Keep on truckin’ in a man’s world

Caroles truck lesson
Caroles truck lesson

Drivers Amanda Mardlin and Leigh Boothby are both just 5ft 3in but they can handle a 60ft monster truck, thanks to instructor Carole Carter.

She launched her company in 2007 and teaches men and women how to drive coaches and light and heavy goods vehicles.

Last week she successfully steered Amanda and Leigh towards gaining their Class 1 licence which will enable them to drive articulated trucks.

They are among the two per cent of the UK’s women truck drivers and, just like the stars of the new Channel 4 documentary series MotherTruckers, they’re being put through their paces by a woman teacher.

The 54-year-old, of Powys Close, Corby, said: “I’ve been an instructor since 1984 and, in my opinion, women are more determined. They have to be. Working in a man’s world they have a lot to prove.

“Sometimes they have difficulty reversing but when they master it, they’re as good as any man.”

Carole’s LGV and PGV Driver Training is based in Princewood Road, Corby, and is registered with the Driving Standards Agency.

She said: “It’s not compulsory to registered but it does show customers that the instruction they receive is of the highest standard.

“As far as I’m aware I’m the only woman running a company like this in the region and I really love my job. The TV documentary is not bad but it’s a little tongue-in-cheek. Driving trucks is a lot of hard work.”

Amanda, 48, of Kimbolton, already drives coaches and has an HGV licence. She said: “I wanted to get my Class 1 licence which will mean I can drive articulated trucks. It will be another string to my bow. We get a few women driver jokes from our male counterparts and some strange looks from other drivers, but on the whole we’re accepted.”

Leigh, also 48 and from Kimbolton, joined Amanda, who works for her husband’s coach firm Hereward, on a four-day intensive training course. She said: “My husband wanted us to get the Class 1 licence in case he wants to diversify. At the moment Amanda and I both drive coaches but in this economic climate you have to be prepared to change. We’ve done all our training with Carole and she’s great and we’re just as capable as men of driving articulated truckers.”

MotherTruckers reveals the lifestyles of a band of ladies rising to the challenge of being truck drivers.