REAL Women in Trucking is a 501 (c) 6 Trade Association that was formed for the betterment of the industry.
To empower the women of trucking and those entering the industry through outreach programs, continuing education, advocacy, mentoring, networking, and ongoing support to promote retention, encouragement, and unity between both new and seasoned female drivers.
Our information and resources are for fellow drivers, prospective CDL students, media, trucking executives and the non-trucking community.
Poor CDL Training poses a safety risk to the public, the truck driver trainers and the CDL students seeking a chance for a new job. There is little accountability for the turnover rate that consistently stands between 98% and up to over 100%. Unsafe training practices can include using student labor to run team truck freight, encouraging student truckers to sign one-sided contracts for leased trucks, sexual misconduct and violence between trainers, students and/or co-drivers at troublesome carriers.
Knowledge Empowers and Protects Individuals:
We wish to raise awareness of violence against women entering trucking and network disenfranchised persons seeking assistance to locate mentors, self-help tools, appropriate CDL schools and training carriers.
Paid advertising, sponsorship opportunities and banner exchanges are available under certain terms which include ethical business practices and a desire to improve industry standards. Membership/Advertising/Sponsorship
Board of Directors:
Desiree Wood , President/Secretary
A divorced single Mother of 2 grown Children and Grandmother of 6. She began writing about her experiences as a single female entering trucking in 2008 on the “Ask the Trucker” blog. The still unedited story was written using mostly a cellphone.
It is called “A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker” which became the basis of 4 Dan Rather Investigative reports into truck driver training.
Desiree’s social media activity on Twitter and Facebook has been recognized internationally. Her personal blog “Trucker Desiree” and You Tube Channel continue to help new CDL students understand what can happen in entry level truck driver training if they do not do proper research before making a commitment to a CDL school or training carrier
A 71 year old owner/operator that drives a 1996 Peterbilt 379 (which she bought new), she pulls a 1996 Great Dane reefer. Sandi has been driving for 34 years which equates to approximately 4, 800,000 miles. She hauled hazardous materials for the US Government for 20 of those 34 years and spent 3-1/2 years pulling radioactive. She jokingly says that she “…pulled Radioactive for 3-1/2 years, bleached her hair blonde and still can’t find myself in the dark…” Trucking is Sandi’s life, It has allowed her to continue to be self-sufficient after becoming a Widow. She has seen many changes in the industry during her 34 years and notes that there was not much networking among women drivers. She decided that if she remained silent on issues important to her then she would go to her grave without helping her fellow drivers.
Idella Hansen Director
Idella began driving at the age of 11 on a 1941 Chrysler, she learned early in her life that she had a love for vehicles. She married into a family who business was a Union 76 bulk fuel plant. Her first truck driving job was a 6 wheel straight truck fuel tanker in California. She later moved to Arkansas with her husband where they had a garage and a wrecking yard. They bought a cab over with a flat bed but an equipment issue caused her husband a fall that resulted in a broken neck. Now as the primary income earner it was up to Idella to keep the truck working. The owner of the company where they were leased thought he could put another driver in their truck and refused to let Idella work as a solo driver. She took her truck to another carrier called Smithway motor express and felt she was fortunate that on her first try she found a company that appreciated her and welcomed female drivers. Her marriage ended but at Smithway she excelled, it was not long before she was a top driver. She gained respect by proving that despite the obstacles she could could handle the job as a responsible solo driver. As the years passed she developed contacts in the trucking industry that appreciated her ability. Today she feels that giving back to the young women entering the industry is very important. Idella says she learns everyday and would like to be able to help the new gals entering trucking with wise words from experience. She says: “Things are different now , back then if you had a equipment failure or small incident you shrugged it off and went on, but now it may mean your drivers licence and more important your job”. Idella feels she can give back to women entering trucking by helping them understand they are a viable asset by making herself available to answer questions and promote this attitude in the industry.
Tracy Livingston Director
Tracy is a trainer at USA Truck, She was part of the original CRST Van Expedited Sex Harassment Class Action Lawsuit and acted as an expert witness on behalf of another female driver who sued the carrier. She experienced all of the poor training and poor leadership yet went on to train female student with the goal to put more qualified women on the road. Tracy says that fewer than 1 in 6 women will make it through truck driver training even in a personally safe training environment simply because they were mis-informed by recruiters about what it takes to become a trucker. She is a passionate about helping student truckers learn how HELP themselves and adjust the the trucking lifestyle.
Paula Ballard Treasurer
Paula is originally from Texas, She is CFO for Ballard Custom Elevators in Pompano Beach, Florida. While Paula is not a driver herself she has a deep passion for justice and the integrity we require to serve on our board of directors.
Mentors and Founders
Alison Morris drives all 48 states pulling an open deck trailer, She has been trucking for 10 years. Alison reminds new drivers that “…Trucking is a life-style not just a job…” and she believes that this is where many people are mislead into the profession because they do not realize that part of the job/lifestyle is to spend alot of time away from home, family and loved ones. Life on the road is one of solitude and this can get hard at times. Alison says “… I became a senior contributing member of REAL Women in Trucking , to help form a place where women drivers can network, share experiences, form friendships and lend a helping hand to each other along life’s journey, America moves by truck! ” In addition to participating in public awareness projects for the REAL Women in Trucking and the weekly free Women Truckers Network phone conference events, Alison also occasionally post photos on our “Women Truckers on Pinterest” social media account.
Karen Martin is an owner-operator that attended Grand Valley State University of Michigan for Interdisciplinary Studies, Human Resource Development and Social Ethics. She writes for our newsletter and offers guidance and support as a virtual mentor for both new and seasoned female drivers.
The intent of “REAL Women in Trucking” is to show diversity.
There are Gay Truckers, Intersexed Truckers, Vegetarian Truckers, Cowboy Truckers, Christian Truckers, Pagan Truckers, and Hare Krishna Truckers, Politically Active Truckers, Computer Geek Truckers, and some who simply should NOT be out on the road for reasons of highway safety & personal safety to others. Our message is meant to help those seeking information to make better choices.
Are you ready to GET REAL?
Facebook: “REAL Women Truckers”
You Tube: “Women Truckers Network”
Blog Talk Radio: “Women Truckers Network”
For more information, Contact: Desiree Wood (561) 232-9170