Queen of the road to keep on trucking

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WHEN most Spalding mums were slaving over a hot oven on Christmas Day, Jill Noble was showing her mettle driving tonnes of steel as one of the area’s newest female lorry drivers.

Jill’s journey from being a dental nurse to queen of the road has just been featured in a pilot Channel 4 documentary, MotherTruckers.

She said: “I think the programme will definitely stop the misconception about female drivers. I think it shows that you don’t need to be a heavy, mucky trucker to be a lorry driver – you can be feminine and you can definitely have both a family and a career as a professional driver.”

A former driving school owner who currently works for Apex Training Services in Peterborough, Jill (pictured right) says going for her LGV licence “just sort of happened”.

She said: “I had originally trained as a dental nurse but, after I was made redundant, I noticed all the jobs in my area were for professional drivers.

“I started driving around with my dad in his business van and kept getting told I should get my professional licence so I just went for it.”

Jill, who is a mother of two, trained at the RTITB Academy in Telford, Shropshire, and said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my training, I had great instructor – he opened up my eyes to the finer points of driving.”

Along with her RTITB LGV Driver Assessors qualification, Jill has also recently obtained her RTITB Forklift Instructors qualification.

There are more than half a million lorry drivers in the UK but only two per cent of the trucking workforce is female.

MotherTruckers looks like changing all that. The documentary follows the professional and personal lives of several professional female drivers, including Jill, who are all members of Lady Truck Drivers UK.

She said: “Since the first episode aired, we’ve had lots of women contacting us about getting their professional licences; Wendy (who also appeared on the programme) has been inundated with calls. It’s definitely had a massive impact already.”

To catch up with MotherTruckers, visit www.channel4.co.uk/4od