Trucks 'in the blood' for Penny

SOLO DRIVER: Penny Groth loves her life on the road.
SOLO DRIVER: Penny Groth loves her life on the road. Contributed

PENNY Groth is a woman in a man's world, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

She was 13 years old when she first took an interest in trucks, as her grandfather was a truck driver.

"I didn't know anything else, I just liked them,” she said.

"Then I married a truck driver and I ended up driving myself.”

Penny was 25 years old and raising her two young children when she started driving trucks.

"They (the boys) were in the trucks anyway with their father, it's just in the blood,” she said.

But it wasn't just her two children whom she raised on the road, it was also her grandson.

"He was six weeks old when I took him on,” she said.

Her grandson, now a 16-year-old "full of attitude”, stayed with her in the truck for four years.

"It wasn't totally difficult but it had its moments,” she said.

"I was lucky I had a good boss at the time. The places I went to were good, I'd get there and say, 'Here, hold the bottle and the baby and I'll open it up and they said no, we'll do it for you.

"I never really had a drama anywhere I went.”

Penny Groth on her wedding day with husband Chris.
Penny Groth on her wedding day with husband Chris. Contributed

Penny said her grandson, having grown up in her truck, couldn't wait to buy his own truck.

"He reckons Nana and Poppy will work for him but I think Nana's done enough,” she said.

Penny started working for the company she's at now after moving up from NSW to be closer to her husband.

The two work for the same company and although they spend a lot of time apart, they spend a lot of time speaking on the phone.

"When we pass each other while we're driving on the highway, we'll stop and get a feed together,” she said.

So what is it about the job that keeps Penny coming back?

"I like the freedom (of it). The freedom and the peace and quiet,” she said.

"Everyone reckons I'm crazy - I could do a trip to Adelaide and not listen to music at all.

"If I feel a bit doughy I'll put some on but otherwise I just like the peace and quiet.”

While people around the country celebrated International Women's Day earlier this month, Penny offered her own advice for women wanting to enter the industry.

"My advice is to have a go and don't be scared to ask for help if you need it,” she said.

"My grandfather always said you're never too old to learn. There'll always be a driver out there who's done something that you haven't done or you'll have done something they haven't.

"Every place has different ways of doing it.”

Topics:  international women's day iwd truckie

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