Let me take you back to June 2012. I am recovering from a burn-out and on vacation in Sweden. As a car enthusiast, I visit the Volvo museum in Gothenburg. The last hall of the museum is dedicated to trucks. It is the first time that I have consciously been so close to these large vehicles. I decide to climb into one of them, curious to experience the feeling of sitting so high. As soon as I get behind the big steering wheel, I know: this is it!
THE FIRST KILOMETERS
A year later: I exchange a coupon for a truck driving trial lesson at a local driving school. During the first kilometers, I have to get used to the double clutch. Although having experience in driving cars, driving a truck is something different. The position on road, the size of the vehicle and the effect of the weight on the driveability are new to me. What a responsibility… But it feels great! So I decide to take lorry driving lessons.
LEARNING BY DOING
First, three theoretical exams have to be passed. I decide to commute by train to my full-time job in the insurance industry, to use the travel time for learning. In order to understand how a truck is technically constructed, I assist an evening at a truck workshop nearby. Finally, the driving lessons can start. And on the 31st of July 2014 I pass the exam in class C, later followed by class CE.
THE JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
My HGV driving license with the professional competence document (Code 95) is in the pocket. So, what will I do with it? The idea is to do promotional activities for truck brands. I’ll have to know what I’m talking about, although I don’t know much about the transport industry so far. Also, I want to find out if the prejudices about truck drivers are true; I want to see and hear it myself. What is it, that make drivers face their job, day in, day out? With a strong drive to fathom this, I start a journey of discovery within the transport industry. I share my experiences on social media.
Not much later: trucks have now become my big hobby, literally and figuratively. I decide to work one day less per week and call this day ‘#TruckingWednesday’. The free time is now spent attending events and fairs, visiting truck dealers in order to ride different brands and types of trucks and talking to everybody I meet on my way. From drivers to importers, from truck dealers to suppliers -and everybody between. My network, knowledge and strive to learn more about this sector is growing increasingly.
Pretty soon, I get my first assignment and requests to write articles. And in 2015, I get asked to do a big promotional campaign for a truck brand, followed by many other collaborations.
Each time I work with trucks, I feel the adrenaline flowing through my veins. I realize that I will never be happy again with my steady job. It is about time to take another path and to formalize and spread my activities under the name #ITSMYDRIVE at the Chamber of Commerce.
Since December 2016, I am running the #ITSMYDRIVE business fulltime. I share my experiences within the transport industry on social media with photos, text and videos. The main goal with the (registered) brand #ITSMYDRIVE® is to inspire others: ‘Find out what drives you, discover your path and enjoy the ride!’. To reinforce that message, official merchandise is available in the online shop.
I take care of the representation of truck and transport related products and services. I present, vlog and support in the creation of authentic content. Both for online communications and hard copy magazines. I like to work with companies and people that also have a good dose of positive energy and a drive to make it a success together. It makes me proud when I look back on how the past years have gone and with whom I have already been able to work together. And every day I realize: this is just the beginning…
So, this is my story, my drive. What’s yours?
Eline de Vries – founder of #ITSMYDRIVE®