Why Are More Women Driving Pickup Trucks Than Ever Before?
When you think of pickup truck owners, does your mind automatically conjure up images of rugged, weathered-faced cowboys, or burley construction guys in blue jeans and work boots? While that image may represent some of the ever-expanding truck market, it’s not an accurate depiction of truck owners as a whole.
According to Ford’s 2020 Great American Truck Survey,46% of truck owners are women. As a woman who loves her truck (and is launching a tailgate accessory,) I decided to reach out to my fellow female truck owners (there’s a big group of us on social media) for their thoughts on why they choose trucks over all other options. They had a lot to say.
Follow along to learn more about the benefits of driving a truck for women.
Women Feel Safer in Pick-Up Trucks
Across the board, women listed feeling safe as a top reason they love their trucks. The overall size and height of a pickup truck provides a sense of protection that cars and SUVs just can’t match. One woman summed it up pretty well: “I decided on a truck for safety. It sits up much higher and I'm able to see better while driving. Plus, I know that if I were in an accident, I’d be safer.”
Who doesn’t like a sense of safety when traveling to and from in your vehicle of choice?
Women Feel Empowered Driving Trucks
Among the 60 responses I received from female truck owners, almost every single one of them indicated that owning a truck gives them a sense of independence. They love that they don’t need to rely on others to get stuff done. Owning a truck allows the driver to be self-sufficient and allows them to provide assistance to others--something they truly value about owning a truck. One woman said, “All my friends call me when they need to be pulled out of ditches in the winter. I'm able to go get them instead of them having to make ten more calls.”
As one truck lover put it, “Having a truck lets me conquer the world!”
Trucks Give Women Freedom
While certainly not unique to female truck owners, the ability to work and play the way they want are top reasons they choose trucks over all else. My peers provided a laundry list of activities they feel require the capabilities of a truck: hauling horses, off-roading, working their land, and camping are just a few of the activities they enjoy thanks to their trucks.
Independent scholar, Chris Lezotte, references the concept of “cowgirl feminism” in her 2019 paper A Woman and Her Truck: Pickups, The Woman Driver and Cowgirl Feminism: “Pickup-driving women appropriate cowgirl personas to construct themselves as hardworking, adventurous, deserving of respect, empowered and exceptional.” Lezotte also notes that “while the pickup suggests that the woman behind the wheel is tough and hard working, it also indicates she enjoys life.” This accurately captured the spirit of adventure, capability and versatility that my female counterparts described.
Trucks Are Part of Their Identity
Like their male counterparts, many female truck owners own trucks because it’s who they are and they can’t imagine driving anything else. Often a pickup truck was the vehicle they learned to drive with, or was the first vehicle they owned. Many women recalled a sense of connection with key people in their lives, centered around trucks. One woman recalled, “My first truck was my grandpa’s truck. I always loved working on it with him. I always grew up around trucks and I’ve always loved them.”
Summed up by one female truck owner, “[My truck] makes me feel like I own the world.
Women and Trucks - In Conclusion
Speaking with these female truck-owners has validated the benefits I’ve felt come with driving a pick-up truck for years. I feel safer knowing that my vehicle is higher off the ground and heavier than most. Being able to help out a friend with a move or a tow does come with a sense of empowerment. And, driving my ride today takes me back to those simpler days of learning to drive in my dad’s classic ride.
Whatever your reason is for choosing to drive a pick-up, the amount of versatility and grit that comes with a truck means you’ve made a wise decision. Whether you’re a working gal that spends her time in her truck on the jobsite, or a woman who drives one for pleasure, learn more about how TailHand can transform your tailgate.
Photos courtesy: MacKenzie Pearl, Ka Ro, Tracy Ann, Bridget Goral, Courtney Baumbach, Peggy Stickler
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