Truck driving, especially in the music scene, used to be a pretty heavily male dominated industry. Trucking and event transport was no exception to this rule. Until now! Here at Pieter Smit we’re excited and proud to say that the amount of women in our ranks is growing by the day. It’s time to get to know these rolemodels. So in this episode, we catch Joyce (30) who just got back from her tour with Eddie Vedder.
So what’s it like to be a woman in this industry? Is it still heavily male dominated? “Yeah, I think it is. It’s changing, but it is. Men are always trying to help me while not strictly necessary. That’s nice of them, of course, but women are just as capable of doing this job as men are. I guess some men just kind of have to get used to that after decades on the road. It’s kind of funny to me to see their surprised looks when I pull something off they wanted to do for me.”
Do people around you respond well to you being a truck driver? “I started out as a lighting tech and I still work in that capacity besides my truck driving work. So I’m used to the industry and people know what to expect from me. I started driving trucks because of that job: I got hungry for the road and wanted to experience what it was like. So my friends and family know that I’m away a lot. But I keep a small blog on Facebook about my touring, so they’re up to date after all.”
How about your colleagues on the road? “Apparently sometimes I work a little too hard. I get too excited and want to help other drivers out. Because of my background, I know how to load a truck and how to think like a tech rather than a driver. I can’t sit still. Some crews don’t expect it, but I think it’s important to do this job together, even though you’re on your own while driving. We are always under pressure to deliver our load on time, so if I can help you move faster, I will.”
About being hungry for the road: where did that hunger stem from? “I don’t know, I got my truck driver’s license about three years ago because it was convenient for some of my clients. I’ve toured as a lighting tech before, but it’s an entirely different ball game to tour as a driver. I was curious what it would be like and I’m really happy I got the opportunity to try. And for four weeks, for Eddie Vedder no less! I was on my own for 80% of this run and it was my first tour, so that was really exciting. I made it work though, I’m so damn proud of myself!”
Do you think it’s important to share that pride and be a rolemodel? “I don’t know if I’m a rolemodel per se. But I do think it should be easier for women in the music industry. There aren’t many of us, but we do our jobs just as well as men. Differently, perhaps, because hey- our brains are just wired differently! And that’s totally okay! We might have different specialties and a different outlook on things but at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. I do think that we’re making a change for the better though, so girls, if you want to start touring, do it! There’s no reason why not!”