Iwona Blecharczyk is a hard-working woman, being both an owner-operator in the haulage business, while also managing her role as a successful social media influencer. She has been driving trucks for more than 11 years, both in the harsh winter climate of North America, as well as on the long winding roads throughout Europe. However, she didn’t have much experience driving in the country where her favorite truck comes from: Sweden.
When Volvo Trucks launched a digital competition for truck drivers, where one selected winner would get the chance to go on a once in a lifetime road-trip from Gothenburg to the North Cape, the most northern point of Europe, Iwona didn’t have to think twice. She sent in a video, and out of more than 2,000 drivers from all parts of the world, Iwona was picked as the winner.
“In the Volvo Trucking Adventure, we were looking for a driver with extensive truck driving experience, and an outgoing and adventurous personality. Since the adventure was going to be filmed and published on social media, an important criterion was also to be comfortable on camera. Iwona ticked all the boxes with her broad experience, positive and adventurous personality, and can-do mentality,” explains Lene Larsen, Project Manager, The Volvo Trucking Adventure.
In addition to Iwona Blecharczyk, the top 20 candidates from all over the world were invited to Volvo Trucks in Gothenburg for an exclusive event.
"We wanted to do something special for our driver community by giving them an opportunity to come and experience the homeland of Volvo Trucks. By putting truck drivers in the spotlight, we also want to draw attention to the important work they are doing every day," says Roger Alm, President, Volvo Trucks.
“I’m impressed that Volvo Trucks stages a motivational event which attracts so many drivers from all over the world. When I learnt that I was the chosen one it was like the biggest honor ever, to be chosen by the brand that I love so much, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity,” says Iwona Blecharczyk.
Since Iwona was in her early twenties, she has had a vision to become a truck driver and travel the world. After a couple of years as a professional driver within the heavy haulage segment, she decided to follow her dream, and started her own transport company – Imagination.
Exploring new countries, and meeting new people is what I enjoy the most about being a truck driver. I feel so fortunate to be able to live my dream
When asked if there are any downsides about being a truck driver she admits: “Well, one thing that can be a bit tricky when you are out on the road is to find good sanitary facilities! That can be a bit frustrating sometimes, especially for us female drivers I guess.”
Regarding her safety as a female truck driver, working, living, and spending nights on the road, Iwona explains: “I take some precautions like parking in safe places, trying not to draw too much attention to myself etc, but I’m never afraid. Sometimes it can feel a little isolated maybe, being far away from family and friends. It would be nice to have some more female colleagues, I think! Today there are only around 3% female truck drivers in Europe. I would love to see more women driving trucks!”
In September, Iwona started her journey from Gothenburg towards the North Cape. A trip of more than 2,000 km. A piece of cake for an experienced truck driver, but this drive was not quite like any other day at work. Watch the videos below to learn more about Iwona’s road-trip (the second and third video will be published in January 2023)!
Watch episode 1: An electrifying start
Watch episode 2: Swedish steel, Swedish trucks
Watch episode 3: Machines and nature