IT'S been a life-long love affair with trucks for Annie Alexander.
"It seems my trucking obsession began as a youngster," Annie said. "My parents have often reminded me of a story from when I was little. I was given dolls as a child while my younger brother got Tonka toys."
Apparently the tantrums (Annie's) occurred every Christmas when her brother got the 'boys toys' and she didn't. Of course, being the lady she is, Annie doesn't remember such behaviour, but it didn't diminish her love of trucks.
Her 'truck obsession' started to take a serious hold and really began to manifest itself when Annie started working as a trainer and assessor / safety officer on a road construction job at Camooweal in far north western Queensland.
Annie, not being one to pass up an opportunity, approached one of the regular drivers on the job site and asked if he could teach her to drive a truck.
Outside of the road job hours of driving lessons became adventures out on Camooweal's back roads where Annie observed and learned the driver's art and then developed her own truck driving skills.
"I learnt a great deal from him, and he treated me as an equal and encouraged me to learn," Annie said of her 'driving teacher'.
Other drivers on the job let Annie have occasional time behind the wheel giving her valuable experience on a variety of truck types.
When the Camooweal contract ended Annie moved back to Townsville.
"I then spent a lot time riding as an offsider with mates, learning and watching, taking in as much knowledge as possible while travelling the coast roads mainly but with a few western runs thrown in."
Between those times on the road Annie undertook a Certificate III in Transport and Logistics so she could gain a formal transport qualification.
"This covered all the basics like load restraint, secure cargo, fatigue management and gave me a good all-round grounding in transport and logistic subjects," Annie said.
She then set up her own training company, Queensland Regional Training and in between training assignments took on some casual driving jobs.
Her hands-on approach allowed her to constantly upgrade her own skills and qualifications so she is better able to teach others the same skills.
Through her role as a trainer Annie has constant contact and involvement with the trucking industry.
She took that 'involvement' one step further in 2012 when she married Bones, the operations manager of a Lockyer Valley-based trucking company.
Needless to say it was a truck-themed wedding.