Is there any greater show of the love a truckie has for their truck than to get it permanently tattooed for the world to see?
Experienced MC driver Corrina Riley has done just that. She drives a 2012 Peterbilt 388, which she’s nicknamed ‘Salacious Pete’ – and says, “I would marry my truck if I could!”
They say many wear their hearts on their sleeves. And if that’s indeed the case, it seems Riley’s heart may just belong to her truck.
The Queensland based truckie, who is also on the Women in Trucking Australia (WiTA) board, drives the flashy Peterbilt for Gaffs Heavy Diesel and Haulage, carting general freight across the state.
Riley got the keys to Pete about 12 months ago. “It’s just my dream truck, I love everything about it. When I go home, I’ll cook my son dinner and then go back in the driveway and sleep in the truck. It’s just my happy place. I love it,” she said.
Riley had the new tattoos done while on holiday in Tassie, with the work completed by tattoo artist Ben Smillie at Smillie’s Ink.
“He’s done most of my work so I came over here to finish my sleeve. My aunty lives in Tassie, so my son and I come down regularly, but it hasn’t been as often recently because of Covid,” explained Riley.
“When Ben saw a photo of my truck, he said he really likes doing truck tattoos. He’s done a few trucks and is so talented.
“I am so in love, I can’t wait to get the trailers tattooed too.
“My partner reckons I should get his LTL on my back now too. He has a green LTL – it’s a very sexy truck. Who knows, maybe this will be next, but don’t tell Pete!”
The image of the truck used for Riley’s new back tattoo came from a photo taken by Warren Aitken at Aitken Automotive Photography; and took around four and a half hours to complete.
Riley also had some space to fill on her arm as part of her sleeve, so she had the word ‘Peterbilt’ added in too.
“When I told my boss about the tattoos, even he said I was crazy,” Riley laughed.
“I even got the word ‘Peterbilt’ done – that’s free advertising. It’s gotta get me a free set of Peterbilt seat covers for Pete, surely,” she joked.
Pete has unfortunately been off the road for a couple of months, after succumbing to flood damage – however he’s now all fixed up and ready to go.
“My truck had water go through the computer and wiring after the first massive downpour, and it frazzled it. So I’ve been subbying for another operator until it was ready. It’s all fixed up now and I pick it up on Monday and am straight back to work on Tuesday. I can’t wait to sleep in it again, I feel like I’ve lost my dog!”
For a large chunk of the year, Riley does the berry season, running from Caboolture into the markets – and she says she can’t wait to get back into that.
“When the berries pick up, I’ll go straight back to the berries. The season usually goes for five to six months. It’s usually started by now, but because they got flooded out, the plants went in late. And I can take my son with me too – because it’s all on private property, he gets to drive all sorts of things when we’re on the berry run.”
As well as teaching her son Jack, 11, how to drive a truck, Riley has also been very active in helping to train other female drivers, inviting them to join her on various two-up trips, as she shows them the ropes.
Among these trips have been a 3400km run from Brisbane to Cairnswith Kerri Avern, 64; and a run with barber turned truckie, Joanne Boland, 49.
Now that Pete’s back in good health, Riley is planning to take female drivers along for the ride every chance she gets. “It’s great to be able to give them a bit of experience. I really enjoy it. I’ve had a few women who have inboxed me and are waiting in line!”