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Feature Article

Like father, like daughter

Becoming a truck driver wasn’t what Tish Houghten had in mind growing up – but, with family connections to the industry and a natural flair for the role, she wouldn’t change her job for anything

Tish, who drives a FUSO Canter for Carr & Haslam, says her interest in big vehicles began at an early age.

“When I was growing up, Dad would always be in the trucks and I would go out driving with him. I just love the machinery, I love big vehicles.”

Despite not planning to follow in her father’s footsteps and studying a foundation course in nursing, Tish says she fell into her current role and hasn’t looked back since.

“I was quite surprised by how natural it felt for me to sit behind the wheel of a big truck – I should’ve started it earlier!

“It was hard at first. My friends and family were super supportive, but when it came to the general public, I definitely felt looked down upon.”

For Tish, this is the greatest barrier for women joining the industry – negative public perception.

Her key piece of advice to other women is “don’t be afraid!”.

“The trucking industry is a really cool, fun industry. Don’t over-think it and let others tell you it’s a ‘manly job’, because it’s not – especially in this day and age. We’re very much equal to men and what they can do, we can do. Sometimes we can even do it better!

“I love my role! I love the fact that I’m not sitting in a formal office and I’m outside doing stuff. It may not be glamorous, but I’ve always got the weekend for that kind of stuff.”

With more than six years’ experience in various roles and trucks at Carr and Haslam, Tish says her goal is to go to the United States and drive in the “big rigs”.

“I travelled America in 2014 and thought, wow, they’re huge – I want to drive one!”

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