Why trucker Emma enjoys driving long distance with her Actros
Emma Tornberg was born to drive a truck. RoadStars accompanied her on one of her routes through the most remote regions in Scandinavia.
When Emma Tornberg tells how she became a trucker, she always has to smile a little. “Actually, it was my mother's idea,” explains the 30-year-old Swede. “I'm from Kiruna, Sweden's northernmost city. After I finished school, first of all I trained as a horse handler/trainer, but one day my mother came up to me and said, 'Daughter, get your truck driver's licence!' My grandfather and my uncles had a timber haulage business and somehow it suited them quite well.”
“Trucking isn't a job; it's a way of life.”
– Emma Tornberg, truck driver for Wiiks Transport based in Luleå
I've always liked being on the road.
No sooner said than done. Emma saved up the money for her driving licence and began her training as a professional driver. “I've always liked being on the road and have taken 'road trips' with my friends lasting several days. Now I do it for a living, and I have a lot of fun doing so. I really am truck-mad. Trucking isn't a job; it's a way of life.” For three years now, Emma has been driving for Wiiks Transport based in Luleå, a small coastal town in Swedish Lapland.
The company specialises in cross-border transport. There are 16 employees in Luleå and the Norwegian branches in Tromsø and Bodø, who take care of scheduling and customs clearance. Four mechanics keep the vehicle fleet in good repair at the company's own workshop in Kalix. In addition to Emma, the team includes another 24 drivers.
3,000 kilometres a week.
Wiiks Transport's trucks cover approximately 3,000 kilometres per week - all year round. These are precisely the regions where almost all vehicle manufacturers test their models under extreme conditions - because in northern Scandinavia, winter lasts from October through to April. Today we are accompanying Emma on the 521 kilometre long stretch from Luleå to Bodø. She is delivering wood to a Norwegian kitchen manufacturer. Driving in the vast emptiness of Scandinavia at this time of year is anything but routine.
“When I drive my routes, I don't have many problems with traffic jams. Part of my daily challenges are temperatures that are way below freezing, snow and ice on the roads and the ever-present danger of avalanches in the mountains, not to mention the reindeer,” says Emma. Despite the harsh conditions, she can't imagine anything better than being a trucker up north. “I like the solitude, the silence and the scenery. For me, driving up here, where you seldom encounter other vehicles, is almost a kind of meditation.”
Emma's Actros 2551 is already like a home away from home for her. It was love at first sight! “I sleep better in the truck than I do in my bed at home. Its comfort and handling are simply top of the line!”
Photos and video: Alexander Tempel