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Giving the Magnum a feminine touch

Although the world of truckers remains a largely male-dominated sphere, the number of women in the profession is steadily increasing. These include Patricia Boudy, who works for the haulage company Rizzo in Gaillac. We meet this woman who is fond of long distance driving and has just been handed the keys to a brand-new Magnum 480 hp.

When she first set eyes on her new working tool, the Magnum 480, fresh from the factory, Patricia Boudy could only say one thing: "I'm delighted!" The only woman out of the 100 drivers who work for the Rizzo haulage firm, operating from Gaillac for several generations, she cannot conceal her pride at being entrusted with such a splendid vehicle. "I like to be on the road for a whole week. And this Magnum is going to make life easier - the comfort in the cab really has no equal," she says enthusiastically. Stéphane Rizzo, the operations manager, doesn't cut corners when he orders new trucks: television, fridge, CB and air conditioning are installed in all of them, mostly Magnums. "This is of course a deliberate choice," he insists. "We consider it important to emphasise the importance of our drivers' work, because they and their vehicles project the company image." And for Patricia, he even added some extra chrome to the radiator grille.

It must be said that having a woman in the driver team is a "first" that Stéphane Rizzo is particularly proud of. When he received an application from her last year, he hired her immediately. "A woman driver is rather rare in our business," he explains. "And Patricia, with her motivation and 10 years' experience on the road behind her, immediately impressed me with her ability. Our customers naturally like her and she is respected for her professionalism."

Initially, Patricia was a seamstress, but had always dreamed of heading out on the open road. She was in fact inspired by her father who was himself a truck driver. As soon as the opportunity arose, she passed her HGV licence and took to the road. She has now been driving the length and breadth of Europe for 10 years and has been able to assert herself in this world of men. "You no longer need to be beefy to drive modern trucks. And even if I come up against a few macho men from time to time, it doesn't happen very often. I've never suffered from being a woman on the road. I've been able to prove myself and gain men's' respect," she reminds us. Behind the wheel of her beautiful new Magnum, Patricia is able to proudly fly her company' flag across France and Europe, impressing a great many people who see her on the way!

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