Heike Molter -
Image credit to: The Trucker - https://thetrucker.com/exchanges-first-female-otr-drivers-in-europe-hopes-more-women-take-up-trucking/
Molter (from Gruenstadt, Germany) was the first female trucker to apply and pass first time to work as part of the US Army and Air Force Exchange, with some applicants requiring multiple attempts, Molter passed first time with flying colors – wowing the heads of the firm and inspiring many more women in Europe and the States to pursue trucking as a career option.
Molter said she wants more diversity and acceptance of women in trucking across the world, considering the impression she has given during her career, Heike is a shining example for the truckers of Europe to follow.
Matthias Erdmann –
Image credit to: RP Online - https://rp-online.de/nrw/panorama/rettungsaktion-bei-leverkusen-matthias-erdmann-ist-der-held-der-a1_aid-38682917
In the city of Cologne, Germany, Matthias Erdmann was at the wheel on the motorway, when he noticed a truck alongside him had no driver at the wheel. The truck driver had sadly died while on the motorway, but the vehicle kept moving. Erdmann, assisted with the efforts by members of the police force and other truckers, were able to bring the truck to a halt before it reached a steep hill, which would’ve endangered dozens of lives.
Climbing onto the truck from a police van, he smashed open the window of the truck – climbed inside and bought the vehicle to a complete halt. The local police said Erdmann was “a hero who deserved a medal.”
Lukasz Urban –
Image credit to: Medium - https://medium.com/@frederic_38110/the-hero-of-berlin-lukasz-robert-urban-a65f03868dc5
Lukasz Urban was attacked in his cabin a few hours before an attack with the vehicle took place during the Berlin Christmas Market in 2016. Initially, investigators believed Lukasz had fought with his attacker in an effort to prevent the attack – but sadly, it was later discovered he had been shot hours beforehand.
Despite that, Lukasz had incredible admiration among his peers, the Polish President spoke of Lukasz saying he had “Huge respect for Lukasz Urban, who in the eyes of many is definitely a hero, a courageous person.” During his funeral, Lukasz was praised by his peers, many of whom gathered their trucks to honk horns to honour him. A donation page to Mr Urban’s family was set up by a British trucker: Dave Duncan, which raised over £178,000 for the sake of his memory.
Martina McNally –
Image credit to: Irish Mirror - https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/21-year-old-armagh-truck-12163704
Martina from Armagh, Ireland, drives a 730 horsepower Scania, which she named “Bully” to festivals and shows all over the UK, Ireland and Europe. She said the vehicle “would be like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, it’s nearly triple the price of a normal lorry. It’s all brown leather and there is mood lighting inside that changes colour.”
Speaking on her experience as a woman with a truck, she said: “You meet people and their brake lights are on saying ‘Look at that girl driving a truck!’ and children are pointing. It’s still a rare thing to see a female trucker.” Which Marina hopes to change the perception of and inspire others.
“There are lots of girls texting me saying they want to get their lorry test. I would encourage them 100% to go for it. It’s a confidence thing.” She explained some of the assumptions that others have made: “If you do something wrong it’s not because you’re learning it’s because you’re a girl. It’s the only thing I don’t like about it.”
Yordan Arabadzhiev –
Head of the Union of International Hauliers in Bulgaria, Yordan has helped truckers on an international scale – endorsing support for European truckers who could feel unfairly treated by changes to regulations or laws while operating within the EU.
Most recently, in January, Mr Arabadzhiev supported truckers voicing their anger when taking to the streets in Brussels to protest as the EU introduced the Mobility Package. Which could lead to many firms closing their doors and the loss of up to 120,000 jobs in the coming years due to unforeseen costs.
With Yordan’s support in the Union, European truckers can rest assured they will always have a voice regarding these matters.
Any trucker heroes we missed? Give them a mention in the comments!