Chrishenda Green, now 20, threw in the text books to become one of the few female MC licenced dangerous goods drivers her age.
Throughout high school, Green was firmly focussed on achieving a good ATAR so she could go to uni and study veterinary science. And she aced it, finishing with a great score.
But having grown up around trucks thanks to her father’s Port Hedland based tow truck business, Green had a change of heart.
“I was always good at school. I went to agricultural college because I had my own horses and wanted to be able to help them if I needed to. Trucking was the only thing I knew growing up but I never thought I’d stay in trucking until a couple of months in,” she said.
“I had been around tow trucks all my life and would ride in the truck all the time as a kid.”
The initial plan was to drive trucks while studying, but once she had a feel for being behind the wheel, that quickly changed.
Now based in Perth, Green has been working with BW James Transport for around 15 months or so and says they were there from the start and supported her through her MC and DG licences.
She generally runs doubles or triples around the metro area, along with hot-shot runs further afield in a ute.
Green started her truck driving career with her HR licence, driving rigids full time. Then when she turned 20, as soon as she legally could, she went for MC and aced it first time.
Though she’s only been driving trucks for two years, she grew up in the family trucking business and says she already knew her way around a Roadranger gearbox.
As she learnt the ropes, she quickly realised how much she loved the job – and that she was quite good at it too.
Since starting in the role, she says the reaction she’s had from people has been quite mixed. “Most people are supportive and love to see women doing this, then you meet the odd bunch that don’t think you’re worth your weight. I’ve had some tell me I should be behind a desk. Other times they’re too supportive and think I can’t roll my own tarp,” Green said.
“I think the biggest challenge I initially faced as a young female was being surrounded by male drivers with years of experience and trying to overcome the thought of them looking down on me and staring every time I drove into a truck yard.
“I told myself when I felt uncomfortable to put on a happy face and talk with a confidence that I didn’t feel.
“But the people who drive past on the horn with a thumbs up and those who wander over to ask if they really just saw me driving that road train sure make my day!”