As part of an initiative to improve training standards and the preparation of drivers for the road, Volvo Group Australia (VGA) has donated two prime movers to heavy vehicle driving academy, the Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls (PHHG).
VGA President, Peter Voorhoeve, presented the 700hp Volvo FH16 and 685hp Mack Super-Liner to PHHG co-founder, Heather Jones, who has been trying to raise awareness of this issue for some time, targeting female drivers.
“Women make up a tiny proportion of Australian heavy-vehicle drivers, but they’re just as capable of driving a big rig as a man,” said Jones.
“We know that the road freight task is increasing, but fewer people are entering the industry, and a big part of this is an image problem. We want to change that. For a lot of people, driving a truck is all about machismo, but to us it’s about getting the job done safely and efficiently.
“It’s a fantastically generous offer from Volvo Group Australia, and it vindicates our decision to think differently. With their support, we’re now able to train more people, and train them to the world-class standard of the Volvo Group,” said Jones.
The support from Volvo reportedly also includes access to Volvo Group’s driver training and competence development assets.
“Australia is facing a big problem when it comes to driver availability, and its only getting worse. We’ve been looking for ways to address the issue for some time now,” said Voorhoeve.
“What Heather is doing is exactly what we need more of. The Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls have a waiting list of licensed people who want to be drivers but can’t get a job because they’re lacking experience, Heather provides that much needed experience and stepping-stone to the industry.”