Women in Trucking - One Woman's Journey

The school I am attending is an extension of Boise State University. After I graduate and do 6 weeks of on the job training, I will receive 19 credits. This school requires that I attend in class training of 120 hours and in the field driving of over 200 hours. Long school. I chose this school because they cover a lot of things you need on the road and because my husband went there and thought it was the best.

There are only 3 women in a class of 10. The instructors are all male. We feel out numbered. It has been the curse of women who try to break into a man's field that we need to be better in order to survive. As we looked at each other, we all knew that. It was an unspoken sisterhood. We smiled at each other.

We spent most of the first 2 nights in the classroom filling out the obligatory paperwork, getting to know each other, going over the syllabus and swapping stories about ourselves. We got to know each other's names. We were told what would be expected of each of us. It seemed like a lot to comprehend.

My mind froze on the 82-point inspection that we would have to know, by heart, by the end of May. I had never been mechanically inclined. I knew which end of the truck the engine was in, but that was about as far as I went. This inspection was going to make me know engine parts and tire tread depth and king pins and fluid levels and brake linings and-.my mind was reeling. It seemed like so much to learn.

I called my husband. I told him I would never learn all the points. I told him that maybe this was a mistake. He laughed and said that we would be doing that inspection every time we got in a truck. That by the end of two weeks of driving, I would know the parts of that inspection like the back of my hand. Sure, I will.

I set about trying to memorize the points of the inspection. Wasn't going to happen. Since I had never seen these parts, I couldn't memorize them. I was doomed. Ordinary studying skills were not what I needed this time. I needed hands on experience. I needed for a mechanic to tell me what I was looking at. I needed a miracle.

The rest of the things we were going to learn didn't give me the nightmares (at least that first week) that the inspection did. I had driven all my life. I could do anything in that truck that I could do in every day truck. I was a good driver. It was going to be a piece of cake.