Whereabouts are you from originally?
I’m originally from Waterford and living in Charleville in Cork. It’s only about a 40 minute commute so it’s not too bad.
What would you be pulling out of here primarily?
Fluoricidic Acid. I generally do multi-drops. My last trip I had 12 drops starting in north Tipperary and working my way down to Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford .They’d all be about an hour away from each other.
So you used to do continental work?
Yeah, I used to cover Holland, Germany and a bit of France.
You said earlier you never thought someone would pay you for looking out a window! What appealed to you originally to become a truck driver?
My Father was a truck driver. He used to take me out with him in the truck since I was 6 months old. From then on that was it really, I knew one way or another I would end up driving trucks.
Have you any stand out memory from our past experience driving trucks?
I suppose the banter that I’ve had with lads on the road in the past is really the stand out thing for me. Driving here and there, it’s all the same really but the lads you would meet doing the job were always a sound bunch of lads. You’d meet someone you hadn’t seen for ages on the ferry and you could catch up with them. If you were stuck for something there would always be one of them guaranteed to help.
Do you think that community spirit is still out there today?
No. I reckon the industry itself has turned fellas that way. They just want to do their days work and get home. Timewise there are a lot of truck drivers being squeezed to the limit where they have no work-life balance. Any man you talk to doing this job will tell you he’s missed a lot of time with his kids growing up. If they say they haven’t they’re telling a bit of a lie!
What would be your favourite feature of these newer Mercedes-Benz trucks?
We have a lot of the newer Mercedes trucks in the yard here as you can see. It’s the simple things. I like the interior because it’s well laid out and everything is close to hand. I would like to see a built in microwave in these trucks in the future but thankfully my employer has covered the cost of getting one for my truck.
If you were to offer a young man or woman looking to get involved in the trucking industry some advice, what would it be?
I’ve told my own son who is sixteen not to pursue a career like mine. I want him to go away and do an apprenticeship. I don’t want to see him being worked to death from the off. I’ve been there and done that so I know what it’s like, trucking can be very tough. I’d be delighted if he could go away and get himself a trade. I’d love to see him go into auto-electrics because that seems to be the way things are going. If he wants to be a driver after that still then I won’t stop him getting his licence.
What about Chemifloc, how do you find working here?
I’ve been here for 8 years and I’m happy out. I get my bunch of dockets and ring fellas to tell them when I’ll be off in the morning. They let me off to do my thing then. When I’m empty then I’ll come back, load up and go at it again the next day.
Do you like that self-management?
Yeah, they put their trust in me to get the job done. It’s not water in the back of these trucks, you could do a lot of damage if you make a mistake, so it’s a lot of responsibility to have out on the road especially when you’re dealing with traffic and people cutting in front of you. At least nowadays you have the dashboard camera to back you up!