We met with Pamela Dennison today as she prepares to head off to the World Driver Championships in Ghent later this week.
Pamela, of WS Dennison has been selected to represent team Ireland along side drivers from Keelings and Gencat in what is the first Irish contingent to compete in the bi-annual event.
Having worked with the family business since leaving school Pamela has learnt everything about the haulage industry from the ground up. Pamela gained her category C+E licence, completed her Certificate of Professional Competence and became a Chartered Member, as well as a National Officer for the Chartered Institute of logistics and Transport, so its fair to say she know a lot about the haulage industry.
We spoke to her to get her thought of the competition and on being one of only a small number of female drivers in not only the competition but also the industry in general.
How does is feel to be representing Ireland in the World Driver Championships?
I feel honoured to be to have been given such an opportunity. It really is an experience I wasn’t expecting and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel!
What are you looking forward to most?
Apart from representing Ireland at such a prestigious level, the opportunity to meet drivers from such a diverse range of countries, understand the challenges they face and the concerns they have in comparison to ours will be a real eye opener for me.
Is there anything you think will be particularly challenging?
Without a doubt the biggest challenge will be the left-hand drive vehicles. Specifically, the reversing is causing me a few headaches, but nothing a few practice session can’t fix.
As it’s the first time any of the team have taken part the fear of the unknown is also playing its part in pre-event nerves. But we can’t grow without pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones – that’s the main reason I continue to grab new opportunities with both hands.
Being a professional driver, do you think it is important to always be learning and improving?
Absolutely. No matter how many years you have been driving or how many courses you have completed there always more to learn. With laws and regulations changing and both vehicles and technology evolving its vital to stay ahead of the game. Its easy to get stuck in a rut, but by setting yourself new challenges and pushing boundaries you will continue to build your skill set and ultimately become a better driver.
Does being one of only a small number of female drivers in the competition give you an advantage or disadvantage?
I hope neither. The competition is about knowledge, skill set, maximising productivity , know the size of your vehicle and driving safely. Physical strength doesn’t come into it.
Because of this, I’m not out to prove myself as a female driver. I’m out to prove myself as an HGV driver, to myself. I know I’m as good as anyone else in the competition.
Pamela has agreed to keep a video diary of her time in the competition, sharing her highlights which you can see on our Facebook at the end of each day.
Team Ireland have gained sponsorship from a number of Irish companies including NIBC to fund the trip for the competitors. If you would like to find out more about the competition please visit http://www.epda.ie/uicr-professional-driver-championship-belgium-2018.html