September 17 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Most teenagers have a picture in their mind of their first car once they’ve got their licence.
But one 18-year-old year old had something a bit bigger in her mind... she wanted to drive a HGV.
And as of last month Faith Cracknell is believed to be one of the youngest lorry drivers in the country to pass her Category C HGV test – just months after being able to take a car for a spin.
She had to take five different exams before becoming qualified, but is now able to take the wheel of a 32-tonner.
Speaking to the Broadcast, the former Helena Romanes School pupil said: “I have been around lorries from a very young age and then my dad started his own business – it just went from there.
“At first I was driving a transit van and I was getting a bit bored of that little thing so I said I wanted to start driving the lorries.”
Faith has always helped with her father’s transport business, fruit and veg wholesaler AC Noakes, based in Stebbing. But it was after she decided she did not want to go to college that she started driving.
Her dad, Alan, “threw the keys at her” and it has gone from there.
“I love driving and I am not scared of being on the road,” Faith said.
“It was really great when I found out I passed. Driving a lorry was scary at first but you get used to it and your confidence grows – you end up forgetting how big it is!”
Being a female driver also has it benefits. Faith says there is a lot less waiting around, although she has had a few surprised looks when turning up at jobs.
The teenager is now hoping other youngsters will follow in her footsteps.
The apprentice driver explained: “I want more young people to do it because all the other lorry drivers are getting too old!
“And it is a good career to be in – it isn’t the most glamorous job but it requires a lot of skill and it is challenging.
“Once you have passed, you can drive for anyone.”
Alan said he was “really proud” of his daughter, adding: “I was told by someone that to teach youngsters you had to drop them in the deep end and it has worked.
“She has done really well.”