SA-based truckie and current Miss Ink Australia, Blayze Williams, is among seven finalists hoping to secure a position on the Women in Trucking Australia (WiTA) board.
The WiTA board has six directors, five of which are board elected and one which is elected by WiTA Members. The remaining spot will be up for election at the association’s November 21 annual general meeting.
The seven finalists are Queensland based MC driver Corrina Riley, SA MC driver Jess Freeman, Queensland based nurse turned MC driver Danyelle Haigh, NSW based talent acquisition manager for transport and Startrack at the Australia Post Group Courtney Sertdemir, Queensland based MC driver Sonja White, MC driver Fiona Jane Armstrong and SA truckie Blayze Williams.
With a large social media following, Williams’ work involves full-time content creating and part time interstate truck driving.
She’s hoping to join the WiTA board to share her experiences and help guide more women into truck driving careers.
Williams didn’t originally set out to be a truck driver, but after discovering her passion for it, the truckie and social media influencer has already encouraged numerous other women to get behind the wheel too.
Williams, 29, got her truck licence while working at a service station truck wash when she was 18. “They changed the rules and you had to have a truck licence so you could move the trucks. I was terrified at first, I didn’t even know how to drive a manual car at the time,” she said. “So I kind of fell into truck driving.”
Within 12 months, Williams had scored her first driving gig. “Kwikwing Trans gave me my first start. The first time I ever went out in a truck by myself I was absolutely terrified. I started out moving empty shipping containers, then full ones and went on to work for Toll doing general freight.”
But an injury put her on the sidelines for some time and she had to give up her role with Toll. “I broke my leg. It was supposed to be a three-month recovery but turned out to be a permanent injury. It happened in 2018 and I wasn’t able to start driving again until the end of 2019. That’s when I started doing interstate work. I spent two years in a moon boot and couldn’t physically use a clutch because I didn’t have the strength in that leg,” said Williams, who upgraded to a MC licence earlier this year.
Though the injury meant her driving career was put on hold, it gave Williams a chance to focus on her modelling career, where she’s now built quite the profile, both in Australia and abroad. Quite recently she also won the Miss Ink Australia title.
Her Instagram profile now has over 70,000 followers and she’s also making a very comfortable living by selling her photos via subscription-based social media platform OnlyFans – though her love of trucks has stayed strong.
“I went from working 10-13 hours a day, then I broke my leg and went to nothing. I’ve now tied the driving and modelling together – that’s become my niche and it’s really taken off,” Williams said.
“Through that I’ve also helped many women around the world get into the trucking industry. A lot of women have approached me and asked what it’s like as a truck driver and what it was like working with all these men – and many came back to me and said ‘thanks, you gave me the guts to go through with it’.
“Truck driving has changed my whole life. It’s put me in a position where I can really enjoy the trucks, while having another income.
“I liked that I could just be me in the truck and found that I really fit in. Yes, you’re working outside mainly with men and the hours can push you to the limits, but in general the people I’ve worked with are very inclusive. Nearly everywhere I’ve been, there’s been people willing to help – I’ve only ever had a few male drivers who wouldn’t give me the time of day.”
Williams says that being forced off the road for so long has given her a new appreciation for the rigs. “After I broke my leg, I got that real appreciation back for the trucks. I thought that the injury would ruin me financially because I had to give up my job with Toll. But now I’m getting into interstate work and I really enjoy that. The longest run I’ve done so far is Adelaide to Sarina in Queensland, hauling an oversize load.
“When I started doing interstate runs, I thought I wouldn’t like it at first, but I feel so free on the highway. In the truck, that’s your space. I love the freedom and the confidence truck driving has given me. No matter what type of person you are, there is a part of trucking that you will fit into. And if you don’t want to fit in, you can get in your truck and be in there on your own too.”
Williams is now hoping she can inspire even more women to get into the industry. “With trucking, women can find a life they never knew and see things they’ve never seen. With everything I’ve been through in my life, trucking was an escape for me. Now I’m working towards buying my own truck – I’d love a Peterbilt or a Kenworth T909, chromed up to the hills.”