27 Jul Meet a McArdle Skeath HGV Driver
One of our Drivers, Liam O’Brien, tells us about his experience as a HGV Driver.
Q1. Tells us why you chose driving as a career.
I started my first job at the age of 13, where I was driving loading shovels and fork trucks in a grain store in Castleblayney. When the truck drivers would come into the yard, they would show me how to drive and reverse the artic trucks within the confinements of the yard (Health & Safety was very different back in the early 80’s…). This is when the driving bug hit me, and the rest as they say is history.
Q2. Why follow that career with McArdle Skeath.
Working in the transport industry I got to know some of the drivers who were working for McArdle Skeath for over 30 years, and to me if a company can hold onto drivers for this length of time it is a good company to work for. I am now with McArdle Skeath over 5 years.
Q3. What are your pet hates when out on the road?
Truck and car drivers that tailgate are a particular pet hate of mine.
Q4. Most of the planner’s communication is done via email or phone with McArdle Skeath customers, therefore the driver is seen as the forefront of the Company, do you feel this is important.
I feel it is very important for the driver to build up good communication with the customer, especially the warehouse staff whom he would be in contact with when doing deliveries and collections. A prime example of this would be if a driver is running late for a delivery due to traffic etc, or you have goods on that the customer is waiting for. A phone call in advance to let them know is always appreciated by the warehouse department, and on most occasions the driver would be accommodated even if he is late. This also works in the reverse where you are collecting goods and are running late, and the warehouse staff ring to see where you are. This takes a lot of stress out of the job for both the driver and the customer.
Q5. What are the difficulties you face whilst out driving daily, how do you overcome these difficulties?
As I am the night-time driver with McArdle Skeath, some of the difficulties that I would face would be. 1. Road conditions; in winter you could be dealing with icy roads, snow etc with temps as low as -10˚C. 2. Livestock on the roads. 3. In summertime you would have a lot of heavy farm machinery – these are just some examples of the difficulties that I would face whilst out driving.
All of these bring their own challenges; adjusting your driving schedule to suit, setting out earlier and always being alert helps combat these difficulties, as you never know what is around the next corner.
Q6. Some people say driving is more than a job, it is a lifestyle would you agree? Any why.
Yes, I would agree with this, especially for the long-distance drivers. These drivers would live in their trucks anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks at a time travelling across the continent, which can be tough on a driver. Part of the lifestyle is not being able to see family and friends for long periods of time, however with modern technology keeping in touch is now much easier.