March 17, 2014 9:00 AM, EDT
Ryder, Women in Trucking Team to Alter Cab Design for Female Drivers

Ryder System Inc. said that in partnership with Women in Trucking, it is seeking to adjust the design of its cabs to address challenges faced by women when operating heavy-duty vehicles.

Using research recently conducted by WIT, Ryder identified custom vehicle designs that better meet the needs of female drivers.

The study by WIT and the University of Wisconsin-Stout, showed female drivers typically have problems setting their seats for easy access to the pedals and maximum visibility of the gauges and mirrors.

The average female driver is 6 inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter than male drivers, which can create issues, according to the study.

The physical differences can create issues for female drivers operating trucks designed and built for men, including seats, pedals and gauges.

“It's important for manufacturers to take women’s needs into consideration when designing and specifying new vehicles, and we are encouraging all of our major suppliers to do so,” Scott Perry, Ryder vice president of supply management, said in a statement.

Some of the adjustments Ryder is reviewing include: height and placement of cab steps and grab handles, adjustable foot pedal height, height of seat belts, visibility of dash gauges as well as better access to oil and coolant.