Hope Mogg has never forgotten the advice and encouragment of her truckie brother Christopher in her dogged battle to gain her MC stripes.
“He said to me, ‘I think you’ve proved you’ve got it in you to be a truck driver, because a lot of people just give up’,” reflected Mogg, who was in Mt Isa, half-way through a twice-weekly 1800km return run from Townsville when Big Rigs checked in.
The mother-of-two drives a Volvo FH600 quad road train combo for Townsville-based Hillmans Transport, carting a ‘fridgy’ on the back and two ‘As’ with general freight and produce on the lead trailer.
Mogg says it’s a “nasty” road running out to Mt Isa, as anyone will tell you, but they’re starting to patch it up in places.
And working for an understanding company like Hillmans helps no end when the bumps in the road do start to get on top of you.
“If you’re tired, you’re tired. You just pull up. They’re generally pretty flexible.”
Mogg, 33, is just a few weeks into the role but has taken the step up to quads in her stride.
“You know your position on the road, and with the quads, they tend to follow a bit better than the triples, so I wasn’t too worried. You just feel it on the road.”
Mogg now has five years under her belt as a truckie, after starting out in heavy vehicles driving school buses, a role she held for six years.
But getting a break in trucking wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
Doors kept slamming in her face, until finally Followmont Transport gave her a go, starting in an eight-pallet curtain-sider and gradually building up her experience from there.
“They’d throw me in a semi here and there, ask me to drop this there, drop that there.
“Because you got a licence you should be confident in what you’re doing, even though you’re a bit new to it.
“You’ve just got to get and give it a go, and gradually build up a bit more experience. I got into the doubles, started dropping trailers down Port Access Road, and running singles up and down the coast, so that sort of got my foot in the door.”
When that opportunity came to a close, and eager for a fresh start, Mogg moved on to a role with Townsville-based BMR Logistics.
“They’re a lovely family-orientated business that’s steadily growing. I stayed with them for a year and they taught me a hell of a lot more.”
Between carting containers and general freight, up and down the east coast in B-doubles, Mogg’s feet barely touched the ground.
She might still be there were it not for a word-of-mouth recommendation that led her to be head-hunted by Hillmans.
Today, Mogg looks back with pride at how far she’s come when it would have been so easy to walk away at times.
“I’m not one to give in, but it did take its toll on me,” she admits. “But when everyone’s against me, I think, ‘I’m going to show you up’, and I did.
“I did it for myself, because I enjoy driving.
“This industry will either make or break you and you’ve got to be tough. But there are a lot of good people with positive reinforcement, and it’s those I remember the most – the others built my character as well.”
As for advice for young would-be drivers following in her path, she says her favourite motto has always served her well – tomorrow is another day.
“So, if you’ve had a shit day – because that’s just transport in general – remember tomorrow is going to be another day.
“Just start again – and keep trying.”