Insta-famous truckie encourages young people to get behind the wheel

When South Australia’s Casuarina Jayne (CJ) took up truck driving for a living, she never expected to have thousands of social media fans around the world joining her on the trip

For many first-time truckies, its normal to have some form of mentor to look up to.

A family member, friend, or boss who can walk you through the many aspects of the job and provide advice.

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Nowadays however, sometimes the best mentors are the ones you find online.

Casuarina Jayne (CJ) is a South Australian truckie now working out at the goldfields near Perth.

She now works out at the goldfields near Perth

When starting out in her new job, CJ says that she was often asking questions that made her look ‘really dumb’.

“A lot of people get really embarrassed asking questions when you start out,” she says.

“But the truth is, you don’t know what you don’t know. You have to learn everything on the job.”

Sensing that this was a problem faced by many new truckies, CJ decided that she could be someone for people to come too.

“There were no mentors online that I could look up to, there was no one that I would go to that looked like me that I could ask questions too,” she says.

“I was like, I’m learning all of this information, and I want to share this with other people, so they don’t have to feel stupid on the job.”

We’ve never seen someone look so comfortable behind the wheel

CJ went to her HR department and told them she was going to create an account that showcases the realities of life on the road.

“As I learn a new skill, I’ll post it and share it,” she says. “I’ll show what it’s really like behind the wheel of a truck.”

“I just really want to learn from all those around me and help share all that knowledge with others.”

And boy did she post.

Her Instagram account @truckingwithCJ has gained traction over the past two years, garnering nearly 65,000 followers.

Truck drivers and enthusiasts from all over the world have been tuning in, watching her showcase her skills and curiosity.

“I love the fact that I’m building a community and bringing people together. It’s global now.”

She has even taken it upon herself to highlight other truck drivers, ensuring recognition is shared.

“On my Instagram stories I now showcase my followers, where they are from and what they drive.”

“I’ve had people from like, everywhere, like Egypt, like all through Europe, South Africa, South America, America, Canada, everywhere.”

Despite her undeniable success, CJ wasn’t always set on truck driving.

CJ used to drive concrete trucks, then tippers, then fuel, working herself up the ladder

Growing up on a cherry orchard, CJ’s father went full-time truck driving when she was in year 11-12.

“I was always around it, but honestly I just didn’t think that that would be a job for me, and I didn’t think I’d be able to do it.”

Upon graduating high school she worked in a motorbike store, with dreams of racing motocross.

“I did that for a couple years, then found myself as an insurance broker.”

As she learns a new skill, she’ll post and share it for her followers

She travelled around Adelaide, Darwin and Brisbane doing insurance before her sister encouraged her to try her hand at the wheel.

“She knew I would be so much happier doing that, and I would make more money.”

She started her journey driving concrete trucks, then truck and dog tippers, then fuel, working herself up the ladder.

Now driving road trains for Merkanooka Haulage, CJ says she couldn’t be happier.

“You’ve got to do the progression. I think people look at those who drive road trains and don’t realise that it’s taken me 10 years to get here.”

CJ’s father, despite being a truckie himself, wasn’t too keen at the idea of her buckling up in the rigs.

“My dad had so many concerns and fears, and he still does,” she says.

“Being a woman in the industry can be tough, with all the sexism and issues with toilets and access.”

“I’ve actually had opportunities taken away from me because of other people’s fears on my behalf.”

“They worried for me being like, oh, well, you won’t be able to change a tyre or you won’t be able to do this, but over the years I have proven that I can.

CJ had always been around trucks as a child

Inundated with comments saying she only got her job because of her dad, CJ says it’s important people stop with that narrative for women.

“People need to quit the attitude of girls getting to where they are because of their dads. They have found success through their own hard work.”

One of the main goals for CJ is to inspire and encourage younger people to get involved in the transport industry.

“We just really need more young people coming in industry. A lot of them are scared or don’t know what to do.”

“That’s why I do this, to inspire people who look like me to get behind the wheel.”

She says she would love to start attending career days at schools and take on more public speaking roles to get the ball rolling.

“I’d like to see some kind of apprenticeship programme to help young people straight out of school, get into transport industry so that they can get some experience.

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