Truck-driving has traditionally been thought of as a job for men, but Goulburn's women truckies are thriving and enthusiastic.
"It's an awesome job!" Sophie Reid said. She works for Divall's Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage as a heavy vehicle transport driver.
Sophie was named Young Driver of the Year at the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association's annual conference in Tamworth - the first female to win the award.
Sarah-Jane Collins, another Divall's truck driver, agrees: "It's a great industry to be in."
On an average day, Sophie's truck and dog trailer could transport building materials - sand and rock for concrete, road base, or fertilizer - to Sydney, Newcastle, or Cowra. At the moment, she's carrying road base to the wind farm at Boorowa.
"You get to be out and see the countryside; do different things and go to different places; meet new people," Sophie said. "That's what I love - always meeting new people."
Sarah-Jane, a former café worker, now drives a heavy rigid delivering gravel, sand, and dirt within 100km of Goulburn. She does a lot of hourly hire work with councils or for customers removing dirt from properties.
"You're outdoors; you're always somewhere different," Sarah-Jane said. "You're not stuck in an office at the same spot all the time. Most of the places I go are rural, so I'm meeting old farmers and helping them out."
"Women Behind the Wheel", a training initiative by Divall transport manager Troy Cook, gave Sarah-Jane the chance to be a truckie.
"I always wanted to [drive a truck], to have a crack at it," Sarah-Jane remembered.
Sarah-Jane and nine other local women spent six hours learning with Alfie's Truck Licence Training & Water Delivery, before sitting a driving exam with an instructor from Sydney to gain their licences. Three weeks later, after obtaining her work site certificate, Sarah-Jane started with Divalls.
Sophie said she got her driving licences on her own, not through Women Behind the Wheel. She began with Divall's five years ago carting concrete. A year and a half ago, Troy Cook asked her if she wanted to drive a truck.
"I was a bit over the concrete," Sophie remembered; "I wanted a new challenge. So I gave that a go - it was the best thing I'd ever done. I'm so grateful to Troy for giving me a go."
Both women agree that they've faced some prejudice from diehard males as some of the few female truck drivers.
"The looks you get from people who think girls shouldn't be driving really annoy me," Sophie said. "We can do whatever we want!"
Sarah-Jane found working in a male-dominated industry a challenge at first. "Nearly all the sport I do is male-dominated, so I was a little used to it, but now, nearly two and a half years on, the males are starting to realise that more females are coming into the trucking industry."
Sophie is campaigning to improve truck drivers' mental health. They struggle with fatigue, she said; owner-drivers have little social or financial support; the food at roadhouses is cheap but unhealthy; and many drivers do not have the time for exercise.
Sophie's secret: "I have a fridge in my truck, so I can take fruit, wraps, and sandwiches, so I don't have to stop so often to buy food. I also drink four litres of water a day, which means I have to stop sometimes to find toilets."
Unfortunately, the toilet facilities desperately need improving, Sophie said. "They're horrible! We need more out there for females."
Sophie wants to get more young drivers into the transport industry.
"That's hard because companies want people with experience. But how do young people get experience if they haven't grown up around trucks? That's a huge thing."
Divall's will hold its 2020 Recruitment Day tomorrow to give the public 'A Taste of Earthmoving' - described as a chance for school leavers, people looking for a career change, or those out of work a chance to drive a truck. Registrations, unfortunately, are closed.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.
Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.