Trailer Magazine

Industry leader: Heather Jones

  • Posted on Tuesday 6th, August 2019.

Trailer Magazine spoke with Heather Jones – CEO and founder of Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls. Jones’ undying passion is to assist many people, especially ladies, to become fully trained and go on to enjoy successful careers in this vibrant and diverse industry.

What first drew you to the commercial road transport industry?
I was in a desperate financial situation in the early 1990s when I became a single parent. A kind friend of mine gave me a break by employing me to drive his trucks and allowing me to take my two girls with me while I drove.

What does a standard day for you look like?
A standard day for me is getting up early in the morning to check my emails. I then head out to my transport yard and catch up with my female crew. After this I hop into a truck and drive for 8 to 14 hours, depending on the job. Many days it is with a new driver behind the wheel and me instructing them for those hours.

What has been a highlight for your career so far?
I have had a few highlights in my career but nothing as awesome as the phone call I received from the President of Volvo Group Australia in 2016, telling me his team was interested in helping us train new drivers and wanted to support us by supplying some trucks.

This has been so fabulous as I have been able to provide an entry point for new drivers and help put new ‘fully trained’ drivers out on our highways. This fills me with great joy. It also means I am paying it forward from when I was given a lifeline from a friend.

What is the best thing about the transport industry?
Some of the great things about the industry are the great mates you make on the highway and on the jobs you work on. Also every day is different.

What do you think could be improved?
I think our licencing needs to be greatly improved so our new drivers are ‘job ready’ and can then be employed. I would like to see an on-the-job training package that can be rolled out nationally.

What do female-driven events in commercial road transport mean to you?
Female driven events are huge to me.

So many women would never have considered the transport industry as a career option. After finding out the vast array of different jobs available these ladies get so excited about coming on board. 

How can people and companies in the transport industry better promote it as a career choice for women?
I think as an industry we could do a better job of promoting ourselves and what we do and how important we are to every human being. If companies participated in programs like school careers days, road safety and education days and open days for the public, I think we could dramatically  improve our image. If we also changed our ways of recruiting, we could open up a whole new line of available drivers. For example, job sharing, driving during school hours and even offering a childcare facility within the company that single parents could use.

Earlier this year, Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls received a new Volvo FH16.

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