A female-friendly heavy-duty truck package will be available for lease through Ryder System, the company announced. The custom specification was designed with the help of several OEMs and the Women In Trucking Association.
Ryder says it's making the spec available to better meet the needs of female drivers with adjustments to service points, ergonomics and security. The vehicles will feature 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.
“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, vice president of supply management and global fuel products at Ryder.
Upon customer request, and depending on the model of vehicle, Ryder can also include other options to further improve ergonomics, such as ergonomically designed seats and adjustable armrest, hood lift/closure assistance mechanism, and automated transmissions. There is also a cab security system.
There are also trailer-related improvements such as fifth wheel configurations with lower pull pressures to open, automated fifth wheel locking mechanisms, and automatic landing gear operators for trailers.
Ryder cites the driver shortage as a reason to improve conditions for women, which only make up 5% of professional truck drivers in the U.S. The company is currently encouraging OEMs to make adjustable foot pedal height a standard feature in future truck models, which was identified by female truck drivers as an important need, according to a survey by Women In Trucking.
“Addressing driver comfort and truck cab design to accommodate the typically smaller stature of women is one of the issues where Women In Trucking Association is prompting changes,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT. “We are so pleased to see Ryder’s efforts in moving these ergonomic challenges into the forefront of the manufacturers’ design changes.”