Women on the Road - Breaking the Barriers | Mildura Intimate Portraiture
Mary Crump hasn’t always been an interstate truck driver, but she does wish she had gotten behind the wheel a lot earlier.
The 51-year-old from Red Cliffs drives two up with her partner Michael Wisneske picking up freight. It often takes her from Adelaide to Melbourne but sometimes she ventures to places like Griffith.
“I have been driving the truck for the last two and a half years,” Mary said.
“I was travelling for a year with my partner before I got my HC (Heavy Combination) license.”
Mary worked in aged care and disability for around 12 years before becoming a driver and began to be disheartened by seeing the people she cared for pass away.
Hurting her back was the push Mary needed to decide to leave those industries and spend more time with her partner on the road.
“My partner and I love the fact we can spend our time together and we have an awesome relationship, which makes it easier,” Mary said.
“I love meeting lots of different people and seeing some of our beautiful country.”
Mary and Michael have just purchased a brand new truck, a Scania R540, something that she thought they would never be able to do.
But with the highs come the lows, and Mary said she has encountered some rude male drivers along the way.
“On the whole most people have been very helpful and supportive,” she said.
“Also, because I'm only 5 foot 1 inch, it can be a challenge getting up and down the trailers but I'm lucky that hubby usually saves me the job.”
Although tough sometimes, Mary said she would definitely recommend truck driving to other females because it’s a good job and very rewarding.
As for what females could bring to the job that males might not; Mary said it was patience.
“I do believe women who drive trucks are more careful and wary on the road,” she added.
“It sounds weird but I've met a few other female drivers and they are so mindful of their surroundings and don't take the chances that some male drivers do.”
Mary hopes she will be able to keep trucking for another five years, before the two of them park it up and enjoy the rest of their lives together travelling.
“That's the only downside to the job,” she said.
“We don't seem to do much other than work but it works for us as we only have our fur baby and she comes with us every trip".
“If any other women out there think they want to give it a go, I say go for it!"
“It's actually a job that I wish I had gotten into sooner."
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