Physical strength?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by sadears, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. sadears

    sadears Bobtail Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Please don't laugh too hard...but as a 50 year old female, it must be asked...

    How much physical strength is really required? I'm 5'3"...and a half. I've seen pictures of female truckers and my first thought is "I can do this." But then I see job descriptions that say one must be able to pick up 100 pounds. So...


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  2. halfburn

    halfburn Medium Load Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Jasper AL
    They want to make sure that you are strong enough to climb in and out of your truck without falling, dolly down a trailer without hurting yourself and unload a trailer if you ever have to. Most workmens comp claims used to come from lardazzes falling out of the truck or hurting their backs swapping trailers.
    In other words normal strength. I don't think 100 pounds is correct though. That sounds a little high.
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  3. bubba mark

    bubba mark Medium Load Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Women your size do just fine in the trucking industry. Most of them can out run a lot of us bigger guys. I wouldn't worry about it.
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  4. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    If you can whip your hubby into submission, you'll get hired. If you ever have a tough go of it, pretend your kid is depending on you and the strength will come from nowhere.
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  5. sadears

    sadears Bobtail Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Well, no hubby...probably because I couldn't whip him into submission :biggrin_25525: However, I can handle two 100-pound labs tugging on their leashes!

    Thanks all of you. That 100 pounds is what was advertised. I thought it odd, too. I'm hoping I won't have to load/unload. I just want to drive. I figure if I can climb up and down ship ladders, I can haul my happy butt into a truck cab.

  6. Trucked Up

    Trucked Up Light Load Member

    Oct 18, 2008
    You'll be fine. The worst you're likely to encounter is a stubborn tandem slide.

    And there'll be no shortage of men willing to help you with that at the truck stops. :)

    Hell, I've asked for help on occasion. There's no shame in it.
  7. Big Don

    Big Don "Old Fart"

    Sep 8, 2007
    Utah's DIXIE!
    Yeah, that is what we would ALL LIKE to do. But the reality of it is, there are very few truck driving jobs where you won't be required to load/unload or at least help in doing so. Even companies that advertise, "We are 98 % no touch freight," still has that 2 % to play with.

    In this business, you really never know what you are going to run into, that you will have to handle. When you deal with trucks and freight, anything can, and likely will happen.

    Now I'm not trying to discourage you here. Not at all. I just want you to be aware that you are not going to find a job that is "just driving." You have to be able to slide your tandems, if needed, raise and lower the trailer jacks, and believe me, some of these can be REAL ugly. You also will at some time in your career, likely have to jack up a fully loaded trailer that you have "jumped the 5th wheel on." A REAL PITA, not to mention embarrassing as the dickens! You will also likely have to throw chains in the winter time, at least sometimes.

    However, as Truck Driver said, most of the time, you can find someone to help you out if you are in a real jam. Particularly if you really look like you do need the help.

    Most big companies will give you their own DOT physical, and included in that will be a strength test as well as a test of your "staying power." But if you are really concerned about this, go down to your nearest truck stop and just watch the drivers. You will see folks there, that will make you just know that you will be fine!

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

    Oh, one more question: Are you sad ears, or are you S.A. Dears. And yes, I do know it is not any of my business!:biggrin_25525:
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  8. LavenderTrucker

    LavenderTrucker Medium Load Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Well, I am a woman... and I am no amazon... I am 5'3-5'4 and around 125 - 130lbs and in my mid 40's... I am also pulling flatbed... so, the tarps are heavy, maybe around 80lbs, but usually I only have to move them on and off the fork lift, and pull them off my load.
    For me I don't think the work is so much about heavy lifting, but, just lot's of different steps, Like in tossing the straps over the loads, then securing them.,. The winch bar isn't necessarily that heavy... only it does seem to be heavier on the last strap than it was on the first.. LOL
    For me, since I am pulling a flatbed, I also have to be comfortable and able to climb... on my truck, on top of my load.. so, it helps to be in shape. Usually again the fork lift guy will give you a lift to the top of your load... But, sometimes to, you are climbing up and down a couple of times and they have other things to do... It takes a little muscle and work to secure the tarp with the bungees and all... but again, it isn't one big heavy lifting thing... it is a lot of tugging, pulling, streatching and hooking over and over...

    I love flatbedding... and I enjoy the work... it has it's own challenges and it's own rewards.

    I also agree about the chaining the tires thing.... even if you never, ever plan to drive in weather where you need chains... you know the whole.. "If the roads are bad enough to need chains than I don't need to be driving on them." ... Well, that is fine, however, I just came from out west, I ran into snow, nothing to severe, but had to put chains on and pull them off a few times because of chain control.... of course, that means your out in cold snowy, weather, often in the slush and windy when you are doing it.

    I love what I do, so I also am not trying to discourage you. it is just, when most of us think about getting into trucking, we think about the pleasant side of it, not the walking several yards in the cold, snow or rain frm your truck to the truck stop to use the restroom, or dropping the trailer in the cold and the landing gear is froze, or fighting with the glad hands when your hands are fozen.
    What has tested me the most out here has not been any heavy lifting... it has been the sub zero temps, the isolation, the boredom when your waiting for loads, waiting to be loaded or unloaded, waiing for your feet and hands to unthaw....

    I love flatbedding...
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  9. road dust

    road dust Road Train Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I am 51 years old and 5 feet tall. Just starting out with Swift. Somehow I will do what needs to be done. Determination goes a long ways.
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  10. GuysLady

    GuysLady Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    The eye of the storm....
    I'm 5'1". I'm a drivers wife. And when I am with him, I am not just a seatcover. I can tarp and strap with the best of them. I have loaded and unloaded trailers, hooked and unhooked trucks (had class "A" permits at the time...) slid tantums, and thrown chains.... and I LOVE IT!
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