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Pandemic job swap: Glampsite worker to lorry driver

How to become an HGV driver

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown up plenty of remarkable stories.

We’ve heard of drivers sleeping in their wagons to protect their families. We’ve also seen drivers giving away free food to fellow truckers at motorway services to make up for the lack of facilities right now.

The latest extraordinary story is that of a glampsite worker who transitioned to become a lorry driver at the start of the outbreak.

As reported in the Guardian, Kayleigh Easton, an operations manager on the Sedgewell Barn Holidays site, got behind the wheel of a wagon when her park was shut down.

So, how did she manage to make such a quick transition?

“I’d recently got an HGV licence, so I have been redeployed on the sister company, Tweddle Transport, delivering potatoes,” she explained.

The job switch has seen her follow in the footsteps of her dad and brother who both drive wagons. Kayleigh said she “always wanted to do it” and she’s grateful to have the opportunity to work even if “the time at home would have been lovely”.

Kayleigh has been delivering the potatoes to supermarkets and crisp factories all over the country. But as much as the experience has been “fantastic”, she says she can’t see herself being behind the wheel full-time.

“I’ve got horses and dogs so it’s not practical for me to do it all the time,” she said. She added that she also missed the side of my normal job, and won’t miss “being stuck in a hot, sticky wagon”.

It looks like Kayleigh will be going back to “making sure the wigwams are ready” once her campsite opens back up. But how has she found being a female driver in what has traditionally been a ‘man’s world’?

“Obviously being a girl and being a wagon driver is quite hard work,” she said. “With the current coronavirus restrictions, I often have to go in the men’s toilets which are not pleasant and it can be difficult to get hot food with a lot of services closed.”

She’s also felt that other drivers look at her and think: “You can’t do that, you’re a girl.”

Not an easy gig. But fair play to her for doing her bit during the pandemic! 

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