Have you driven trucks for as long as you remember?
Vilmos: Yes. Since 1991 so for the last 28 years I’ve been driving trucks. In the continent I’ve driven over a million kilometers and here in Ireland I’ve also driven over a million kilometers. I drive two and half or three thousand kilometers every week. When I was working in the continent, it was always long journeys.
What appealed to you about driving trucks as your day job?
Vilmos: You know, it was always my dream to be a truck driver. It’s a hard job but it provides for my family and I love that. Every minute things change. You sit here in the cab but you need to check everything that’s going on around you from when you start until you finish. You have to give it 100 percent all the time.
Are you comfortable just being on your own in the cab concentrating on the job?
Yes, I’m very comfortable here. It doesn’t matter if it is a long day or a short day. We are never over-driving. Sometimes the hours are longer because you might have to go over to the U.K. but it is never more than 45 hours a week. That’s it, there’s no more.
Do you have a favourite memory from being on the road in any particular truck?
My favourite memory was the first time I saw the Atlantic Ocean in Italy. I’ve driven across the entire continent, from Russia to Spain and Portugal. Every country is beautiful. Outside of my life in the cab, when one of my daughter’s was born in Wexford general hospital and I was there for it, it was a really special moment.
What would you say to somebody who is maybe 15 or 16 years of age that is thinking of becoming a truck driver?
Vilmos: You know I think here in Ireland it’s special. Here, when your father is a lorry driver there’s a 99 per cent chance you will be a lorry driver. It’s traditional and I love that because it is a dream. You are in this big machine and when you open the door and sit in this seat you feel part of this big machine. It’s a very hard job but one that is needed by everyone. A lot of people forget that. A lot of people hate lorries because they’re too big or they’re too noisy – of course. But they forget that without any lorries they would have no food, no drink, no one to take their rubbish. It’s a very important job this one. It is hard sometimes when you start early in the morning when everybody is asleep at home or when you go home and there’s a change of plan but that is life and life is a big circle.
Do you think we will always need lorry drivers?
Of course. When you want clothes or shoes… it doesn’t matter what, it needs to be delivered and somebody has to deliver it.
Does your job change every day?
Vilmos: Yes. I find that nice because to stay in one place can be very boring however when you are a lorry driver there’s a sense of freedom even when you know the details of your schedule.
Do you think that Perennial is a little bit like a family?
Vilmos: At this company I love everybody and I know everyone. When I started here there was 15 trucks altogether. My bosses are Chris Smith, Noel Heffernan and Olivia Carr. They know who I am and everyone knows what you want to achieve which I love because you feel safe. Right now it’s a big family. Every year Perennial are growing and growing. We have a partner company’s in the U.K. and in Europe in countries such as Poland and France. It’s big and right now there are almost 200 people in the Perennial family. We have a great Christmas party every year and a family day in the summertime in August where we all come together as a family. We love it and we’re happy. When we meet up at these events we don’t talk about our jobs we just come together and socialise. There’s a barbecue and each year it’s a different venue. It’s really enjoyable.