Jennifer Harris, product planning manager, and two other female Freightliner employees were surveying women truckers about the issues facing them and about what they would like to see in a truck. In addition to typical questions such as rating the importance of items such as reliability, durability, quality, engine and price, questions aimed squarely at women included ones such as "Would you be interested in a cab interior customized specifically for women?" and "What would you say is the 'best' truck for a woman?"
"This is a growing market segment, and no one is addressing it," says Harris. "There's virtually no research out there."
When asked what the main issues facing women truckers are, Harris says, many cited as a big one is lack of respect -- not only from other drivers, but even more importantly, from shippers and receivers. "If this were any other business, there'd be harrassment lawsuits," she says.
Some of the things the drivers liked about Freightliner trucks were the recent introduction of optional adjustable foot pedals and the good visibility.
Women who filled out the survey were rewarded with a scented candle in a decorative glass container.