For our Day in the Life article this month we are introducing you to Simon Hilliam, one of our RoRo (roll on roll off) truck drivers. We sat down with Simon to get to know a little bit more about him and his work.
Tell us a little bit about you…
I have been driving trucks for nearly 33 years, and am the longest serving driver for AMS having been here 9 years – I don’t know where the time has gone!
When I joined AMS, I started driving the tipper trucks, so I was delivering loose aggregates and collecting inert and hardcore waste (i.e. muckaway/cartaway services). After 7 years on the tipper trucks, I moved up to driving the RoRo trucks, which is what I’ve been doing for the last 2 years now.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Most days I start at the crack of dawn around 5am, but sometimes it can be earlier (I know, I don’t like thinking about it either but that’s working in the construction industry for you).
I can cover a lot of area in one day, but the furthest that I go is usually Swindon as I take any asbestos waste to the dedicated drop off location there. Swindon is one of our nearest asbestos disposal sites, so that trip is done once every couple of weeks.
What keeps you going when you are spending all day alone in the truck?
To be honest, there isn’t anything specific that keeps me going. I don’t have a go-to radio station, podcast or playlist to listen to while I am driving.
I have to get myself into a certain mindset to drive the 8 wheeler truck. The roads can be really busy, and you are driving a massive truck with 8 big wheels, you have to be focused on what you are doing and where you are going.
This is another reason why I can start so early, as when there is a long drive that needs doing, I will usually start early in the morning to avoid as much traffic as possible.
If I have the radio on in the truck, it will normally be something like radio 4 where I can just zone in and out of the chit chat as I drive, or sometimes I will even put on classic FM as I find that the calmness of classical music helps me get into the driving mindset and focus.
Have you got any interesting stories from your time driving trucks?
I have a few stories where we have been faced with challenges. Customers aren’t always aware of how big the truck is, or how much space is needed to drop off and lift up the RoRo container from the truck.
There is a lot to think about when having a RoRo delivered, it’s not just about where the container is going to go. There needs to be space around where you want the container, so that I can manoeuvre the truck into a position to get the RoRo into the correct place. There also needs to be space above the truck so that the arms that lift the container on and off don’t get caught in anything.
I have been on jobs where the customers have a very precise idea of where they want the container, but they haven’t thought about how it is going to get there. A lot of my job once I am with a customer is educating them on the process of dropping off and picking up the container.
What makes Avon Material Supplies different?
They are an easy going company to work for. They have an expectation of the work that is done everyday, because we have customers that we have to deliver to. But we can have fun while we are doing it. We always have a laugh with each other.
They are also different because they listen to their workers. They respect the experience we have and value it when we bring informed opinions and thoughts to the discussion.
What three words best describe you?
Stubborn, conscientious and hardworking.
Tell us a fact about you that not many people know.
I used to be a fireman; I did it part time on top of my full time job. When I had a family, I decided to give it up so that I could spend more time with my kids and watch them grow up.
I use this to explain the collection of vintage fireman helmets that I have. Yes, that is right, I collect vintage fireman helmets.
Looking for a large waste management solution?
We are able to provide RoRo hire to businesses, contractors or individuals who need to clear large volumes of light and bulky waste from one of projects or on a regular basis.