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Feature Article

A dream job

According to 46-year-old Bidfood driver Gabriela Newman, as long as you have the love and passion for it, there should be no obstacle to a career in trucking.

“Trucking is in my blood,” says Gaby. “My dad was in the industry and as a kid I’d always go out with him. Ever since, I’ve wanted to do the same thing.”

Originally from Austria, Gaby has fond memories of sitting with her dad on long-haul journeys, travelling 3,500km from the bottom of Sicily up to Norway.

“I’d always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and drive big trucks. Once my kids had grown up and flown the nest, I thought ‘this is my time, this is what I want to do’.”

Having spent a number of years as a dressmaker and later owning a business making oil skin jackets and hunting gear, Gaby says she would choose to travel the world as a truck driver if she had the choice again.

“I’m happy I owned my own business and ticked that box, but I always knew I wanted to do this one day, and now I am. It just goes to show that it’s never too late to change your career and pursue your dreams.”

Getting back behind the wheel wasn’t an issue for Gaby, who had previous experience working as a forklift driver for NZ Post. She says the biggest obstacle facing women looking to get into the industry is their own lack of confidence.

“There are women who will be discouraged by the perception that you have to be strong to be a truck driver, I would just see it as a challenge!” she says.

“Unloading can be tough, but it’s like any new job – it just takes getting used to.”

With a Class-2 licence under her belt and currently working towards her Class-4, Gaby says women just need a bit more self-belief and encouragement to take the first step.

“I think more employers should help women, and others, into the industry, by supporting them in getting their Class-2. That would be a good way to encourage more people to take the leap. Bidfood is great in that respect.

“Since I started, I’ve inspired at least three of my friends to branch out into the transport sector. All it takes is making that first step. You have to want it and be determined – as long as you have a passion for it, you’ll love it. Same with any job!”

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