As part of National Lorry Week, we thought it would be a great idea to speak to the guys who know first-hand what life on the road is like.
We wanted to gain a true insight into the life of a lorry driver, so we headed down to our Wakefield branch to meet Simon Wood, one of the drivers who has completed our in-house HGV Driver Development Programme.
The ex-Yard foreman was happy for us to truck along with him and even let us ask him all about his new career and offered his advice to anyone thinking of following in his footsteps.
We met at 10am but by this time Simon had already been out to one job in York, collecting a 10ft storage container. He had started his shift at 6:30am and as is the daily routine, before being able to leave the depot, Simon completed a full vehicle safety check to make sure his lorry was suitable for driving and carrying out all of the jobs for the day ahead. Once Simon completes the inspection, he collects his job sheet which informs him of all of his pickups and drop offs for the day.
As we made our way to Simon’s second job of the day, which was to drop off a 20ft storage container for a customer in Wakefield, we got to talking about why he became a lorry driver.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, but I never had the funds to do it,” he said.
“When Mobile Mini offered me this opportunity and I just went for it and have never looked back.
“When I found out that I got on the course, I just threw my whole heart and soul into it and managed to achieve something I’ve always wanted to do which feels great.”
It’s clear from his enthusiasm that Simon sees his role as more than just a job and before we can ask another question, he adds: “If anyone is thinking about becoming a truck driver, I’d say go for it and don’t think twice, it’s the best thing you can do.
“Each day is totally different and they just fly by. The best thing about this job is the variety. You don’t know what you’re going to be doing when you turn up to work in the morning and you get to meet new people every day.”
We arrived at the customer and although Simon is experienced at unloading containers in the tightest of spots, he soon realised the 20 or so vehicles in his way would need moving before he can get in where he needs to drop off the container. The race against the clock began, as Simon is timed on each of the jobs he carries out. Despite this small set back, he unloaded the container quickly and professionally, with a care and precision that didn’t go unnoticed by the customer, who was quick to praise him for his work.
We jumped back in the truck and headed to the depot, for Simon to get his break and pick up a container which is going to Doncaster in the afternoon.
“I enjoy the sense of freedom you get from this job,” continued Simon.
“I’d rather do this than be sat in a factory staring at the same four walls every day and clock watching.
“You just can’t beat it being out on the open road and what’s more, I get to go home to my family every night, which is not always the case for HGV drivers.”
Back at the depot, Simon had time to talk us through the training he undertook with Mobile Mini on the Development Programme before heading off on his final job of the day.
To hear Simon’s thoughts about the Mobile Mini HGV Driver Development Programme, watch the video on our Facebook page.