Farm hand to truck driver a smooth transition for Amanda Riehl

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk


Amanda SuperLiner 2 Amanda Riehl loves life behind the wheel of a truck. Amanda SuperLiner 2
Amanda SuperLiner 3 Amanda's Bulldog pumps out 685hp (510kW). Amanda SuperLiner 3
Amanda SuperLiner at Toowoomba saleyards Amanda arrived in Toowoomba with a load of cattle from Taroom. Amanda SuperLiner at Toowoomba saleyards
Amanda SuperLiner at Toowoomba saleyards2 Robertson’s Livestock Transport's Mack Super-Liner at the Toowoomba sale yards. Amanda SuperLiner at Toowoomba saleyards2

Robertson’s Livestock Transport driver loves getting behind the wheel and seeing the country.

 

It’s a Sunday evening and 29-year-old Amanda Riehl has arrived at the Toowoomba sale yards with a load of cattle from Taroom in a Mack Super-Liner.

Amanda drives for Robertson’s Livestock Transport, a company her grandparents Greg and Shirley Robertson founded around 80 years ago.

"I’ve been around cattle and trucks all my life," Amanda, who has been driving full-time for two years, says.

"I’ve always loved the country and the outdoors, so getting away in a truck is great. I just love the freedom."

Before her truck driving career took off, Amanda was a farm hand, although that included driving trucks on the property.

Amanda was looking for a change, and when the opportunity came to drive one of the family’s trucks, she grabbed it.

"Australia’s a big place and it’s out there to explore. If you can do that and get paid for it, why not?" she says.

"You get to see a lot of country and some of it is absolutely beautiful."

In keeping with the family theme, her 25-year-old sister Belinda, based in Taroom, began driving around the same time.

"Belinda was a bit younger when she started driving; she does all the western runs out to Charters Towers," she says.

"We have a yard in Taroom and three to four trucks are based there all of the time."

Amanda’s sister, Belinda, also drives for Robertson's. Parents Bruce and Debbie are involved in the family business, with Bruce driving a stock truck while Debbie helps on the family farm at Mount Tyson.

For Amanda and Belinda, growing up in a family trucking operation has helped both in following their dreams.

"I love the chance to get behind the wheel. I think that it has got to be in your blood because there are long hours involved and some loads are not always perfect," Amanda says.

"You have cattle that go down, and you can have drought-affected cattle but that’s the name of the game."

The job of hauling cattle across the country can lead to Amanda being away from home for up to three weeks.

"I don’t mind the cattle, although it would be better if they left the crates as clean as they find them," she says.

"Although I reckon getting a bit of cow shit on you each day is a bit of a cleanser."

 

You can read Amanda's full story in the June edition of Owner//Driver magazine.

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