February 6, 2015 4:30 PM, EST

Ryder Sets Truck Specification Designed for Women Drivers

Ryder System Inc.

Ryder System said it will offer customers a female-friendly vehicle package for lease, which it described as the first of its kind in the trucking industry.

With the help of various OEMs and Women in Trucking, the company is making available a custom vehicle design, including 15 unique specifications, to better meet the needs of female drivers.

“This custom truck package is not only more ergonomically friendly to women, but will also benefit other drivers with the same types of needs,” said Scott Perry, Ryder’s vice president of supply management and global fuel products.

“Our intent is to not only help attract more women to the industry, but also to make the vehicles easier and safer for a broader range of drivers to operate,” he said. “We feel a responsibility to leverage our influence and find creative ways to deal with the professional truck driver shortage.”

Ryder Supply Chain Solutions, part of Ryder System, is ranked No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

“Addressing driver comfort and truck cab design to accommodate the typically smaller stature of women is one of the issues where Women In Trucking is prompting changes,” said Ellen Voie, that group’s CEO. “We are so pleased to see Ryder’s efforts in moving these ergonomic challenges into the forefront of the manufacturers’ design changes.

The ergonomic vehicles include adjusted height and placement of cab grab handles, adjustable seatbelt shoulder straps, improved placement of dash cluster gauges and better access to oil and coolant checks and fill ports.

Ryder said that it can also include such things as ergonomically designed seats and adjustable armrests; a hood lift/closure assistance mechanism; automated transmissions; fifth-wheel configurations with lower pull pressures to open the locking mechanism; automated fifth-wheel locking mechanisms; automatic landing gear operators for trailers; and a cab security system that offers personal protection while a driver is in his/her sleeper berth.

“Ryder is one of the largest purchasers of heavy duty-trucks in North America and has a great deal of visibility into the needs of the professional truck driver,” said Steve Schmotzer, regional fleet manager for Paccar Inc., which makes Kenworth and Peterbilt brand trucks. “We are proud to support this initiative, which is critical to addressing a pressing industry need.”