ODDS OVER­COME

Ob­tain­ing a job with lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence in the road trans­port in­dus­try is tough enough, but hav­ing a dis­abil­ity brings up its own set of bar­ri­ers. Tamara Whitsed re­ports on one woman’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to beat the odds and ob­tain her dream job

Owner Driver - - Front Page -

driver Candice Lure­man has set­tled into her dream job be­hind the wheel of a 2012 Mercedes­Benz Ac­tros 2648 B-dou­ble.

Candice, 35, who is deaf, ap­plied for 3500 truck driv­ing jobs be­fore join­ing the team at Visa Global Logistics in Jan­uary 2017.

In the Ac­tros, she usu­ally carts con­tainer­ised im­port freight with shifts rang­ing be­tween 10 and 12 hours long, start­ing at 4am or 5am. Th­ese busy work days in­clude wharf slots, de­liv­er­ing full con­tain­ers, col­lect­ing empty con­tain­ers, and de­hir­ing empty con­tain­ers.

Candice says faced many chal­lenges af­ter de­cid­ing she wanted to drive trucks. First she had to find some­one will­ing to train her.

“Once they re­alised I was deaf, their ex­cuses as to why they couldn’t help me flowed thick and fast,” Candice says.

For­tu­nately, Strate­gix Train­ing Group helped her ob­tain her Heavy Rigid li­cence in 2011.

Soon af­ter, she found work with a large trans­port com­pany but she lost this job in Septem­ber 2013 and bat­tled to find her next op­por­tu­nity.

Candice re­ceived many re­sponses to her 3500 truck driv­ing ap­pli­ca­tions “but once I texted them to ex­plain my deaf­ness, all I re­ceived were emails or texts wish­ing me all the best for the fu­ture,” Candice says.

“Get­ting past HR at­ti­tudes to­ward women and peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­ity be­came my great­est chal­lenge.”

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