Looking Back with HIAB Method – A Woman Blazes a Trail as A Truck Driver and Crane Operator
Given the way we live these days, it is hard to imagine a time when a woman driving a truck would be news, but back in 1966, it was. The idea of a female haulage contractor with four trucks got a lot of attention back then, as an article in HIAB Method No. 3 shows.
Birgitta Berglund grew up in Stockholm surrounded by trucks—both her father and grandfather were haulers. Wanting to do more than office chores (among other things, like raising kids and running a flower shop), Ms. Berglund got her trucker’s license in 1961. From the sound of it, getting this license wasn’t easy. She was the first woman to apply for such a license and it took some “back-and-forth business” with the authorities to finally secure it.
After getting her license, she worked regularly for a wide range of customers, including one very high-profile job. Using a HIAB loader to move building gear, Ms. Berglund was on the job during the construction of the Ostermalm underground railway in Stockholm. The presence of a woman on the job site drew a crowd, but Ms. Berglund couldn’t understand why. As she said: “The ‘audience’ thought I was some sort of modern edition of the Strong Lady even though the job didn’t call for any physical exertion…Working levers…doesn’t take very big muscles.”
The article also notes that Ms. Berglund loved the HIAB loaders in her fleet and was very impressed with the new Speedloader that she was photographed with.
Imagine what she would think of the latest HIAB truck mounted cranes!