Updated: Sep 5, 2022
How do women truck drivers use the restroom when there is not one?
A few options include:
Peeing behind a tree or bush.
Use a large cup with a lid to pee in.
Buying a GoGirl Device.
Putting a portable toilet under the bed.
And a tub of kitty litter.
If you want to read about my first "restroom" experience, keep reading. If not, skip to the Options area for a few ideas for using the restroom when there is no one around.
“I need to stop and cool off my tires.” I heard these words crackling across my CB Radio one night in June 1993.
My first trucking job was hauling tomatoes from the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Jonesboro, Georgia, to Asheville, NC.
I was the first female driver to work for this company. They delivered produce throughout the Southeast. Typically dispatching, three trucks toward the Carolina's, several nights a week.
My usual route included delivering to Asheville, NC, at 7 am, a delivery in Greenville, Sc, at 10 am, then I would return to Atlanta around 3 pm.
The other two trucks went to Charlotte, NC, one was delivered to the Farmers Market, and the other was delivered to a grocery warehouse.
Quite often, all the drivers would leave Atlanta around 9 pm, the night before our delivery. As we raced up I-85 north, we would jump down on a lower CB channel so we did not disturb the other drivers on Channel 19.
I was barely 21, straight out of trucking school. I had little experience driving a truck and knew only the basics of mechanical issues.
I knew only a few words of trucker lingo, the new language I would soon learn.
That night I received my first lesson of thousands in my driving career. I am sure I have a few thousand more.
Cowboy's voice crackled across the CB.
“I need to stop and cool off my tires, I'll catch up with you.”
I innocently said, “I can stop on the exit ramp and wait on you.”
“Cowboy” is more trucker lingo. Truckers give themselves names like Cowboy, Wolf, and Slow Poke. Many times a trucker's name is given to them by other drivers. My trucker handle is “Little Angel.”
I thought that something was seriously wrong!
Didn’t he just say he needed to cool off his tires?
We drove faster than the posted speed limit, which was the middle of the summer.
Maybe his tires were smoking with flames spewing out behind him. I was in front of him and could not see his tires.
I could picture the old cartoons of Roadrunner and Coyote, racing down the desert highways, with smoke streaming behind them, on Saturday morning cartoons.
Lucky for me, it was midnight, the sky was dark, and the moon was hiding because when Cowboy’s reply crackled back through the CB, the night lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Cowboy replied, “I don’t need any help! I have to pee!”
I am sure that any new driver would assume the same thing; it was not just because I was a female driver, it was because I was a new driver.
I have never been so happy to be in my truck, driving down the road in the dark.
I had just unwittingly offered to help him use the restroom.
But Cowboy was a gentleman, he told me he had to pee and never brought up the embarrassing situation again.
Over the years, I have used many restrooms in many different places, from gross truck stops to the great outdoors.
What to do when you have to go pee and you can't find a restroom?
Growing up in the south, where there were plenty of trees and bushes, I quickly learned to pee behind a tree or an old building.
It didn’t matter if I was a male or female.
If I had to go, I had to go.
Maybe that was the natural tomboy in me.
One word of caution.
Look before you squat down to pee!
You never know when there might be a blackberry bush full of thorns, a spider, or a snake.
As the years passed, I hated having to use nasty truck stops that didn’t clean their restrooms once a week. Eventually, you learn which truck stops are cleaned daily.
I often wonder if the women’s restrooms are so gross, what do the men's restrooms look like? I don't even want to imagine the smell.
I always wondered how a female trucker could go pee when there was nowhere in sight. Or if she was at one of those stinky truck stops.
I didn’t want to ask the men, they didn’t care, and it was an embarrassing question.
If they have to pee, they might grab an empty milk jug or juice bottle or just stand on the truck's running board to take care of their business. Men usually don’t have to shine their hinny to the world just to pee.
At that time, the internet was just starting and too expensive to have at home, and cell phones were for billionaires.
I couldn’t just google “How do Female Truckers use the restroom?” or “What are different ways for female truckers to pee when there is no place to pee?” like I can today.
My other option was to ask another female trucker.
As I throw my hands in the air and say, "What? I didn't know any female drivers!"
In 1993, the world of trucking had very few female drivers. Over the last 25 years, the number of female drivers has grown, but we still do not outnumber men.
Another problem I had was a trucker doesn’t have time to make close friends with other truckers.
Even today, with the internet so readily available, many women drivers are unwilling to provide the world with these little know secrets of the trade.
There are several options when you can’t find a place to stop with a clean restroom, if you are at a shipper or receiver overnight, or if you just don’t feel safe walking across the truck-stop parking lot at 3 in the morning.
Eventually, I learned to save large 32 oz cups with lids for emergencies. I also bought some throwaway cups with lids as a backup.
If you have a sleeper truck, you can park on an exit ramp, on the side of the road(only if absolutely necessary), or park at a truck stop.
Make sure you are safely parked, your doors are locked, then close the curtains in your truck. Grab that empty cup with a lid, then just think about taking that mandatory drug test before you are hired. You had to pee in a cup, right? You're just doing the same thing, but in a much bigger cup, their cups are tiny.
Keep some toilet paper, and baby wipes handy.
After you pee in the cup, MAKE SURE TO PUT THE LID ON!
If you cannot dispose of the urine right away, make sure to store your urine cup in a place where it will not get turned over. And make sure you don’t mistakenly pick it up thinking it is that coke you were drinking earlier.
If you are in an area with grass, you can empty the cup of urine in the grass and throw the cup in a nearby garbage can. But please don’t empty it out on the pavement, and don’t take after some typical male drivers and throw a pee bottle out in the parking lot.
It's GROSS to walk through urine in the parking lot. Just think, after you walk through urine in a parking lot, it gets on your shoes and then travels up into your sparkling clean truck.
GoGirl Female Urination Device
Another option is a specially made product for women to pee in called GoGirl Female Urination Device. GoGirl is REUSABLE + EASY TO USE: Just hold it against your body, forms a seal, aim and go. It can be wiped clean and reused. No need to squat.
While I prefer the disposable cup, you may feel more comfortable with
At one point, I bought a port-a-potty.
The port-a-potty was just the right size to fit under the bunk.
I keep the blue Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins to keep the odor fresh.
Every few days I would pull up to the station at the rest area that RVs use to empty their waste into.
Kitty Litter Tub
A tote full of kitty litter with a lid can be your best friend.
If you have to go bad enough, especially if you have to go # 2 (bowel movement), you will be thankful for the kitty litter.
It is easy to remove waste with a kitty litter scoop into a small trash bag that can be disposed of in a trash can.
While #1 is usually the biggest issue, you never know when you will be sitting in standstill traffic and you just can’t hold it any longer. Or when you might eat some food that doesn’t agree with you.
In summary, while we all like to make others believe that women only use a real toilet that is clean, we know that is just not true.
Many female truckers have invented new ways to take care of the call of nature.
Some suggestions include,
Peeing behind a tree or bush, but look before you squat.
Using a large cup with a lid to pee in, empty it in a grassy area.
Buying a ……. That can be used standing up by women.
Buying a port-a-potty to place under the bed. Make sure to get the blue stuff and empty it often.
Storing a tub of kitty litter under the bed for emergencies, like diarrhea.
And most importantly, be careful how you respond to another trucker speaking a foreign language.
It’s the same with any new language; if you don’t know what is being said, get a translator.
Ladies, welcome to the world of trucking!!!
If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment below.