Interview with Linda Haitsch (32), professional driver at Universal Transport
Mrs. Haitsch, why did you choose to become a professional driver?
I can blame my dad for this as he is also a professional driver. Whenever possible, he took me on journeys when I was younger. This eventually led to my love for trucks and this profession. Of course, the job description has changed a lot since then. Not only the legal framework has changed, also the traffic has increased immensely. Nevertheless, there is still some freedom associated with this job. Because I get around a lot, meet new people and every day is different. That’s the beauty of this job for me.
You are not only a professional driver but specialize in transporting big and heavy loads. As a woman in this field, do you have prejudices?
It happens quite often that older colleagues think that a woman is too weak for this profession. Maybe they are just afraid for their male domain. In the meantime, I can easily ignore such comments. After all, I prove daily that I can handle this job as a woman just as well – without the constant help of male colleagues. With that, I always earn the respect of those who are skeptical at first. 95 percent of all people I meet are initially surprised when I get out of the truck. But they soon change their mind.
Professional drivers are currently needed desperately, but there are hardly any women in this profession. Would you advise young women to train as a professional driver?
Yes, definitely – with one thing in mind: this profession can only be practiced in the long run, if you really stand behind it. For example, you must be prepared to accept restrictions in your private life, because you don’t just work from “nine to five”, Monday to Friday. In addition, you need a thick skin, because of the traffic alone. It’s not an easy job – but it’s a special one! I do not regret it.
And finally, what do you especially like about your work at Universal Transport?
We are like a big family here – so I have a lot of big brothers, dads and granddads. No matter who’s there, you’re always welcome. This team spirit is something very special at Universal Transport. I have experienced that quite differently before. I am not just a number, I have a name here