Ryder System is now offering a “female-friendly” vehicle lease package that includes specs designed to meet the needs of female drivers.

Ryder worked with various OEMs and the Women in Trucking Assn. (WIT), a non-profit organization established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, on the vehicle design, which includes 15 unique specifications. These same ergonomic specifications will also provide a benefit for many male drivers in the industry, Ryder said.

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.”

Only 5% of professional truck drivers in the U.S. are women, Ryder noted, but the company said it is committed to identifying truck design gaps and influencing improvements in future vehicle designs that make driving a more attractive career option for women. 

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