Kelly Diane Freeman is a 30-year-old former beauty therapist who has recently become a truck driver. IRU had the chance to speak with her to see why she decided to make the switch.
Kelly, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Wexford, the Republic of Ireland. Growing up, my dad had a haulage company and I spent a lot of time around trucks. But, back then, it was not common for women to drive trucks, so I was not interested in the profession at the time. Instead, I decided to become a beauty therapist.
After several years of travelling abroad to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and other places, I wanted a career change.
That sounds exciting! Why did you decide to change careers?
While I was in New Zealand, I worked in a warehouse environment where I was driving forklifts and loading/unloading trucks and trailers. That’s when I got interested in the profession. As soon as I returned home, I learnt about the Professional Heavy Goods Vehicle programme that is available here in Ireland. I worked extremely hard to secure a place on this course, as, by then, I had a huge interest in the profession.
And how did it go?
The course was absolutely fantastic. It was a 29-week-long programme from which I obtained different licences and certificates, such as my Rigid Licence and Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, along with training on load securing and more. The programme was exceptional, and the tutors and drivers were amazing. I made some lifelong friends.
The only regret I have is not doing it earlier! But better late than never as they say. I have now been employed by Newline Oil since August 2020, and I absolutely love my job!