MAN Truck & Bus
MAN Truck & Bus
The 480-bhp pink truck really turns heads. “Workshop on wheels for Danish women” is written in big white letters on the side of the used MAN TGX. The strong woman in the truck is Jeanne Thylkjær Fjorback, a 44-year-old from a small village near Aarhus in Denmark. With her determination, hands-on attitude and innovative thinking, Jeanne is the perfect fit for MAN. It’s no surprise, then, that she is known as the Handywoman throughout Denmark. She is the woman who is not afraid to get her hands dirty, smashing all the cliches about men and women with a powerful blow of her sledgehammer.
Jeanne runs courses for women who want to learn how to use tools. When they finish, they’re able to use drills, hammers and sanders confidently and independently. “Women should no longer be dependent on their husbands or boyfriends if something breaks or needs to be replaced in the home,” says the feisty Dane. “Anyone who has attended one of my courses will no longer need to ask experts or scour the internet. My participants can easily repair a dripping tap, change a mixer tap or put up a shelf.”
This Danish entrepreneur had previously held her courses in Copenhagen and Aarhus, but was only able to reach relatively small target groups. “What’s more, hiring rooms for my workshops all the time was becoming too expensive ,” says Jeanne. But all that is in the past: now, she can simply drive her pink MAN truck directly to her customers, providing mobile classes on site.
Women should no longer be dependent on their husbands or boyfriends if something breaks or needs to be replaced in the home. Anyone who has attended one of my courses will no longer need to ask experts or scour the internet.
A strong woman - see the highlights from the Handywoman and her pink MAN TGX in this video.
A proud owner. Jeanne Thylkjær Fjorback, well known as the Handywoman in Denmark, poses in front of her new, pink MAN that she bought in 2021.
And here it is. Brian Stoltenborg, Sales Executive at MAN TopUsed (left) and the Handywoman collect the pink MAN TGX from the MAN TopUsed main dealership in Padborg, Denmark. Including paint and alterations to the tractor unit and trailer, the Dane has invested around €70,000 in her truck.
Three letters for one hallelujah. The shiny silver logo, outlined in pink, was donated to the vivacious Dane by MAN TopUsed Denmark.
Crafts(wo)manship. Jeanne and her husband, Dan, who is a craftsman himself and builds sustainable passive houses, transformed the former refrigerated truck into a workshop on wheels – with their own four hands.
In the future, I want to be the one holding the drill, not the vacuum cleaner.
Jeanne bought the MAN TGX from the MAN TopUsed main dealership in Padborg, Denmark in September 2021. Including paint and alterations to the tractor unit and trailer, she invested around €70,000. “I have a friend who works for MAN,” she recalls. “I called him and said, ‘I need a truck!’” This was a job for Brian Stoltenborg, Sales Executive at MAN TopUsed. He handled the purchase for Jeanne and helped with the conversion of the former refrigerated truck into a “workshop on wheels”. “I’ve sold a great many trucks for MAN, but never something quite so bizarre,” says Stoltenborg. “The sale went very smoothly and we were happy to provide Jeanne with advice and support with her planned modifications.”
The truck, built in 2016, was supplied in its original red paint. Jeanne had the entire cab repainted in pink – the colour Jeanne has used for her company branding since 2015. She then added her white company logo: a stiletto heel and a hammer.
Before her career as the Handywoman, Jeanne Thylkjær Fjorback spent 18 years working in sales for a major Danish brewery, but at some point she simply lost her love for it. “I was at a garden party with my friends, considering what a career change might look like,” she tells us. “My friends told me I should become a craftswoman – I had just finished renovating an old house dating from 1886 by myself.” A short while later, Jeanne resigned from her job and set up her own company: “Handywoman” was born.
Girl power on board the truck. Since March 2022, DIY workshops have been held in the 40 m2 space in the converted trailer. There is also a mini-kitchen and a toilet on board.
Use a spirit level, don’t eyeball it. At one of the workstations, the Danish ladies learn how to put up coat hooks and pictures. Lining them up by eye is good, but a spirit level is better.
Ready, steady, drill! They also want to learn how to use a cordless electric screwdriver. Here, Brian Stoltenborg’s daughter, Nicoline Kjaer Stoltenborg, is practising on a piece of drywall, always under the professional watchful eye of Handywoman Jeanne.
Jeanne and her husband Dan have transformed the trailer of her MAN TGX into a perfectly equipped workshop with five workstations. It even has a small kitchen and a toilet on board. The trailer is around 40 m2 and is like an enormous caravan with an integrated workshop. “My dad works for MAN and he told me about the pink truck and the workshops. It was a no-brainer for me: I wanted to join in,” says participant Nicoline Kjaer Stoltenborg. Her classmate Tine Lassen explains, “my husband has paid for the course for me. In the future, I want to be the one holding the drill, not the vacuum cleaner.”
Jeanne can provide craft and DIY training to around 600 women in her truck each year. She ran courses for women in 21 Danish cities in 2022. The three-hour course costs around €150. Men are not allowed – although Jeanne can also offer courses for men on request. “However, not a single man has applied so far. They probably don’t want to admit that their DIY skills are not up to scratch and that they could actually learn something,” she chuckles.
Keep an eye on the bigger picture. It’s easy for the course participants to lose track of all the different tools in the pink toolboxes. However, a precise parts list provided by Handywoman helps them to find what they need.
Good work. The pictures are hanging perfectly on the wall and Jeanne is very pleased with the work of her budding handywomen.
I’m taking the course because I want to be able to take care of DIY myself in the future. Then I won’t always have to ask my husband or my friends to help me.
The eight women taking part in the workshop in Haderslev at the end of November are aged between 18 and 65 and are very much looking forward to the course. Pia Jakobsen, armed with a cordless electric screwdriver and a spirit level, has a very clear set of objectives: “I’m taking the course because I want to be able to take care of DIY myself in the future. Then I won’t always have to ask my husband or my friends to help me. And learning it all in a pink MAN truck makes it especially cool.”
After a brief introduction over coffee and tea, they get down to three hours of intent work at the various workstations in the converted trailer of the MAN TGX. Their tasks include changing taps, fitting lights and connecting them to the mains, and drilling holes in stud walls to hang pictures and coat hooks using wall plugs, screws and a spirit level. They also get a crash course from Handywoman Jeanne on the different types of screws and the right tools to use for them.
Eight newly graduated handywomen. After some three and a half hours of hard work, all the coat hooks and pictures were up, all the lights were on and all the taps were fitted. In recognition of all their hard work, the Handywoman awards each participant with a certificate – pink, of course.
Welcome ladies. The Handywoman welcomed around 600 women into her truck in 2022. This superwoman has visited 25 Danish cities with her workshops.
Workshop on wheels. 2023 will see Jeanne Thylkjær Fjorback get back on the roads of Denmark in her pink MAN TGX, training countless more Danish women to become hobby handywomen.
After an intensive session of hole-drilling, nail-hammering and screw-tightening, the work is finally all done. The pictures are hanging straight on the wall, all the lights are lit, the taps have stopped dripping – and the atmosphere is fantastic. The course finishes with a glass of sparkling wine for each of the participants and – even more importantly – a certificate to say they have completed the workshop. The eight Danish women are now certified “Handywomen”.
Jeanne wants to get off to a flying start in in 2023 with her MAN truck as well. There’s just one snag: she doesn’t yet have a license to drive her truck. However, her husband Dan, whose company builds sustainable passive houses, drives her to her appointments. “I’m like Pippi Longstocking!” Jeanne concludes. “I’m not afraid of anything. If I have an idea and I like something, then I just do it.” And just like Astrid Lindgren’s character, she knows, “I have never tried that before, so I am sure I will be able to do that.” And that’s sure to include an HGV license soon.
I’m not afraid of anything. If I have an idea and I like something, then I just do it.