At just 20 years of age, truck driver Katherine Glover knows first-hand how hard it can be to get a foot in the door in this industry.
After getting her truck licence, she says she applied for around 200 jobs in six months before someone finally gave her a chance.
Not one to just stand back and take it on the chin, she’s now inspiring other young people to get into the industry through a support group she created on Facebook called Young Aussie Truckies. Launched in June 2020, it’s already gained quite the following – leading to the group’s first virtual truck show, which took place in July and raised money for the upcoming Brisbane Convoy for Kids.
“After applying for so many jobs, I realised this wasn’t an issue only I was facing, it was an industry-wide issue. I was only 19 and still on my P-plates so I had no experience. With one of the companies I applied for, the owner actually called me up and said don’t even bother, you’re not going to get any sort of start – so that was a real kick in the guts,” said Glover.
“With anything, when you get rejected that many times, and no one wants to put you on, you do start to feel like maybe it’s time to call it quits.”
Eventually, persistence and determination paid off when Glover got her first driving gig at Startrack, working in the bulk division. She was there for about a year before starting her current role in June 2021 at Sawtells Bulk Haulage, driving a heavy rigid tipper, and doing local work around southern Queensland and into northern NSW.
Glover has developed quite a passion for trucking, though for her, it wasn’t always about trucks. She actually has an equestrian background and has been around horses from about the age of five.
“I had been around machinery my whole life. I wanted a change from what I was doing previously and trucking seemed like the next best option,” she said.
Since being launched, Glover’s Facebook group has had an overwhelming response. “What I found when I was applying for jobs, was that there’s not a lot of information out there to tell you why you aren’t getting a start in the industry. I wanted to help to open those doors up.
“The thought of walking into a company with a resume in hand is daunting, but just emailing heaps of companies doesn’t always work either. You need to put yourself out there and be willing to learn and start from the bottom. Be open-minded and take any opportunity you can.
“I think there are still some people who want to jump straight into a big 909 and drive to WA in their first week. Never think you know it all or that you’re too good to sweep the floors. Do what you have to in order to prove to that company that you’re worth their time and their resources.”
Looking ahead, Glover hopes to eventually upgrade her licence and get into interstate work. “Hopefully Young Aussie Truckies makes some bigger moves in the future too,” she said.