Ryder Systems, Inc. this week announced the company now offers a “female-friendly vehicle package for lease.”
Ryder says the package is the “first of its kind in the industry.” The company enlisted the help of Women in Trucking to help with the design elements.
“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, Ryder. “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. As an industry leader, we feel a responsibility to leverage our influence and find creative ways to deal with the professional truck driver shortage.”
Ryder is now offering 15-unique truck specifications to better meet the needs of female drivers, the company said in a statement.
“The ergonomic vehicles include features such as 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. Upon customer request, and depending upon the OEM model of vehicle, Ryder can also include the following options:
- ergonomically designed seats and adjustable armrest;
- hood lift/closure assistance mechanism;
- automated transmissions;
- 5th Wheel configurations with lower pull pressures to open the locking mechanism;
- automated 5th 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, Region Fleet Manager, PACCAR. “There really is no one in a more suitable position to provide feedback on this issue to manufacturers than Ryder. We are proud to support this initiative, which is critical to addressing a pressing industry need.”
The company says more women entering the trucking industry could be the key to solving the ‘driver shortage’ issue.
In the U.S., only 5% of drivers are female, Ryder states.
“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, Women In Trucking. “We are so pleased to see Ryder’s ef