Do you work mainly around the Cork area or do you drive to Dublin and beyond?
When I start on Monday I don’t get home until Friday or Saturday. I go wherever I’m asked to go; sometimes it’s within Ireland sometimes I have to go to the U.K. and other times to Europe so it varies.
Because you work in Ireland, the U.K. and the continent, where’s your favourite place to drive?
Europe, particularly in Spain which is a gorgeous place. There’s different weather, roads and views even between northern and southern Spain.
Is there a particular route in Spain that you really enjoy?
Two years ago we were in Europe transporting cars. Starting at the Germany-France border we travelled across France to Madrid in Spain and on to Barcelona from there which was about 1800 kilometers. Trust me you see different worlds on that run. In the beginning you’re surrounded by mountains and then there’s desert then back to mountains…constantly changing. As you can imagine it’s better than the M8 motorway to Cork!
You started in a quarry so I’m curious as to what kind of trucks you’ve driven during your career?
Mixers, block trucks and car transporters. I started out with a Hino truck, next I had a Scania followed by a DAF and finally Mercedes-Benz. From the time I’ve been here at NVD it’s mostly been Mercedes.
Is there anything you like about this truck compared to previous trucks?
With a Mercedes truck, I think it’s made for the driver. You can see here the seat is great. I used to get pains in my back but when I moved to a Mercedes truck, after about a month the pain was gone because you can set or adjust anything with this seat which helps a lot. Also everything is on hand and the night heater is gorgeous too. Just the general layout is perfect for me.
You could’ve chosen a different career path, what appealed to you about truck driving?
I think challenges, every day is a challenge and every day is different. You meet new people, new roads, and new places. I love to travel and I don’t have to pay too which is great! So I get to see places which other people pay a lot of money to see the same thing. Of course I can’t just visit different towns I have a job to do, but I like to check the history of different places I’m passing through on my phone.
I suppose that means you’re probably away from home quite a lot?
Yes, when we are in Europe I’m away for two weeks but every second Friday the company buys flights for us to go back to Ireland. If I’m working in Ireland I am at home every weekend. Somebody has to pay the bills so that’s the main thing.
Do you have any memory from being on the road that stands out to you?
Two years ago I had a trip to Italy to Lake Garda to transport sailing boats to Ireland. It was a lovely day and I even have some photos of it. The guys I collected the boats from were great and the lake itself was stunning, so that was definitely one of the better days.
The car transporters are quite different trucks. What do you think the main difference would be in terms of driving this compared to driving with a 40ft trailer?
It’s a huge difference. In my opinion this is more difficult as you have to manage everything. There’s different roads, different loads, different configurations and different challenges, even getting on the boat can be difficult as these are too high or too extended so you depend on the tide being high or low. You have to constantly map out your route checking for low bridges for example.
Finally, what’s NVD like to work for as a company?
It’s a huge company, there’s good team spirit. There’s always help loading and unloading the truck since often there are helpers on the ground that have the lines prepared for me making operations a lot faster. It used to take 2 hours to load the truck and now it can be done in 45 minutes which is a huge improvement.