CUSTOM CABINS MAKE IT EASY, RYDER
A LEASING company is making it easier for women to get behind the wheel of big trucks in the US.
Many American women are already driving heavy duty trucks but many others are put off by the design of some of the vehicles.
Most of the concerns are to do with the controls, given that most American rigs are designed to accommodate larger individuals.
Now Ryder truck rentals has come up with what it calls a female-friendly lease truck package, having consulted the Women in Trucking Association lobby group and leading US truck manufacturers.
The custom layout, which can be added to a range of trucks, includes up to 15 modifications all designed to make big rigs more accessible for female drivers.
These include, among other things: ergonomic seats, taller armrests, bonnet opening assistance mechanisms, automatic landing gear for trailers, automated turntable locking, easier-to-reach grab handles in the cab, better mechanisms to check on oil and coolant, revised instrument clusters, adjustable seat belt shoulder pads and improved security for when the driver is in the cab.
Depending on the make and model, most options will be available.
Women in Trucking has been pushing for better designed trucks for some time. Ryder’s initiative is likely to have greater impact because it buys so many trucks — manufacturers will pay attention.
“There is really is no one in a more suitable position to provide feedback on this issue to manufacturers than Ryder,” says Peterbilt and Kenworth fleet business chief Steve Schmotzer.
“We are proud to support this initiative, which is critical to addressing a pressing industry need.”
Ryder supply management head Scott Perry says shorter male drivers also could benefit from the changes. “This custom truck package is not only more ergonomically friendly to women but will also benefit drivers with the same types of needs,” he says.