Adam Armes has been driving for Pall-Ex member Matthews Haulage Ltd for over four and a half years and loves every second.
Working as a Night Trunk driver, Adam makes the 210 mile round trip from Matthews Haulage’s base in Hertfordshire to the Pall-Ex hub in Leicester every night, delivering pallets that will be sent across the whole of the UK.
We spoke to Adam about his role and why he enjoys travelling hundreds of miles whilst the rest of us are fast asleep.
What does your daily, or should we say, nightly routine look like?
I usually start my shift at around 17:45 and when I arrive, I help finish preparing the trailer and make sure that all the pallets are secure before closing the curtains. I then set off just after 18:00 and head up the M1 to Pall-Ex just north of Leicester.
When I arrive, I am given a bay number that I have to go to and then I am unloaded by the team of forklift (FLT) drivers at the Pall-Ex hub. After that, I am able to grab a coffee or some food and wait for my trailer to be loaded. It’s a great atmosphere at the hub as there always regular faces with stories to share, which means the time spent waiting flies by.
Once I’m loaded back up with freight that we will deliver the following day, I set off, usually at around 03:30 and head back down to Herts. By the time I arrive back at base and have unloaded it is normally 05:30 – 06:00.
Working at night can be tough. What do you enjoy about your job?
I love the structure of my job! Working Monday to Friday gives me so much freedom to plan my free time, especially as I have two young kids and my wife works full-time. Having worked weekends for most of my working life, I can’t believe how much this job has changed my family life.
The nights aren’t an issue, as I have established a good routine and my body clock has adjusted. The night shift actually allows me to spend more valuable time at home than I think a normal day-time job would.
You mentioned you used to work weekends a lot. What was it that made you chose logistics as a career path?
I used to work in retail, meaning my hours were really unsociable and I couldn’t be at home as much as I wanted to be when it mattered.
The good thing about working in retail meant I had lots of opportunities to speak with HGV drivers and hearing about their day-to-day role interested me. When they were telling me about it, I thought it was something that I could not only do, but that it was something I would enjoy. Because of this, I decided to re-train and get my HGV licenses and here I am now.
What might surprise people about your job?
I get a lot more sleep than I think people would imagine. I’m able to get so much more done in the day with this job that I wouldn’t want to work days now. Some people find it strange that I enjoy doing the same thing every night, but the routine is perfect for what I want from a job.
Do you do anything outside of work that may surprise people?
Most people have a perception that lorry drivers aren’t very active, but this job is the reason why I have developed an obsession with cycling. Having the spare time in the day means I have been able to get into cycling quite seriously and it helps keep me active as well as keeping the weight off and my head clear. I don’t think I’d have taken up cycling if I wasn’t a driver.