Download: Youngest Female Trucker

By Caters TV


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So much for this being a man's world... an 18-year-old GIRL is banishing male stereotypes after becoming Britain's youngest LORRY DRIVER.

Going into the family trucking business was always on the cards for Jess Stubbs, as both dad Graham and older sister Lucy are masters of the motorways.

And despite her grammar school upbringing and promising university outlook, determined Jess ditched books for trucks and is now the youngest qualified HGV driver in the country.

As soon as Derbyshire lass Jess passed her driving test at 17 she began helping out at her dad's farming company Bliss Bedding - moving vans, heavy machinery and smaller vehicles.

Currently the legal age to hold a HGV driving licence is 18 and Jess, who passed first time, was in no mood to wait around.

Jess said: "I've been working at my dad's business for years - everyone knew me as 'Baby Trucker'. As soon as I could, I took my test and passed first time with just four minors.

"For me it wasn't always about going to university - it was about doing what you enjoy. Just because I'm a lorry driver doesn't mean I can't enjoy girly things.

"When I'm not on the road I enjoy anything girls my age enjoy. Me and my sister love having our hair and nails done and enjoying nights out."

Growing up on a farm, Jess has never been afraid of getting her hands dirty and getting stuck into manual labour.

And with sister Lucy, 24, the pair have had to learn how to handle themselves among crowds of burly men.

Jess said: "The trucking industry is so male-dominated and it can be really challenging at times to be a young girl surrounded by blokes.

"Some of them can be rude, crude and say some really sexist things at times - but most of the time you can have a really good laugh with them."

The trickiest part of Jess' job is manoeuvring a 45ft wagon along country roads near her home and work in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

The narrow lanes, tight squeezes and sharp blind bends may prove a tough task for even the most accomplished roadsters.

But cool-headed Jess has no difficulty steering her 50 tonne truck - which is an old Eddie Stobart 12.9litre engine DAF XF 95 - around the countryside.

Jess said: "My dad, uncles, cousins and sisters are truckers - it runs right through my family. You just have to get used to the driving and once you've cracked it everything's brilliant.

"The best part of the job is never knowing where you're going to go - it can be anywhere in the country. One day you're in Scotland surrounded by breath-taking views, the next you're on the south coast.

"My friends think it's amazing that I drive lorries as most of them have never even been near one never mind known someone who drives them.

"Quite often they like to come on trips with me up and down the country."

Sister Lucy, a mum-of-one, is known as the 'Mother Trucker' and Jess insists there is no better driver.

But when the pair aren't ploughing up and down the M1, they spend quality time together and especially enjoy looking after themselves.

Jess said: "We always find time to enjoy ourselves - it's hard work being a woman truck driver. But over the past 20 years more and more women have taken to the road and it's certainly a lot easier that it was.

"I wouldn't change my office for anything else in the world."