Trailer Magazine sat down with Katrina Wood who drives for Hernes Freight Service in Brisbane. At 24 years of age, Katrina is delighted to be driving trucks just like her Dad did.
Q: What first drew you to the commercial road transport industry?
A: Growing up I spent a lot of time with my Dad. As a child I was not a great fan of that but since reaching adulthood I have come to realise it was the greatest blessing. He taught me the value of hard work, independence and perseverance. I started in construction as a bricklayer at 17 and when I turned 21 I decided to go for my truck licence. I passed my HR (Heavy Rigid) test and drove agitators for two years. Then my Dad got sick and I was determined he would see me follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite make it to see that happen, but I know how proud he was that he had taught me the skills I needed to join the industry.
Q: What does a standard day for you look like?
A: A normal day sees me up between 4.30 and 5.00 and I start work between 6.00 and 7.00. I generally do three to five semi-trailer loads around the Brisbane area. Most days I finish between 3.00 and 5.00pm then it’s home to recharge and do it all again.
Q: What has been a highlight of your career so far?
A: I love my job so there’s a highlight in every day, but the biggest was the pride I felt when I passed my HC (Heavy Combination) RoadRanger test the first go.
Q: What is the best thing about the transport industry?
A: The people. As with any industry there are some who are hard to get along with, but for the most part I’ve found people to be extremely friendly and ready to help if I didn’t understand something.
Q: What do you think could be improved?
A: There should be an allowance to occasionally let children travel in trucks to have the experience I did. Nothing teaches you more about life than witnessing what your parents do to give you the life you have.
Q: What do female-driven events in commercial road transport mean to you?
A: They showcase that we can do the exact same job men can do, we just may have to find our own way of doing it. We’re paving the way to a different, more equal future, and if I can help support and encourage just one more woman to give it a go, that to me is an achievement in itself.
Q: How can people and companies in the transport industry better promote it as a career choice for women?
A: By continuing to showcase the many women already doing it; proving to those who think they can’t that they most definitely can. If I can do it, anyone can.