Halfway across the globe, in freezing conditions, this off-road truckie navigates through ice and snow, dreaming of coming back to Australia and getting behind the wheel of a road train.
Kaylee Roberts has been driving trucks across northern British Columbia in Canada for the past five years, working in the oil and gas industry, and documenting her travels from the lens of her camera.
A stint on the Gold Coast when she was 23 left a lasting impression on her. “I actually lived on the Gold Coast for a year when I was 23 and have always wanted to move down under, but it’s actually really, really hard if you’re not married to an Aussie. I just love Australia and one of my dreams is to drive a road train one day,” she said.
At the moment, Roberts is behind the wheel of a tri drive International, while she awaits the delivery of a brand new Kenworth T880, powered by a Cummins 550 engine.
Originally from Quebec, Roberts has called British Columbia home for the past 12 years. “Trucking has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. We most definitely need more women in trucking. I love to see the lifestyle challenges other women truckers from around the world face,” she said.
Her current driving gig involves hauling potable water for drilling rigs and work camps, with around 90% of her work being off-road.
Prior to that she worked in the US, doing long haul transport. “But after a year on the road, I only had five nights out of the truck the whole time – that’s what they do there. A lot of truckers live in their rigs. The truckstop lifestyle isn’t for everyone and eventually it does your head in,” said Roberts.
“Winter’s great because there’s no mud and everything stays cleaner. In fall and spring, the roads are just straight mud and we gotta chain-up pretty much every day – multiple times a day. I love the challenges and the hard work, despite the fact that it gets pretty cold here in the great white north.
“The coldest I’ve ever seen is -53°. When it’s that cold, we leave the trucks running 24/7. Last winter our trucks ran pretty much three weeks straight. Technically winter is three months, but realistically, it can snow here any month of the year. You’ve just gotta layer it up and take lots of warm up breaks.”