BARBARA Anderson has made a major contribution to the road transport industry in the far north.
Barbara and her husband, Steve, are directors of Anderson Transport Service NQ Pty Ltd which is based on the outskirts of Townsville.
The company has 11 trucks - eight Kenworths and three Freightliners - which carry cement powder in tankers, general freight on flat-top trailers, half-height containers, iso's , copper on flat top trailers, and also have end tippers.
They have eight drivers employed driving from road trains to single local work as well as three workshop staff along with one administration staff member.
Barbara and Steve are ably assisted by astute operations manager Vidonna Lewis.
"I allocate all the drivers and keep the place running day to day - hopefully without too many hiccups,” Vidonna said.
Big Rigs asked Barbara for her personal insight into a woman's contribution to road transport.
"Every woman that is with a truck driver has contributed to the road transport industry, some more than others,” Barbara said.
"Many women have not selected their paths in the road transport industry. Often we take up and then marry the person who loves to drive trucks.”
It then goes from driving to owning a truck to adding another truck and so on.
The wife/partner is often expected to do the paperwork regardless of whether she has any skills in that area but there is a lot more than just invoicing, one must manage finances, legislations, registrations and taxations.
"Many of us listen to the frustrations of our men and then go on to tackle it through legislation. We endeavour to make those who are on roads and working around trucks a safe environment and those on the road to come home safely at the end of his/her shift.
"Some of us have gone on to have children and raised them on our own, we become a single mother in a married life.
"We learn to become the handyperson around the house, to check our own car for water and oil, change a tyre and mow the lawns.
"We learn not to expect our other half to be there for the birth of our children, for birthdays or special occasions and if they are there then that is a bonus.
"This way we are not disappointed. We are there through the tough times and the good times but mainly because we love the man we are with and no matter what happens we will both grow old together no matter what the outcome.”
Barbara pinpoints the positive role of many women and their importance in transport, particularly in family-run businesses.