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Planning for Murphy’s Law

By Sandy Long

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

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Sharing the Road with Semi-Trucks

By Sandy Long

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

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Life Saving New Year Resolutions

By Sandy Long

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

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Dangerous Places

By Sandy Long

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

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Respect Received is Respect Given

By Sandy Long

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

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Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving Season

By Sandy Long

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

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UV Rays and Trucking

By Sandy Long

UV Rays and Trucking

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The Quest for Excellence

By Sandy Long

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

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Protecting Yourself

By Sandy Long

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

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Opportunities in Trucking

By Sandy Long

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

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African-American Women Consider Trucking

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

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

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Working Together Through Tough Times

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

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

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Natural Anthropologists

Have you ever watched how people act when they are driving their cars? Many make one scratch their heads in wonder. With all the education one gains people watching, truck drivers could be considered anthropologists.

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The Missing Truck Driver Alert Network

Women In Trucking members Lee and Kari Fisher are owner operators. Kari is a wife/rider on the truck helping with all aspects of the job except for driving. A few years ago, a friend contacted Kari and told how her husband was missing on the road. Trying to help, Kari looked for anyone who assisted missing drivers’ families … there were none. Seeing a need and having the time available, Kari founded the Missing Truck Driver Alert Network (MTDN) in social media and online.

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Lifestyle Changes

Personal

Many women who enter trucking experience culture shock after they get on the road for the first time after school. Preconceived notions about trucking shatter as they realize the reality of the job and find that their lives change in many ways. Some adapt, some do not and quit before they get really started.

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Keeping the Changes Coming

When Ellen Voie founded the Women In Trucking Association back in 2007, I quickly joined becoming a charter member. Ellen taught me right off that growing an association takes time, but once that growth could get going strong, changes could be addressed. In the nine years I have been involved with the Women In Trucking Association, I have seen those changes occurring.

For many years, women truck drivers were the little known secret of trucking; we were not acknowledged as truckers often if at all. Companies, of course, liked women in teams, because of the extra revenue teams can generate. And some even said that women drivers were safer. But they did not go out of their way to hire us or to encourage us to apply. Women from trucking families or with friends that were truckers might have looked to trucking as a career, but few from the general public even considered becoming a truck driver; most would get this look of horror if one mentioned doing so.

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Jumpers and Other Horrors

People are despondent for many reasons: the economy is bad, a fight with a partner, perhaps someone has a major illness or is mentally ill. They decide to end their lives. Sadly, many think of doing it by truck. The latest reported at the time of this writing in April, 2016 is of a Pennsylvania man who had a fight with his partner, got in his car and found a trucker to run in to. Luckily, the local sheriff had been called to this man’s residence earlier that evening for a domestic dispute so the trucker was not charged.

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Image: Attitude or Appearance

There is a lot of talk about improving truck drivers’ image. Years ago, truckers were the knights of the road. These days they are considered everything from drug addicts to serial killers. Can that image be improved by truckers just dressing better or showering more or is it going to take an attitude adjustment?

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Helpmates: The Unsung Women In Trucking

We often hear of women who drive, fix, or manage trucks, however, there is a segment that is rarely mentioned, and at times is looked down upon. These are the wives and girlfriends who ride with their partners, but do not drive. Helpmates are a valuable part of trucking. They keep their driver company, assist in a hundred ways on the truck, and sometimes get involved in the trucking industry outside of the truck.

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Five-Point Checklist for Aspiring Expediters

You’re considering becoming an expediter to be your own boss, set your own schedule, see the country. Or, perhaps, you even dream of owning your own fleet of trucks in the future.

Whatever your ambitions, the expedite business is just that — a business — and that involves both risks and rewards.

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