Women Drivers Take on Oversize Freight at Lone Star Transportation
(April 10, 2019)
- Not everyone’s cut out for the world of hauling flatbed, oversized, and extreme over-dimensional freight. But at Lone Star Transportation, it’s a challenging and satisfying career for a handful of women drivers – and the company is recruiting more.
Lone Star driver Sage Mulholland drove over-the-road several years for a major dry van carrier before deciding to drive a flatbed.
“I may be just 5 foot 2 inches tall, but I can strap, chain and throw 50-pound tarps over loads as well as any other driver,” Mulholland says. “I don’t feel intimidated one bit, from hauling the small stuff to the big stuff. Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I’m not able to do something like this.”
Lone Star Transportation, part of the Daseke family of companies, is a specialized heavy haul carrier that transports flatbed, oversized and extreme over-dimensional loads (including being an early entrant in the wind energy hauling business). Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the company has 16 full-service terminals and runs some 450 trucks, a mix of company trucks and owner-operators.
CFO Kristi Williams says the company is seeing an uptick in female driver applications, partly because flatbed and over-dimensional trucking jobs pay better.
“Women truck drivers, like women in other fields, want to earn more money and respect in their careers,” Williams explains. “They want access to the same advancement opportunities as men. As a professional truck driver, that means taking on jobs in which they haul bigger, more specialized freight.”
Williams says typically they get maybe an average of one woman applicant per month.
Currently Lone Star has nine women drivers – four owner-operators and five company drivers.
Williams explains that Lone Star has a leveling program that helps drivers – male or female – advance through five levels of increasingly difficult open deck responsibilities.
“We have a training program where we can get you to that big stuff and help you make your goals,” she explains. “And it’s like a college degree, it takes four to five years. You have to have so many loads at each level before you get to promote up.”