steep driveway of the motel and slipped. There was runoff water on the driveway from a backed up drain and it had accumulated algae. My knee went straight down into the blacktop and I saw something sticking out, it was my kneecap.

In a few seconds my life had changed again. A man saw me fall and called 911, I screamed so loud Karma ran back to the office with her tail between her legs. I think she went to get help and it worked! She was returned to me by several people who brought me ice until the Ambulance arrived. I remember seeing Karma standing there perfectly still, she looked so scared and she never has her tail like that.

I called my dispatcher and told him I fell and I would be going in the ambulance to the hospital; I needed help with the dog. He said he would send someone but in just a few minutes he arrived himself and took Karma. 

My Kneecap Shattered

My kneecap broke in half and the bottom half broke into 9 pieces. I went to a trauma center and had surgery the next day.  By a stroke of luck my girlfriends were in town for truck repairs at the same time. In over 2 years at Covenant Transport we have never all been in at the same time and Thanks God for them!

Deborah paid for the motel room, got my laptop from the lobby and put Karma back in the room where she stayed until they moved her to our company motel across the street.

Deborah helped me home from the hospital and my other friend Darlene helped me gather my stuff from truck 11438 after my surgery with a few other friends who were so nice to come help me and in the rain too!

Some very nice people from twitter drove up from Georgia drove up to get Karma and kept her for two weeks after my surgery because I could barely move around on my own. (Thanks to The Johnsons from Twitter)

After I was out of the hospital I stayed in our company motel which is quite shabby but I had no choice. Now I am recuperating in Florida and I am on a new adventure with workman’s comp and trying to get to my physical therapy on the city bus in a leg brace.

In my next post I will talk about my experience with workman’s compensation. When truck drivers are injured far from home they are reliant on their companies to help them get home with their belongings, pets and they are generally in a great deal of pain.

I plan to share with you how the supply chain works when the freight is the driver.

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R.E.A.L Women In Trucking

I wanted to take the time to introduce the web site R.E.A.L. Women in Trucking.  It was born as a result of what I saw lacking elsewhere and it has most certainly set the stage for what is to come.

In an effort to provide free self-help resources for fellow truckers & prospective student truckers the site is a place we can help ourselves to overcome obstacles in the trucking industry and network to others.

Social media has been amazing to get my story out and it has drawn other organizations concerned with workplace bullying to take an interest in the way truck drivers are treated and trained.

I have also been working on locating other useful links to use for research and employment law information.

Being “REAL” as opposed to unreal is about as plain as I can say it but I wanted to take it one step further by making the word “REAL” an acronym for what the mission is all about.

R. – Reaching Out

E. – Encouraging Others

A. – Achieving Personal Success

L. – Leadership

There is very little guidance by the trucking industry leaders or organizations to assist student truck drivers going from CDL School to their training carriers so that they can become successful, safe truck drivers.

The internet is full of misleading ads and the plethora of associations and organizations make it all the more confusing because they are not being clear on what their true income base relies upon.  Advocacy, insurance sales, recruiting?  It seems like everyone is trying to sell you the magic potion for a problem they have a hand in creating.  That is why this industry is so shady.

For experienced drivers and students alike, being sold your personal safety , your job security, your chance to sleep comfortable & safe, your ability to protest erroneous information placed on your DAC report.  It becomes a full time job in itself to keep up with it all.

As you become educated on this industry you begin to see that each obstacle has a smiling snake oil salesmen ready to sell you a remedy, it does not take long to see that problems created for drivers are another inner industry which are meant to get every nickel back from you that you worked so hard to make.

It takes a lot of effort to sort the good information from the heaps of garbage on the internet about becoming a truck driver and how to fight back.

As I have met other veteran women truck drivers I found that they are nothing like the few I encountered from other organizations who sought only to argue and stalk me around the internet.

I found instead that REAL Women Truckers who have huge hearts, they work hard, live quietly and mind their own business.  Many have kept their lips zipped about some terrible things they have seen out here but they are eager to be recognized and see this industry clean up its act.

In speaking to some of these women I found the same topics popping up.  Some of these gals have been driving since the seventies and started as teenagers learning from their Fathers.

One thing they would like to see changed is how women in the trucking industry treat them.

In my own story I encountered women who had the power to treat drivers fair but chose not to and what these veteran women drivers share is the same power issue.

Discussing various scenarios it seems to stem from a couple different things. We need to understand that a woman who works in-house is probably getting a good deal of male attention because this is male dominated industry.  After awhile, an immature woman might think she is superior to other women because she’s being told what a sweetheart she is all day.

There are a number of issues when in-house affairs with superiors or students begin to spill onto the driving population because these people start to become intoxicated with themselves and this can create a hostile atmosphere.  They have created an intimate atmosphere in the workplace and everyone else is having to suffer because of it. 

The self-confidence of a woman trucker is undenieable but when unintentionally caught in the crosshairs  of an in-house ego trip there is going to be a clash.  Women in support positions can and do retaliate to show superiority electronically or verbally.

There are women in the trucking industry who seem to want to treat women truckers as substandard and this needs to change.

These hostile work situations are  common with women as the try to compete with each other in male dominated industries.  What they should be doing is working together and leave their egos aside.  This idea was the inspiration for the post I made called “Wild West Women”.

Touching on our human nature to point fingers and pass judgment on everyone else who does not eat, pray and love like ourselves inspired me to write “Bring It On – Ethics in Sexual Harassment Training ” which by the way is almost non-existent in the trucking industry yet violence against women during their training period is ridiculously high.

When I say sexual harassment I do not mean someone saying you have a nice ass at a truck stop.  I mean being put on a truck to learn to drive with someone who tries to badger or force you to have sex with them in order to learn to drive the truck.  I am talking about trainers who say they will not let you pass if you do not have sex with them.  I am talking about dispatchers who call you for phone sex while you are driving all night and withhold miles if you don’t comply.  I am talking about companies who retaliate on women drivers when they report these acts and protect the predators.

Many of these trainers have had multiple complaints and the carriers do little if anything to protect other women from being victimized.  Having a trainer who is jacking off while watching you drive or jacking himself off while he drives, this is what I am talking about. I AM NOT talking about another driver calling you “Honey”!

When a female student returns to her trainers truck from a shower, she should not have to worry that her trainer will be lying on the bunk with a hard on telling her to suck his cock!  She should also not have to worry about being left in the desert which it seems everyone knows is common but no one does anything about it. WTF?  These things also happen to male students so it’s not only because women are in a male-dominated industry. It’s because there are sexual predators who have been thriving in mega-fleets that train students who are fresh meat. It is because students are off-guard because they believe their companies are run by professionals, they do not enter these carriers expecting this conduct but perhaps they should.

Co driving teams can be just as dangerous because probelms drivers are recylced back into the driving population when they too have had multiple complaints of violence or sexual misconduct against them. Students should be made clear that the truck IS NOT theirs and they may not throw one another off because one has a temper tantrum when they are getting nowhere trying to make a pass for sex. Screaming at or berating your co-driver is not acceptable and when it is time to get off the truck the carriers should not delay or they themselves are the guilty party should a trajedy occur.

This language is strong on purpose!   This is what goes on and when you are all alone 2000 miles from home in a truck, isolated with no one to call for help and someone does these things to you it is frightening and it is a violation of your human dignity but unfortunately the term sexual harassment brings out all the apologists who are afraid we might look weak if we say anything.

Ray LaHood and Oprah Winfrey have no idea what distracted driving is until they have ridden along to see what goes on at our government funded truck driving training carriers.

Another thing I found about real women truckers is that many have come from some sort of abuse in their past. Either as children or abusive spouses and they desire to work alone and be in charge of their own lives.  Truck driving is such a confidence booster for a woman.

If you have ever had your face kicked in by the steel toed boot of a man you thought loved you know what I mean.  Having someone brainwash you into believing that you could never amount to a hill of beans and then becoming a professional driver of an 18-Wheeler!  Well FUCK OFF! RIGHT?

This is not to say that women truckers hate men, most still hold the hope they will meet someone who can accept their independence and understand how hard they fought to have the courage to take the risk.

Once you have tasted this kind of freedom it is very hard to let someone control your life again and it’s very hard to find a man who can refrain from putting his two cents in where it is not needed.

That’s not man-hating, its self-confidence and some people DO NOT like that in a Woman.

Sherry Yielding Brown is one real women trucker I was lucky enough to meet when she drove to meet me in Hamilton, Alabama.  She was driving double wide manufactured homes as a teen on back country roads.

Sherry told me about her 20 year trucking career and her very short stint as a company driver for one of “The Big Nine” saying what a joke it was. She retired from the open road in 2005 now works in Safety & Operations for a small company who values their drivers. In her spare time she works on the Marion county domestic violence task force and she is a bead weaver.

I have met a number of women who are either formerly truckers or still driving who would like raise awareness about violence against women in the trucking industry in order to expose those who do it and those who cover it up.

 The Dan Rather Report Series into trucking stretched into a four part series is based on CLUES I intentionally put in my student trucker story as a civilian entering trucking.

The show titles are “Queen of the Road”, “Truck Talk”, “Mind Your Loan Business” & “Haul or High Water” they can be viewed by going to the iTunes Store and Searching up “Dan Rather Reports”, each episode is $1.99.

 The original unedited story is on the web site “Ask the Trucker” and it is called “A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker”.   The back-story and commentary of the attempted cover-up is here on the “Trucker Desiree” site but portions are included in the 3 part Q & A of Ellen Voie on R.E.A.L. Women In Trucking.

That series was born of a 2rd generation trucker by the name of Heather Rose who wanted to hear more after viewing the “Raw Sound Bytes from a Trucking Convention” video clip that had unfortunate remarks about Women Truckers.

The first post had so many comments I had to shut them down.  By the time the second and third posts were up I was ready to become ill as I watched this organization dig themselves in deeper with uninformed and very hurtful remarks about women truckers.

Heather Rose was in a distressed living situation just as the series was launched.  She has had very limited access to computers to see the fallout but her only wish like mine has been  “will it help to make changes?” 

I believe so because at this point denying what has been happening to the female driving population and denying that student females are recruited at nearly 20% when retention remains stagnate at 5 to 6% with all the evidence presented in this past year through social media I feel strongly that those with consciences are doing soul searching.

How far that will get us I am not sure because souls and conscience are not synonymous with the trucking industry.

Trying to come together as drivers for unity I have been happy to see so many men are joining our Facebook fan page called REAL Women Truckers , we have had only three troll attacks which is pretty good considering we post some very controversial issues.

In this process we have begun to draw more clear lines of who is seeking to divide us BUT continuing to deceive by selling themselves as unifiers.

One important item for all to note is the appeal for the CRST Sex Harassment Case was filed on November 30, 2009, you can read more about it by clicking HERE , Should this appeal fail the taxpayers will be left to pay the enormous $4.5 Million in attorney fees.

 This should make every American very angry and I should hope take action to see these government funded trucking companies be held accountable for their poor training and personal safety standards.

As we begin to see that workplace bullying legislation may apply to workplace bullying organizations like trucking we can start examining other tools to fight back such the NEW  “Sexual Harassment Registry” from our Twitter friends @eBossWatch .

Educating ourselves on trucking employment law will also help drivers find resources to correct false DAC reporting, locate trucking whistleblower information, find information for refusal to drive in unsafe conditions and other issues.

 Partnership projects on “Ask the TruckerBlog Talk Radio like this recent show with Paul Taylor Esquire of Truckers Justice help to assist all drivers learn what their rights are when being forced to do things that will affect their CDL. Listen to the Replay of “FORCED DISPATCH

The Owner-Operators United (OOU) has endorsed R.E.A.L. Women in Trucking and asks for unity to be inclusive of truckers wives who seen their share of disrespect as they trying to keep the support system going for their guys. Trucking wives are a big component to the success of their spouses, they are very much part of the team even if they are not behind the wheel.

Hope Rivenburg , the young Widow of trucker Jason Rivenburg , she’s done more for truckers this past year than almost anyone despite losing her husband, giving birth to twins days later, working her butt off for the Safe Trucker Parking bill “Jason’s Law” having to endure a murder trial , going to Washington D.C. to speak on behalf of all drivers with very little recognition or REAL help from this industry.

Mike & Linda Rone of RMR Consultants have been wonderful by helping with DAC issues for a few women drivers who need to get back to work and rebut incorrect information that was reported on them. They go above & beyond to help drivers be D.O.T. Compliant. Their services are worth the expense to give you peace of mind that you have your work documents in order when you begin searching for an employer.

Jim Weldon of Driver Match is a Driver/Trainer who has also endorsed our site because he feels strongly about encouraging women to enter the industry but feels they should be trained safely are treated with respect.

Team driving can be an effective learning tool if done properly; it can also be a better way to make money if you can find a compatible person to drive team with.

Driver Match is not a dating site like other misleading team driving love match sites. It is a site where drivers can enter their own criteria to see if they can get along to team drive, he will be adding a background check feature in the near future.

These are innovations from people who care about highway safety, personal safety and being effective, not about ripping someone off who cannot afford to be ripped off.

Part of being a good driver is being a conscientious person, the big picture is trying to create some unity again among drivers.

Truckers Against Trafficking”  is a group that simply asks us to be the eyes and ears while we are on the road to watch for unusual behavior by utilizing their wallet cards and calling the national human trafficking hotline.  They will be making their debut at the ‘Great American Truck Show” in Dallas, please stop by their booth a grab some wallet cards to share with other drivers.

Stand up for positive change people, we do not have to tolerate the smoothed over version anymore, not with social media. I am living proof of this.

Better training for all drivers with check and balances will help to eliminate the abusive system both in-house and inside the industry.

The art work for the site was done by Alex Raffi, an Editorial Cartoonist & Artist who also did Artwork for “Jason’s Law“. The intent was to show diversity because one of the biggest obstacles Women face is trying to control things that only lead to division.

If you have personal blog site you would like to link to R.E.A.L. Women In Trucking please email me TruckerDesiree@gmail.com

This is your opportunity to help others with what you know.

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