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Women In Trucking’s truck cab design research presented in Paris conference

Women In Trucking’s President/CEO, Ellen Voie, along with Dr. Jeannette Kersten, University of Wisconsin-Stout, presented their research findings from their paper: Truck Cab Design: Perceptions of Women Truck Drivers at the Women’s Issues in Transportation (WIiT) Conference in Paris France.  The trip was sponsored by Ryder System, Inc., which has partnered with the association to implement design changes in its fleet.

Over 3000 attendees from the transportation industry both US and international, participated in a wide range of conference activities and venues related to the issues women face when encountering with transportation systems both at the employment and end user levels.  The conference paper received international attention that has resulted in several inquiries from representatives in the transportation industry in Europe in regard to ongoing partnership and research.

“Today’s trucks are not designed with women in mind,” Kersten said. “Given the driver shortage and the changing demographics that the trucking industry faces, it’s important for manufacturers to make trucks more female-friendly through moderate design changes for seats, pedals and gauges, for example.”

“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,” said Scott Perry, Ryder Vice President for Supply Management. “We are pleased to support this initiative by promoting changes to vehicle specifications in our own fleet, as well as by sponsoring the travel to Paris to present the research at the WIiT conference,” Perry added.

The findings of the study focused on eliciting the perceptions of women truck drivers regarding the design and equipment needs and recommendations for Class 8 trucks.  This research is significant due to limited data sources about truck design needs for women drivers. The findings of the 2012 electronic survey that was distributed to 663 Women in Trucking Association members were discussed.  For the most part, survey participants in this study were satisfied with their trucks. Another significant finding of this study was that the height of participants was not a limiting factor, which explicates the broad applicability of the results of this study.