Here is a video talking about the life of the poo carters of WA, but also highlighting effort to increase the number of women working in the trucking industry.
The businesses involved in this service is Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, whose striking pink trucks are instantly noticed by other road users out on the highways of the Pilbara and on the roads down and back to Perth.
The trucks themselves are part of an initiative by Volvo Trucks to tackle the problems of driver supply and retention in the Australian trucking industry. The donation of two trucks, a Volvo FH 16 and a Mack Superliner back in 2016 gave Heather Jones and her team a chance to spread their philosophy about training truck drivers.
The heart of the philosophy is in evidence when you see the drivers of these trucks and the way the job is handled. At any one time there can be trainees working on the job. The first stage sees these aspiring drivers observe, sitting in the passenger seat and learning how the job is done properly.
The next stage is to handle the simpler tasks with an experienced driver at their side helping out and checking everything is done right and the final stage involves the driver tackling the complete task, on their own to an extent, but monitored to ensure safety and efficiency.
It’s as simple as that, just a matter of giving someone with the license to drive a truck the skill set to actually do the job properly and be a useful member of the trucking community. The principle here is, you have got your license, now you need to learn how to be a truck driver.
Heather, herself, has been a truck driver for over 25 years. She has been in business with her own operation for 16 years. Over ten of those years has seen Heather involved in training drivers, in both Perth and Karratha. Over the years, she has had experience carting a variety of freight, from grain, sand, fertiliser and tankers, as an employee, then specialised in heavy haulage in more recent times, before adding waste and poo carter to the skills list.
Right from the beginning, Heather was taking on drivers new to the industry and showing them how to do the job correctly. The philosophy was there from day one, treat drivers right and train them.