We spoke to a lot of people during the Monster Spectacular, but one story in particular stood out: that of Johanne and Luc.
Johanne comes from a family of truckers. She’s a school bus driver. Her partner, Luc works on construction sites. They both have a thing for trucks. “When I was little, I often rode with my father in his truck”, Johanne says.
Her story begins at the end of the 2015 school year: “I told my boyfriend that I wanted to drive a truck too! Not long after, he told me he had found a truck at Gamache and if I wanted, we could go take a look at it.
“So off we went. The truck was really beautiful: 12 wheels, yellow and black and an automatic, like a school bus! I tried the truck and it was as if I had been driving it all my life. It felt completely natural. I often say I was born with a steering wheel in my hands. Anyhow, driving a truck is almost like driving a bus. The difference is that a truck is higher and shorter. The truck was perfect: I was in love.
“My boyfriend told me that if I really liked it, we would take it immediately. I even drove it home.”
My first construction site
“I started working on construction sites right away, the day after school ended. My first job was at night where they were levelling Highway 40 in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. When I arrived at the work site, all made up, with my pink boots and helmet, the guys were surprised. Yes, just because I’m working on a site doesn’t mean I’m not going to look my best! They’re not used to seeing women on construction sites, it’s pretty much a male domain. But they were quick to lend a hand and explained everything to me. The guys are always nice to me on job sites! They help me if I need it. I loved my first experience on a site and still do.
“As a matter of fact, my proudest moment was at this first site. It was close to my father’s place. He was with my brother and they were watching me drive the truck. I was facing a very steep hill. I was sure I would never be able to get up the hill, especially with a heavy load, but I managed. Then I saw the pride on my father’s face.”
A fascinating job
“I must say that people are usually surprised to see a woman driving a truck. And I often see admiration and respect in their eyes!
“It’s really a fun job. If you are familiar with the mirrors and know how to back up, you’re good! The hardest part is working 12 to 14 hours straight.
“Because it’s the school year, I’m back at my regular job, but I work part-time in construction. I can’t wait for next summer to start back full time!”