Meet Tracey, Elev8’s Leading Lady

Posted on: June 23rd, 2015

There a lot of ladies in the access platform hire industry, but it is rare to find one operating a MEWP.    It is even more unusual to find a female driving and operating the big HGV class powered access platforms.  Elev8 Hire has one of these rare gems; in fact we think she is quite possibly one of a kind!


Meet Tracey our highly trained and skilled large truck mount MEWP operator.


IPAF Trained Lady Cherry Pickers Operator


It is unusual to find a lady operator in the access industry.  How did you get into the career of operating access machines?

I passed my HGV class II and tried to get a job in the haulage industry.  I came up against a brick wall as I didn’t have the experience they wanted.  I saw an advert in the local job centre for a HGV class II driver with the ability to work at height, I applied and the rest is history!


What training do you need to operate?

I have held my IPAF certificate since January 2007.  IPAF stands for International Powered Access Federation and is the industry standard of safety training for aerial platforms.  I am trained in categories IPAF 1b, IPAF 3a and IPAF 3b.  These categories qualify me to operate static vertical platforms (for example scissor lifts), static booms with outriggers (e.g. spider platforms, truck mounted platforms, and van mounted platforms) and Mobile self-propelled booms (such as genie booms).


I drive and operate the whole range of specialist lifting equipment that Elev8 has for hire from our tracked spiders which are perfect for using indoors or on rough terrain, to our smaller 3.5 ton truck mount cherry pickers, right up to our huge 32 ton HGV mounted powered access platforms.


I also hold my Passport to Safety and CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) which many of our construction plant hire customers require.  I am also trained in the AITT accredited operators slinging & lifting certificate.   Many of our big truck mount MEWPs have hydraulic winches and lifting frames fitted to the work cage.  This is a quick and convenient way for our customers to safely lift large objects such as sheets of glass, signs, construction materials or anything that fits within the safe working load of the basket to a very high work place.  It’s cost effective too as they do not have to hire and erect scaffolding.


Have you met any other lady cherry picker operators?

I have only ever met one other female who operated up to 7.5 ton truck mounted MEWPs but as far as I know she is not operating any more.


What reaction do you get when you arrive driving a 72m truck mount platform?

Customers tend to be surprised when I turn up as they expect a male operator.   On one occasion I arrived at York race course to perform a hire job.  I went to the reception to let them know I was on site and a gentleman came out to see me and said “tell your driver to go to gate 4”, he got a surprise when I replied “I am the driver”.


What do you enjoy most about operating large platforms?

I enjoy the entire job especially the variety of work we get involved with and meeting different people; no two days are ever the same. I also get to go to lots of interesting places over the years.  Some of the most interesting are the TV sets of Coronation Street and casualty getting the camera crew up high to film from the platforms camera basket and working on a new oil rig build in Scotland.


So next time you hire an access platform from Elev8 and a lady operator jumps out of the cab don’t be surprised!


If you would like to find out more about our specialist range of truck mounted powered access platforms, our operator job vacancies or if you would like some advice on which MEWP to choose please contact us or call our hire desk on 0845 274 3627.

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