Record Number of Women Drivers Competing at NTDC
Stan Lindsey Photography
Eleven women, a record number, are competing for top honors this week at the National Truck Driving Championships.
The annual event, this year in Pittsburgh, has never in its 77-year history had more than eight women competing, according to its primary sponsor, American Trucking Associations.
Six of the 11, drive for FedEx, the only carrier that has more than one woman in the competition.
The number of women contestant this year marks another “awesome” milestone for the trucking industry and for women, said Ellen Voie, president of Women In Trucking, a national organization that seeks to get more women behind the wheel.
Photo: FedEx team members, left to right: Christy Tolbert, Kathy VanTassell, Debbie Conn, Becky Nelson, Rachel Bothwell and Lindsay Smith
NTDC, which has 426 drivers in all competing this year, is a “great opportunity to show the non-trucking public the advances the industry has made” in becoming more diverse and driver friendly for anyone interested in a driving career, Voie said.
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“Women are gaining momentum as their presence as professional drivers becomes more visible,” she said. “The female competitors are mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters who competently handle these rigs through the maneuvers and complete the oral and written portions of the test alongside their male counterparts.”
Three of the 11 women are competing in the step van competition, now six years old. However, the others are spread across the spectrum of driving divisions, flatbed, twins, four-axle, three-axle, and straight truck.
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|By Michele Fuetsch|
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