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Highland teenager joins 1% of truckers who are female after passing test on first try

Lucy Stewart.
Lucy Stewart.

A north teenager is ready to hit the road as a female trucker after following in both her father and step-father’s footsteps.

Lucy Stewart, 19, from Garve in Ross-shire, passed her lorry-driving test first time and is about to embark on a career on the road, joining the elite group of just 1% of truck drivers who are female.

The former Dingwall Academy pupil is working for her stepdad John Shepherd’s haulage firm, Contin-based K V Shepherd and Son having previously helped out in the office there.

“I’m keen to take that over in time so am learning the ropes,” she said.

“But I have horses as well so it makes it easier and saves my mum driving the trailer all the time.”

Miss Stewart did a week-long intensive training course with MD Fiddes Training Driving School in Inverness, before passing her theory, hazard perception and practical test first time.

The £1,400 course was funded by Garve Community Council in conjunction with Foundation Scotland, and her first-time pass adds to her unblemished track record since passing her car test aged 17.

“I enjoy driving and I’m always out galavanting in my car,” Miss Stewart added.

“So I thought why not sit my HGV?

“My dad was the one who said to book it and just get it done while I’m young. He thought I could always use it later on if not now because with a lorry job you can get work any day.”

She’s already swapped her Mercedes A Class car for an eight-wheeled lorry having begun work on local routes and the odd overnight job.

If she passes her class one test next, she’ll be able to drive articulated lorries up to 45-feet-long too.

It might not always be easy being a female trucker living life in the slow lane, though.

“People are quite surprised when they see me driving a truck because I am so young and I’m a girl,” Miss Stewart added.

“When I was out through the week I was getting funny looks from other drivers, especially men. I’m not the stereotypical lorry driver as the job is mainly dominated by men.”

However she’s got the full backing of mum Donna Newton, dad Keith Stewart and older sister Clare Stewart.

Mr Stewart, who has his HGV and skippers licences, added: “It’s pretty unusual but I’m a very proud dad. Even if she isn’t sure what to do with herself, she’ll never be stuck for work.”

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