CARLY Ferling has been driving 350 tonne dump trucks at Meandu Mine for nearly four years but her job still surprises people.

"I love seeing people's reactions when I say what I do," she said. "Once you're out in civilian clothes it's like 'I can't believe you do that'.

"I think it's still the stereotypical thing of 'it's a bloke's world' and you've got to be rough and tough to be working out in a coal mine.

"Even when I told my sister I'd got a job driving a truck I think she still thought 'you're going to have coal all over your face with the pick' and all those sorts of things."

One of 350 ton capacity trucks hauling dirt on top of coal deposits at Meandu Mine.
One of 350 ton capacity trucks hauling dirt on top of coal deposits at Meandu Mine. Tessa Mapstone

It might still be a bloke's world but Mrs Ferling said driving trucks at the mine was anything but rough and tough.

She said it did not take long behind the wheel of a massive dump truck before it became second nature.

"It's actually really easy to drive them," she said.

"Everything is relative to it, so the roads are massive, the safety's just phenomenal.

"When I first started and I got back in my car at the end of the day I thought it was so little, like it felt like you were touching the ground."

Carly Ferling said she could not imagine going back to a Monday to Friday, 9-5 job.
Carly Ferling said she could not imagine going back to a Monday to Friday, 9-5 job. Tessa Mapstone

While Mrs Ferling admits she works in a male-dominated industry it has never held her back.

Four years down the track Mrs Ferling would not want to do anything else.

"I don't think I could ever go back to a normal Monday to Friday, 9-5 job," she said.

"I think it's awesome that there's a mine so close to town that you can just drive to work every day."

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