Fragile girls usually don’t get too excited behind the wheel of multi-ton road monsters. But Milena is an honorable exception. Tomáš Hadač found out how she got into this profession and what she enjoys most about it.
How does a girl think of becoming a truck driver?
I have always loved different machines. Even as a child, I was attracted to trucks, motorbikes, excavators, tractors, harvesters. I was also fascinated by cranes, for example. It was fun to watch when all these machines were in tow. In addition, I grew up in a village where boys tinkered with engines, so I kind of smelled it.
So as a child you played with cars instead of dolls?
Not quite. I was just a little girl who loved dolls, showed off, was such a princess, but at the same time I also enjoyed cars and motorbikes. And I still have both.
But how did you get into professional truck driving?
I needed a change. I worked in a social therapy workshop where I helped people with mental and physical disabilities. But then my heart longed to become a driver. However, to make it a challenge at the same time, I decided on a truck. Because I only drove cars before. And I guess I got a little nudged that I was jealous of my friend who is a truck driver. So I simply signed up for a driving school and fulfilled a big childhood dream.
Do you remember your first ever ride?
I was insanely nervous. I went to Prague and I was afraid of it. But I returned home happy as a flea. I admire everyone who picks themselves up right from the start and jumps into international trucking. And especially girls.
What did they say at home, did they discourage you at first?
They crossed paths. Mainly because they were afraid that nothing would happen to me. But then they accepted it and now they support me. They had nothing else left. Because when I put my mind to something, I just do it!
Do you clean the inside of the car like a girl?
I generally like order and cleanliness. Every Friday I do a big cleaning and otherwise minor cleaning during the week when I have a moment of time. Oh, and I’m crazy about the disinfected steering wheel. I polish it very often. Otherwise, when it comes to decoration, I’m a minimalist, you won’t find any wild decoration here.
Volvo FH 500. Although it is an older piece, it is enough for me as a beginner for now. Kamil, as I call him, drives me reliably.
Share an interesting travel incident with the reader.
I was driving somewhere in the Vysočina and I received a message on the radio from a colleague that after a few kilometers I would meet a truck standing in the opposite direction and that a convoy was forming behind it. However, there is nothing in front of him. That the driver has his head down on the steering wheel, so let me check him. So I stopped there, then shouted at the driver, but still nothing. So I started honking, and my colleague jumped up, suddenly woke up, and to my question if he was not sick, he answered that he had only fallen asleep. He was constipated, so he said he would rest for a while. But the cars started moving and he gasped there. Luckily no one was hurt so we laughed it off.
Thank God, most colleagues are great. Of course, there are also a few who look at me through the fingers that I am a woman, behave arrogantly, but there are really a minimum of them. Negative things tend to happen on social networks, where people are often under the guise of anonymity.
It is on social networks that you are very successful under the nickname Mili – CZ Truck, tens of thousands of people follow you. What is it?
I try to be myself, entertain people and also motivate the drivers to bring a positive attitude to our work. And somehow this mix works, for which I am very grateful.
What fulfills you besides work?
Apart from fitness, trips, furniture restoration or walks, motorcycles were my life until recently. I drove a ridiculous amount of kilometers during the season and was in the saddle almost all the time. But then came a serious accident and a very bad leg injury. I’ll see if I can find my way back to the bikes. But now I am most fulfilled by driving a truck.