Tom connolly 1200x628

So Tom how long have you been driving trucks?

30 years. I’ll have been driving for Goggins Transport for 29 years in July. I wasn’t even 19 when I started.

 Over those 30 years have you been in the Mercedes-Benz Actros the whole time?

No. Starting out I drove everything and anything. I started off in a DAF, and then I went to a Volvo and after that a Scania. I drove Mercedes trucks then but switched to a DAF again. In the end I went back to Mercedes though. There were a few Renault trucks and an IVECO as well in between those! I would’ve drove the 2033’s, 35’s, 1840’s, the 46’s and 44’s after that. I actually drove two 450’s as well and the one we’re in here now is a 480, the new type.

So you’ve experience of the whole range?

Oh I’ve tested them all out! The V8 ones were perfect. They were the 44 and the 48, they did a great job. The 480 is a lovely lorry, good and comfortable and they never break down.


Nationality: Irish

Truck Experience: 30 years

Marital Status: Married with one daughter

Place of Residence:  Carlow

What appealed to you in the beginning about driving trucks when you were 19?

I thought it was a great job, every young lad was mad to be a truck driver at that time. I always used to drive up the road on a farm at a neighbors place and I used to go around with a lad in a lorry at Casey’s so it was easy enough to get into it. We all went for it and stayed doing it. We never packed it in and have just stayed driving. Now I’m too old to do anything else!

What do you like most about being on the road?

There’s no one annoying you or anything you’re just left to work away yourself. You just go off and do your work which I like and I’m used to now.  I like how you’re not stuck in a factory all day, you’re out and about and you don’t have to ask anyone if you want to get a cup of tea you’re left to your own devices.

Have you been driving in Ireland mostly or have you driven around the continent?

I’ve driven in Ireland and England. I lived in England for three years on and off. Since then I’ve only been based in Ireland. I don’t mind if it’s the far end of Cork or if I’m off to Galway it doesn’t matter to me, I’m on my way.

What’s your fondest memory in a truck?

Years ago you could be gone for the day and there’d always be a crowd somewhere. If you went in for your breakfast or your dinner you’d always meet the same lads so there was a bit of a community.

Would you know drivers from the different transport companies?

Ah you would know plenty of them; you’d have to know them after 30 years. There are only so many truck stops to call into! Although there is a lot more now than there used to be.

Are there a lot of people here who have been working at Goggins Transport for a long time?

Yeah there are a lot of lads here that have been here for a long time. Fran has been here a long time as well as Colin, Damien and Terence.

So it’s obviously a nice place to work?

Absolutely there are no problems at all and we’d all give one another a dig out if someone was loading and needed some help. You’re on your own but when you get to where you’re going there’ll always be someone to help which is not too bad.

What’s your favourite feature in the newer Mercedes-Benz trucks?

That has to be the automatic gear box. It’s a great thing altogether. There’s great comfort in driving now compared to in the past. The comfort has come on miles. If you drove an older truck with a manual transmission you’d be broke up after driving them! They’ve really come a long way which is no harm! The roads have also improved so I’ve seen big improvements across the board.

So it’s not as hard a job as it used to be with manual gearboxes and the roads not as well kept?

No it wouldn’t be. Everything used to be flat trailer back then or ropes and covers. Most of it is curtain siders now or two back doors you know? Years ago you could have four covers on a trailer and you’d have to take them all off roll up the rope, cover it all down again and tie it again so in that sense it has become easier but the traffic on the roads now is completely different. There’s definitely a lot more traffic in fairness.

Do you find with the modern truck that sitting in traffic is a bit easier since you’re driving an automatic?

There’s too much traffic – One minute you could be heading to where you’re going and then there’s an accident so the road is closed. In some ways things are better but in others they’re worse.

The truck we’re sitting in here now is a 191 1979 reg. – obviously the year Goggins was established was 1979 so this is somewhat of an anniversary truck. How come you get to drive it?

I’m special as they say! No it’s just that I’m here the longest so that’s probably why I got it. It was great not only to get a new lorry but to get the 1979 one was a very nice offer. It’s a nice touch.

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