Careers @Sunbelt - HGV Driver

In celebration of International Womens Day 2021 we spoke with Jamie Wells, a Class 2 HGV Driver who forms part of our North West Transport team.

 “I was 28 when I joined the apprenticeship scheme and I thought I might be too old, but I’ve never looked back since. I wasn’t put off applying for a driving position because I’m a woman and from day one all my male colleagues have supported and helped me in any way they can. I work with the most amazing bunch of guys and we all help each other out. I’ve got great people around me and we’ve become friends rather than colleagues.”

She drives a 32 tonne 8-wheeler truck transporting large plant equipment such as diggers, dumpers, powered access equipment, tower lights and bowsers to customer sites. On a typical day, Jamie can make anywhere from 4-10 deliveries or collections and her routes vary from day to day. One day Jamie can be based locally in the North West, and other days she goes further afield depending upon customer requirements.

Prior to joining Sunbelt Rentals, Jamie was a Refuse Collector for Manchester City Council for 10 years, but she was always keen to drive a loader or truck. When she saw a job advert for an Apprentice HGV Driver at Sunbelt Rentals, she jumped at the opportunity to apply and was successful.

Jamie continued “Whenever I go to a site to drop equipment off, I normally get the response ‘Hiya mate’ and then when I put the window down, they always apologise and say ‘Sorry love’ when they realise I’m a woman. Some people are surprised when they see a female HGV Driver but it’s definitely becoming more and more accepted. Out on the road I’ve noticed a lot more female HGV Drivers, but perhaps not in the plant hire sector as much yet.

I’ve never been an office girl and I love the freedom that the job gives me. Before I became a HGV Driver, I didn’t even enjoy driving! But I absolutely love being on the open road now and having the chance to go to some beautiful places.

She adds: “This job has really taken my career to a whole new level. It’s exciting every day, it takes you to places that you wouldn’t otherwise go to and I absolutely love it. I really would recommend a HGV driving job as a brilliant career path for women who like the prospect of the freedom of being out on the open road.”