After suffering a knee injury and being discharged from the Army, Jamie Haynes needed a job to support his young family.
Five years on, he is now a fully qualified HGV1 driver with Pall-Ex shareholder member, Advanced Delivery Services (A.D.S), supporting his family and thriving in his career.
We wanted to learn more about Jamie’s journey from leaving the military to delivering hundreds of pallets each week, so we asked him a few questions.
Tell us a bit about your time with the Army?
I spent five years with the Mercian Regiment, 3rd Battalion. I was in the infantry, so it was a very physical job. Unfortunately, I suffered a knee injury that was bad enough to mean I couldn’t continue. I was medically discharged as a result which was hard to take.
After you left the Army, what made you chose logistics?
After leaving, I needed to provide stability and security for my young family. I know a few people leave the forces and head into logistics, so I looked into it.
Not only did the logistics sector give me the stability I needed from a job, it also offered great opportunities to progress and better myself. This made the decision an easy one, as I love improving myself, the way I work and making a difference, which in logistics you really can do. Without the transport industry, we wouldn’t have food in our supermarkets, our clothes or technology.
Since joining A.D.S five years ago, you have progressed brilliantly! Tell us more about that?
Yeah, it’s been amazing how much I have learnt and how far I have come since starting!
When I started, I was a complete beginner. My first role was as a van driver.
After that, I got my Class 2 licence in 2019 and continued to improve.
Finally, in March this year I am proud to say that I passed my practical Class 1 test, meaning I am a Multi-Drop Class 1 driver now, making deliveries and collections around our area every single day and I love it!
I managed to pass my test with no minors, and I received a guard of honour from all the examiners after. They all came out and shook my hand. The amazing thing for me about that, is that I passed at an instructor level, so I’m chuffed!
I must say a huge thank you to Sam and the rest of the team at A.D.S because without their continued support and the Driver Incentive Scheme, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today, without a doubt.
You mentioned the Driver Incentive Scheme. Can you tell us more about that?
It’s been brilliant for me. A.D.S’ Driver Incentive Scheme is all about empowering their drivers to better themselves with the full support the company and its investment. A.D.S believe that in a time of driver shortage, investing in their staff betters them and secures driver numbers for the future. As a result of this, drivers like me get a chance to really develop our careers which is amazing.
Now you are a qualified Class 1 driver, what does an average day look like for you?
My day begins at 7 AM where I provide warehouse support by advising the trunk list locations on the daily driver run sheets. This enables a smoother and faster process for the loading of the drivers to get us out on time.
I then go out and deliver my own run. I sometimes make two to three runs a day before starting my customer collections of the afternoon depending on our volume that day.
When I return to base, I check in my paperwork and check my collected freight for labels and paperwork before they are loaded on the trunk vehicles. I like to make sure that everything I have collected and responsible for, is correctly organised before it leaves the yard.
Your days sound very busy! What do you find the most challenging?
As in any job, there are days where things don’t go your way and you don’t progress on your delivery performance as you much as you would like to. Traffic can be challenging too!
I must say though, these things that I dislike are also the things that make me a better performer in my position because they are learning experiences and I am a firm believer in that you never ever stop learning, no matter how experienced you are.
You clearly enjoy your work, so what is the bit you enjoy most?
It sounds like a cliché, but every day is different! Every delivery and collection I make throws up a new challenge and I must use my initiative to find a way around. In doing this, I try to go the extra mile for customers and do whatever I can to help them.
Also, being out on the road is a great experience because you feel so free but also, I am safe in the knowledge that I am supporting my young family at home.
I love this industry as there just so many opportunities out there. We have a driver shortage at the moment, but the rewards are endless if you are willing to work hard and go the extra mile. This is another reason why I love this job. My hard work is rewarded.
Finally, is there anything about your job that might surprise people?
I see all sorts on the back of my wagon. People don’t realise the variety of things that are transported in lorries.
I have moved headstones for graves and pallets full of bottled beer! There is always something unusual and slightly weird out there on the roads!