Find what you want and never settle for less

“It’s just something that’s in you. You get it. You hear I’m passionate about the sounds, the gathering of those 18 gears and the rumble of the jakes…”

Cockatoo-based HC driver Wendy Fox talks candidly about her journey into trucking and what it takes to succeed as a single mum in a male-dominated sector.

“I blame my folks for my lifelong dream to become a truckie because we had the coolest dunny wallpaper ever – tricked up from floor to ceiling with Mack trucks!” she said.

 “As a little girl, I’d sit on the big toilet, feet swinging, staring at those beautiful rigs knowing someday I’d be out there driving one!

“I’m often asked how I got to where I am today. Some say I’m too small or that my arms are too skinny to manage steering and gear changes. Others say there’s nothing sexier than a woman driving a semi. 

“I thank all those who support and remind those who don’t, that it’s not about how you look, it’s about capability and competency.  

 “My Grandpa served in the war driving Jeep-trains hauling ammunition and my Dad drove a small removals truck. With him, I learned how to secure freight, use ratchets and straps and the importance of keeping a tidy shed and looking after my truck. No wonder I love trucking – it’s in my blood!

“My greatest childhood memories are of sitting on the petrol tank of Dad’s Suzuki – hanging onto the handlebar in between his hands – zooming up rolling hills on our Strath Creek property – checking fences, seeing dead cow skulls, dams I wasn’t allowed to swim in, twisted gums, the wind gushing past, the bumps, the holes, dodging hazards, the feeling of uphill versus downhill and the way it makes you trust your seat.”  

She continued, “Someday I’ll be a gorgeous 90-year-old woman. I don’t wanna look back and wish I’d been brave enough to follow my dreams.

“When I look back I’ll smile; knowing I was the woman I wanted to be, not only for myself, but for my cubs!”

Fox got her MR licence in 2019 to move produce and equipment around the farm she was working on. “This was finally the beginning of my coveted trucking career!” she said.

“In 2021, I upgraded to my HR road ranger and entered a revolving door of casual work; driving tippers, water trucks and delivering water tanks. It was a time of learning and excitement! 

“In 2022, I  got my HC license and a tipper gig in West Gippsland.  Transporting heavy machinery to work sites was also part of the job. Here I learned chains, dogs, ratchets and driving plant on and off floats, which then led me to drop-deck work. 

“Doing heavy haulage work flanked by pilot vehicles with flashing lights is sexy as and awesome fun, but I still wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go.”

Finally, she found Knox Transfer Station (KTS) and full-time work. 

Based at their Yarra Ranges Recycling Station, she carts green waste to Bio Gro where it’s churned into compost. “I love working for a great company, being a part of the baseline for sustainability and watching the interstate B-doubles load,” said Fox.

“I’ve worked hard to get to where I am, I still pinch myself that I have my ‘own’ rig and love that I’ve earned my company’s trust.

“Will I upgrade to MC?  If the call in my heart’s strong enough, absolutely. If KTS wants me to – it’s boots on and go!

“What can I say to women considering a trucking career? Know the woman you are, or want to be. Find what you want and never settle for less. Know that no question is a dumb question. Don’t be shy to ask, it’s how you learn. Overthinking is acceptable and finally, trust yourself – you’re a Wonder Woman!”

  • Lyndal Denny is CEO, Women in Trucking Australia

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