A glamorous mum who switched her career as a nail technician to become a lorry driver after a DARE says she is ‘delighted’ after being crowned Trucker of the Year.
Mum-of-three Kara Rouse, of South Normanton, received the accolade this week after scooping nominations from people across the country.
Kara, 41, said she began her heavy-duty career just over four years ago.
She said: “I used to work as a nail technician before driving trucks.
“My ex-partner betted me one day that I couldn’t pass the Heavy Goods Vehicle test.
“I’m not one to turn down a challenge, so I took it – and smashed all the tests with flying colours.”
Kara’s career – and sense of humour – has earned her a loyal following. She has more than 15,000 people liking her Facebook page and has even appeared on television.
Despite Kara’s success, few women dare follow in her tyre tracks.
Kara said: “I’d say that 90 per cent of people perceive that women shouldn’t be in the trucking industry.
“Even now I hear the typical ‘women driver’ grumbles and people saying women shouldn’t drive lorries – but it’s total rubbish.”
“That sort of attitude really puts women off. Which is bad because we are safer drivers and we’re excellent at this job.”
While some blokes will give Kara stick over her job, there are three who definitely don’t – her sons.
Kara said: “My three boys love the fact I drive lorries. I know they‘re proud of their mum – I’m the talk of the school. They love it when they can come to work with me too”
Throughout October, the UK public nominated drivers from all over the country to be named as Staveley Head’s Trucker of the Year.
The competition, which is the first of its kind, aimed to showcase the unsung heroes of the trucking industry.
On her win, Kara said: “I am so excited. I can’t believe I have been nominated by so many.
“I have found the nominations very moving; after all I am just being me.”
This is not the first time the mum has been in the spotlight within the trucking community.
In February, Kara appeared on Watch’s Bin There Dump That! TV series.
Kara is also a passionate fundraiser for Cancer Research UK.
She recently released a trucking girls calendar on behalf of the charity – and has raised £10,000 in just three weeks.
To find out more about Kara – and to support her charity calendar – search ‘Kara Rouse’ on Facebook.
Ashley Peters, managing director at Staveley Head, said: “As providers of HGV insurance we’re always keen to support the trucking industry.
“We received some fantastic nominations. It was a delight to understand and get to know the people behind the trucks.”
Kara has won a Virgin Experience Gift Card, a feature in Trucking Magazine and the title of first-ever Trucker of the Year.