How Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls had a fleet boost

New Volvo FH16 supports operation’s training and freight tasks

How Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls had a fleet boost
Tony O’Connell and Heather Jones


Details have emerged on the Volvo truck that Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls (PHHG) received at last month’s Brisbane Truck Show.

Volvo Trucks Australia vice president of sales Tony O’Connell handed over the keys to PHHG FH16 CEO Heather Jones in front of the pink-liveried truck, stationed at Reddacliff Place as part of Volvo Group Australia’s display of trucks to promote the show.  

"The new FH16 is absolutely wonderful, I’m excited to hop in and drive it home," Jones says.

A strong proponent of supporting industry skills, Volvo partnered with PHHG in 2016 to support its driver training program in Western Australia, as it looked to increase the involvement of women within the trucking industry.

"The relationship with Volvo Group Australia means the world to me because without their support and sponsorship we wouldn’t be able to do what we do," Jones says

For Volvo’s part, O’Connell underlines the importance of helping out those striving to better the community.

"We are so passionate about helping Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls because they do such good work in our industry," O’Connell says.

What this has meant for PHHG’s ability to grow not only its training program, but its output as an active haulage company, is not lost on Jones.

"We were using older trucks, 10 to 12 years old. If something happened to those trucks it would have been the end of our business," she recalls.

"These new trucks have the latest technology to train our new drivers so they’re trained to the latest equipment." 


Read ATA CEO Ben Maguire’s experiences with PHHG’s work in WA, here

The new FH16 will be put to work as a long-haul transport vehicle as well as to train aspiring drivers.

While passionate about getting more women into the industry and promoting safety on the road – PHHG has trained more than 60 drivers in the last three  years – Jones reveals another motivation behind what she does in WA.

"One of our latest drivers came to us as a domestic violence victim, but we didn’t know that," she says.

"When she came, she was quite a quiet, crushed soul, but when she left she was a really happy person.

"She was empowered because her life had been changed,"

The driver now tows triple road-trains in Queensland and, according to Jones, is living a new life.

"We’re not just training people, we’re not just teaching them road safety and driver education, we’re actually changing peoples’ lives as well and that is something we never thought – we’re giving them a future."

During its four days at Reddacliff Place, it is estimated more than 1,000 people interacted with the Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, with an overwhelmingly positive response reported.

"So many people from so many walks of life want to come over and have a chat, and hundreds want photos," Jones says

While her profile continues to rise, she remains focused on getting everyone involved who is able to contribute.

"This is a really awesome industry and if you’ve got an opinion on the industry, go and get your licence and come and make change," she adds.


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