Working the same job for over twenty years is a huge achievement regardless of the industry that you find yourself in. However, working as a delivery driver, regularly handling pallets weighing in excess of a quarter of a ton makes this a mightily impressive milestone.
We have spoken to Barbara to find out why she still enjoys her role after being on the road since before the turn of the millennium.
20 years is a long time. What made you chose a career in logistics?
"Well, I’ve always loved driving. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed climbing behind the wheel of a car, truck or anything with an engine to be honest and being a driver lets me do something I enjoy every day. The fact I am able to see a range of different locations from my cab while I’m on the road is a plus as I love being outside and I definitely wouldn’t enjoy a job where I’m stuck inside every day.
Another reason why I wanted to work in logistics is because I see myself as a real people person, you know? Meeting new people and building friendships with a lot of the regular customers is something that I really enjoy doing. Knowing that what I’m doing is helping these people and their businesses is very rewarding."
What does the average day on the road look like for you?
“Well, the majority of my days are spent making deliveries to customers and then collecting pallets too. I’ll often make two or even three runs from the depot each day to make sure we complete all the jobs we have booked in. I will use the pallet truck to take the pallets on and off the vehicle and some of them can weigh hundreds of kilos so its hard work.
I see lots of different scenery as I travel around the three postcode areas I cover for Westrope Bros. Farms, industrial estates, country lanes and residential areas, I visit them all on a daily basis. The nice thing about this is that even after all this time I still see a new part of the area sometimes when I’m out on my rounds.”
It’s clear you enjoy the job, so what’s the best bit?
"It has to be the people I meet! The best part about this job is the interaction that I have with everyone I work with and that I meet. Everyone is happy to see me with their delivery and I have made so many friends in the industry. The team at Westrope also make it a fantastic job to do. Everyone works hard to get the job done, but we know how to make work enjoyable too!"
Are there any downsides to the job?
"I’m in my sixties and the heavy pallets can sometimes be tricky, but thankfully I have plenty of experience to get around that.
Also, I really don’t like gravel driveways! They make moving a pallet on the pump-truck almost impossible. If there was one thing I could change about the job, it would be that no-one has a gravel driveway! But then again, my experience helps me get around this."
Finally, what is it about your job that surprises people?
"I’m a woman in a male dominated industry so a lot of people aren’t expecting to see me arrive in my 18-ton vehicle, operate a tail-lift and move extremely heavy pallets on my own. I hope that I prove to people, including other women, that this is a viable career for anyone and as long as you are physically able to do the job, it is very rewarding.
I’d just like to say to people, what’s stopping you?"
For more information about Westrope Bros. Ltd, visit http://www.westropebrosltd.co.uk/