Heavy Equipment Guide Logo

This ad will close in 15 seconds

Rapidly evolving trucking industry diversifies with top female talent

Christina Ameigh, regional vice president, western region with Volvo Trucks North America.
Christina Ameigh, regional vice president, western region with Volvo Trucks North America.

Company info

P.O. Box 26115
Greensboro, NC
US, 27402-6115


Read more

The trucking industry is the backbone of our economy, relied upon to safely and efficiently transport goods that support daily needs. In fact, the trucking industry is the single largest mover of freight and is expected to carry nearly 22 billion tons in 2029, a 35 percent increase in freight volume from today. Women are now making up more and more of the industry demographic, challenging stereotypes and making notable contributions across every link of the value chain.

Offering rewarding careers in fast-paced, technologically advanced environments, the industry is working continuously to attract talented professionals to sustain its rapid growth and evolution. Driven by safety, efficiency, sustainability and driver comfort, Volvo Trucks North America is committed to developing innovative technologies that will attract the number of professionals working in trucking, from drivers, technicians, engineers, marketing and sales professionals, and beyond.

Keys to driver retention

A strong economy with healthy consumer spending is increasing demand for transporting goods regionally and across the country, presenting countless opportunities for professional females, including drivers. Volvo Trucks is dedicated to enhancing the design of its products to ensure safety and increased comfort for drivers, as well as creating an improved perception of the profession and the industry and as a whole.

"Safety is a top priority and core value of Volvo Trucks and it is also a top concern of drivers, purchasing managers and fleet owners," said Christina Ameigh, regional vice president, western region at Volvo Trucks North America. "They want the comfort of knowing they're putting their driver behind the wheel of the safest truck on the road." In an effort to attract and retain professional drivers, Volvo Trucks incorporated feedback from more than 2,000 professional truck drivers when adding enhancements to its new VNL and VNR models, including adjustable seating and three-point seat belts to accommodate smaller body frames, a new dashboard with often-used controls in the driver's reach and a customizable driver information display visible at quick glance. 

Features such as the enhanced Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0 and new Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) have also been incorporated in Volvo powered trucks in an effort to improve comfort, productivity and safety by reducing physical strain on the driver. VADA 2.0, a comprehensive collision mitigation system that monitors and reacts to traffic, is now standard in the Volvo VNR and VNL models, and available as an option in the VNX. VDS, an ultra-responsive steering system designed to lessen steering force up to 85%, will soon be available as an option in the Volvo VNL and VNR models in early 2020. Each of these innovative systems make the physical aspect of driving Volvo Trucks much easier for both male and female drivers, but the impact of this technology extends beyond the road itself.

Grease, gears and cutting-edge technology

The need for innovative connectivity solutions and advanced-technology-driven features are a major reason behind an influx of higher-skilled job opportunities for women in the industry. Kim Mesfin, president at Affinity Truck Center, notes that Volvo Trucks is often recognized for its ability to blend trucks and technology, which creates an entirely different type of job for people who may have previously only seen the industry as grease and gears. "If you look and spend time reading about these trucks and Volvo's ability to communicate over-the-air, it is very cutting-edge," said Mesfin. 

 For example, Volvo's Remote Programming and Remote Diagnostics capabilities come standard on the new VNL and VNR models, enabling customers to receive updates over-the-air, during a short meal or operational break, all while having 24/7 access to Volvo-trained advisors. Mesfin, having previously worked in communications, also believes that the application of marketing could bring in the diverse talent needed to sustain the tech boom the industry is experiencing. 

"The dealership environment has never really tried to employ marketing to modernize the perception of the industry and illustrate that is changing rapidly," Mesfin added. "As all of these dealerships start hiring marketing personnel, the platform, operations and communication will drastically change, drawing in a more diverse and talented workforce."

Benefits of the business

Kirsten Swift, account manager at Advantage Truck Center, notes the recent uptick in female mechanics and drivers, crediting the increase to wage equality, freedom to work independently and flexible schedules. Professional female truck drivers are paid the same as their male counterparts and have significant opportunities to support themselves and their families. Benefits often include healthcare, paid leave and retirement savings packages. 

Chelsea Pottle Demmons, vice president of Pottle's Transportation, also pointed to flexibility as an essential element of the job for many female drivers. "We have a lot of local drivers that are home every night," said Demmons. "We make it a priority here specifically, that no matter what, our drivers are home weekly."

That flexibility is also a benefit for the young professionals who want to see the country from the road, added Ameigh. "Professional drivers have an opportunity to travel, experience different cities and work with professional organizations that offer great benefits and flexibility," said Ameigh. "If there was ever a time when the trucking industry was clearly a driver's market, it's today." 

Volvo Trucks' culture creates opportunities for women at every level within the organization, from business strategies and truck sales to the design and engineering of the truck models themselves. "No matter what specific job you do, whether you're in a service department at a dealership or out there on the road every day, you are part of an industry that is making a difference," said Mindy Uitvlugt, service advisor at M&K Truck Centers. "Transportation is very important and the need for great talent is only intensifying." 

More from Trucking

Edmonton technician becomes first woman to earn Kenworth's highest service certification

The personal interests that develop at an early age are often the ones that will last a lifetime. From fixing equipment on the farm with her father, to becoming the first woman in the Kenworth dealer network in Canada and the United States to achieve the prestigious Kenworth Certified Master Technician status, Jennifer Lesnik always knew she had the skillset to work on heavy equipment as a profession.

Calculating the true costs of heavy-haul trailer ownership

With a cost on par with the average home mortgage, heavy-haul trailers represent a significant investment for businesses. The right trailer can provide fast ROI, greater productivity and increased profits. The wrong decision, however, can leave trucking companies with the financial burden of a unit that will cost far more in the long run than the business is prepared to take on.  

FUSO Class 5 FE 180 GAS cabover production kicks off

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. (MFTA) announced that production of the industry's first Class 5 cabover gasoline-powered work truck has begun at the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) plant in Gaffney, South Carolina. FCCC is a sister company within Daimler Trucks. This truck adds to the lineup of FUSO's already popular Class 4 gasoline models introduced in 2018.

Daimler Trucks North American alternative energy efforts earn 2019 Clean Air Technology nod

Daimler Trucks North America LLC has been recognized with the 2019 Clean Air Technology award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD). DTNA was recognized for its Innovation Fleet from Freightliner, a 30-vehicle fleet of battery electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks currently testing integration of battery electric commercial vehicles into large-scale transportation operations.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Autocar releases new concrete mixer and concrete pump truck models

Autocar Trucks has announced the launch of two truck models purpose-built to serve the concrete and construction industry: the Autocar DC-64M, for concrete mixers, and the DC-64P for concrete pump applications. The Autocar DC is a completely new conventional truck engineered from the ground-up for severe-duty vocational applications. Autocar's guiding mission is to build trucks to be "Always Up" - that is, to stay in service despite the challenges they face, year-after-year. The Autocar DC-64M and DC-64P bring several notable innovations that make them uniquely suited for their respective vocations.

NTEA training module focuses on vehicle powertrains

To support employee education and training in the work truck industry, NTEA has developed a Truck Equipment 201 module covering commercial vehicle powertrains. TE201 is intended as a series of online course modules, designed for those with technical knowledge seeking deeper understanding of specific topics outlined in TE101 — the introductory course released by NTEA in 2017. This powertrain module — the second TE201 course — will help expand understanding of the vehicle powertrain by reviewing horsepower and torque, engine function and alternative propulsion, power and torque transfer by the transmission, and driveline and axle.

ICUEE 2019: What to see at the demo expo, part three

ICUEE, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, will take place October 1-3 in Louisville, Kentucky. ICUEE is the utility industry's largest trade show, covering 28+ acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and bringing together more than 18,000 utility professionals every two years.

Automated trucks hit public roads as Daimler Trucks starts testing

Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics are actively developing and testing automated trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on public roads. The initial routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Torc Robotics is headquartered. All automated runs require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics. All safety drivers hold a commercial driver's license and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

3D printing technology finds place improving quality at Volvo Trucks factory

Volvo Trucks North America is utilizing 3D printing technology to produce tools and fixtures used in the manufacturing process at its New River Valley (NRV) plant in Dublin, Virginia, where all trucks for the North American market are built. The implementation of 3D-printed manufacturing tools enables quicker production and continuous quality improvements.

Dynamic maintenance service further improves Volvo Trucks uptime

Volvo Trucks introduces dynamic maintenance, a connected vehicle maintenance service which seeks to improve fleet operations efficiency through proactive and flexible vehicle-specific maintenance planning. The service is designed in partnership with Noregon Systems, an IoT (Internet of Things) company specializing in connected vehicle solutions.

Volvo Trucks introduces enhanced turbo compound engine in VNL models

Volvo Trucks North America is introducing the next generation of its Turbo Compound technology, providing up to an additional 3 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the current 13-litre Turbo Compound engine, the D13TC. This new engine delivers up to 11 percent fuel savings overall compared to model-year 2015 trucks. Other improvements include enhanced efficiency over a wider range of applications, more engine ratings and a new EE Extra Efficiency drive mode. The new D13TC will be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2019 and go into production at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Philippi-Hagenbuch invents new positive seal tailgate for truck bodies & containers

Philippi-Hagenbuch Inc. has invented a new version of their Autogate Tailgate specifically for off-highway trucks and roll-off containers that require a 100% positive seal. This new design can be paired with PHIL's proprietary fluidic seal material to create a water-tight seal that contains liquid materials within an off-highway truck body or roll-off container when environmental regulations or local laws make even slight spillage undesirable.  

PTO output boosted on diesel-powered 2020 Ford Super Duty chassis cab

New on the 2020 Super Duty Chassis Cab, Ford is proud to offer Power Takeoff (PTO) as standard with its 6.7-litre Power Stroke turbo diesel engine for auxiliary power needs on commercial vehicles. Combined, the 6.7-litre Power Stroke and all-new TorqShift 10-speed heavy duty automatic transmission with the power takeoff provision delivers best-in-class stationary torque of up to 300 lb.-ft. for commercial vehicle bodies that require direct-to-component or hydraulic body motor power. That's 50 lb.-ft. more than the closest competitor.

Service trucks take repairs on the road

Downtime is a curse word among contractors, but the fact is that it's hard to avoid it sometimes. When a machine or truck suffers a breakdown on the job, the need to haul that asset back to the shop just means that downtime is extended.

New GMC Sierra AT4 All Mountain gets Stampede kickoff

The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 All Mountain made its official debut leading the  2019 Calgary Stampede Parade. The Sierra All Mountain takes GMC's signature bold design and innovative engineering excellence to new heights, adding tank-like tracks that help it navigate rugged, snow-covered off-road terrain.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more