A topic which often arouses some curiosity, even among non-professionals, often scepticism and irony among lorry drivers and some colleagues: Women who choose to become professional HGV drivers. Today we want to have a chat with Laura, a young woman with a strong character and determination. And who works as a lorry driver.
Hello Laura, when was the first time that you climbed behind the wheel in a lorry and then decided: This is the right job for me!
It’s not so long ago that I got in a lorry for the first time. No one in my family are acquainted with the transport sector, so I did not grow up with petrol in my blood as many of other HGV drivers. In my family, everybody went to high school and the expectations for me were very high. So you can easily imagine my family’s reaction when I came home with a C license in the hand. How I got into HGVs and lorries? No rebellion, it was because of my boyfriend Marco, he is the true lorry enthusiast and is nephew to a lorry driver. He dragged me to a Lorry Weekend Show the first year we were together and I happened to end up in front of the limited edition of the DAF gray LUBRIMATIC (which I now have running for my own company) and I fell in love. Right there I thought, I have to take the license. The rest of the story you already know…
The common opinion is that HGV driver job is an exclusively male profession. Is this still the case, or is there any sign of change?
The conventional way of thinking is always the same thinking that a lorry driver job is a man’s job. Fortunately, things are changing and also the general opinion, but there are still a long way to go, especially in regards to equality. Personally, I do not think about it, but I do see the expression on people’s faces when they see me out of the lorry and hear the comments. I think if women have access to get a HGV license then they also should. And in fact, there really are no jobs just for women or just for men. Each of us has the right to do what we want, so we end up with passionate and efficient employees.
What do you like the most and what the least about your job?
I love the solitude and the sound of tyres on asphalt. Seeing the strip of asphalt running under the tyres has always been something magical for me, also with cars or motorbikes and now also the lorry. I love to have time to think and that I certainly have. Least favorite part is the part when the mobile rings which it does often due to the type of transport that I do. And it’s hard to be away from home for such a long time, there are days that I would like be able to work only 6 hours and have the rest of the day off to do my thousands hobbies. But then I get on the road and it’s just me and the tyres on the asphalt again and everything’s alright.
Is there anything in particular that must be present in your lorry cabin when you travel?
My cabin is almost as I would like it to be, but not a 100 percent. A must is my tablet with my songs, my army officer hat from my uncle (at sixteen I wanted to get into aviation, but I was not tall enough and was rejected) and my CB radio. But most important to me is the music, that’s the thing I absolutely have to have with me.
What music do you listen to when you are in the cabin?
What music do I listen to, difficult question. I love the music of drummers from earlier years (mostly because I have been trying as a drummer as well), but I grew up on bread and the Police and I love this group. I listen to it every day, , but I also like disco funk from the 70’s. I have a vintage soul.
Is it true that you like writing and you have a blog?
It is true, I like to tell what I experience when I am on the road and I like to observe everything around me. I am fascinated to hear stories of life and I believe they are the real wealth of people and the real legacy. I am also writing a book in my spare time, but I am not a writer so it quite difficult. I like to describe humorous stereotypes of our little cosmos: from coffee breaks to the types of people you meet as a lorry driver. My style is with a hint of sarcasm, everybody is so serious and we need to relax and be a little less seriously.
What would you write on the tailgate of your lorry?
If I was allowed to write a sentence on the doors, it would definitely be this one: “It is all about style.” Maybe it sounds a little pretentious, but it reminds me that we have to believe in ourselves to achieve any goals. It is from the famous Italien movie The Marquis of Grillo and a reinterpretation of the scene where Alberto Sordi says “I am who I am… (the rest of the sentence I will not say out loud, but I recommend looking it up, if you do not know it, it’s just great!)
Would you recommend your profession to other women? Or is it just a profession for the few.
No doubt for a few … it is only for those who have passion and lorry gasoline in the blood. Years ago, it was a job you did to bring home good money. Nowadays, you can only make it, if you are convinced that the work hours and the time being away from home is personally worth it. The salaries are not high enough in comparison to what you have to perform, although the job is good money compared to the level in the Italian workers’ category, but licenses also cost a lot. It is a job which requires quite a lot from a man and even more for women who also have to deal with discrimination which even today is still present. Men det er et selvstændigt og alsidigt job, hvis du kan lide det.
It is a question about style. And, in our opinion, this style, Laura has and presents perfectly!