Truckie chicks treated like equals
PUMPING a clutch to navigate through 18 gears while in high heels?
It might be a catchy line in country singer Jayne Denham’s song about a female truckie called Cousin Jude but authentic Warwick truck drivers Carolyn Stewart and Angela Maher squinted in the sun as they looked at each other and laughed.
“The guys laugh at me if I wear pink shorts,” Ms Stewart chuckled.
To celebrate Truck Week, Ms Stewart was dobbed in by her sister as having an occupation usually dominated by men behind the wheel.
“I drive singles, B-doubles and road trains locally and interstate, have been doing it for about 20 years,” she said. With nothing but the roar of an engine and about 22 wheels under her control for two decades, this truckie had some pretty wild sorties, especially during 13 hour hauls to Narrandera in northern New South Wales.
“Bad drivers on the road are a given but I did run over a large family of wild pigs,” the general freight transporter said.
“There was a heap of them and all I heard was, ‘thud-ump thud-ump’ as they went under the wheels.
“I hit a plover once.
“He was spread-eagle on the windscreen. I slowed down and he just fell off.”
The approachable bubbly truck driver said she rarely had problems with her male counterparts and loved the freedom of the road.
Former Warwick Rodeo Queen Angela Maher said she was more accustomed to being behind a smaller beast.
“The strangest thing I’ve ever transported was camels,” she said.
“We transport anything that can walk on or off.
“I drive small body trucks for mum and dad but I’m usually a dispensary technician at the local chemist.”
Ms Maher said she’d had her licence about five years.
“We don’t wear learner plates,” she said.