Comment: Sharing your stories

By: Merryn Morrison


Merryn Morrison asked a bunch of WiRT members to share their thoughts and stories of what it means to them to work driving trucks in NZ. This is a brief snapshot of some of those.

Kerry Crosby, KPH Transport

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At nearly 55 years old with three children, and after 37 years as a hairdresser as well as time as a weekend level 4 caregiver, the timing was finally right for me to follow my dream to drive trucks. My daughter Elizabeth had already followed her dream and holds a class 5 licence. She gave me the confidence to get out there and do it as I’d always taken the opportunity to travel as a passenger with friends over the years and really enjoyed it.

I set about obtaining my licence and currently have a class 4. I’m presently studying for my class 5. KPH transport gave me an opportunity, for which I’m very grateful. I’ve been with the company for only a few weeks and I can already tell it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I’ve been getting experience in the class 2 truck as the seasonal berry driver and I’m loving being out and about. I look forward to being provided with a class 4 truck. Many friends have offered so much advice and support and I’m humbled at the positivity I’ve been shown.

Krystal Whitter, tow-truck driver

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I’m 24 and am a tow-truck driver in and around Tauranga. I first moved here from Taranaki two years ago really wanting to change my life up. I’ve always had a passion for cars and driving so I studied and graduated with a Level 3 Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (HVO) and decided being a towie sounded like a bit of me!

Eighteen months later and I’m still a towie, even though I have my other licences and endorsements. I deal with so many different people in different situations and always try to make customers feel better if I can. I’ll never get sick of seeing the shock on people’s faces when they see a female towie jump out of the truck!

Elizabeth Crosy-Campbell, Tomoana Warehousing Ltd

I got interested in trucks quite a few years ago and went on and completed my class 5 licence in 2018. I am now driving a skele for Tomoana Warehousing Ltd carting containers and I’m loving it. Still need to have my hair, nails and make up done before going to work though!!

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Toni Tawhara, Talley’s Group

I’m a class 5 driver who went from doing beauty therapy to driving trucks. I drive mostly the top of the South Island and I LOVE my job and the great people at Talley’s that I work with! There were heaps of others and I’m sorry I can’t include them all but your stories have definitely inspired us at WiRT to keep pushing for you.

Finally, I want to give a bit of a plug to Radio New Zealand and the Nights show with Bryan Crump for the excellent wee series profiling the music our magnificent truck drivers listen to in the cab.

I particularly enjoyed the recent episode with GJ Sheldrake Ltd driver and 2019 EROAD Young Driver of the Year Summer Ratima Thompson. Summer is an absolute star and such a great example of the enthusiasm that some of our young drivers have for the industry.

You can listen to Summer’s episode at rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/nights/audio/2018732581/one-for-the-road.

Please follow Women in Road Transport NZ on Facebook and if you wish to contact us directly you can email WiRTnz@gmail.co.nz

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