Craig Wallis has been driving with Austin Wilkinson & Sons Ltd for almost five years.
The Atherton based haulage company, who joined Pall-Ex in 2019, employs Craig as a Class 2 and C+D Driver.
This means Craig has plenty of opportunity to meet a variety of people every day as well as encountering a number of challenges along the way.
Noted as always being “happy and full of life” by Austin Wilkinson Depot Principal, Derek Hewitson, and having been the regular recipient of glowing customer feedback, we wanted to find out what makes Craig like this, especially during such challenging times for us all.
What made you chose a career in logistics?
“I’ve always been interested in how the logistics industry works. It is something that has always fascinated me - the journey of products from one place to another in such short timeframes. That drew me to the logistics industry initially.
“Another reason was my love of travelling to new places. They don’t have to be a million miles away, but just getting out there and seeing new parts of the world is something I really enjoy, and I knew that a career in logistics could give me those opportunities.
“I feel lucky that I get to work in a role where I genuinely do enjoy what I do!”
What is the best bit about your job?
“Without a doubt, it has to be the opportunities I get to meet new people every day.
“As a C+D driver, my main role is making deliveries and collections, so being a people person is probably the number one trait you must have, as most of your day is spent communicating with customers and the team back at base.
“I do what I can to help people and going the extra mile to leave them smiling is something I am proud of. It reflects well on me but also on Austin Wilkinson too!”
Are there any parts of the job you don’t like so much?
“There aren’t really when I think about it. Obviously, some days are more challenging than others, but that is the case whether you are a driver or someone who works in an office – you can’t get away from that.
“The two things that do wind me up though, are road works and traffic jams.
“It always seems to be the way that when you are on a tight schedule, there will be roadworks on your route, or traffic has come to a standstill for no apparent reason. You just have to stay calm and find the best possible solution in those situations.”
What might surprise people about you and your role?
“I think people are often surprised by how helpful I am and my attitude.
“Like I said before, I always try to do what I can to help people and sometimes just an extra please and thank and a smile you can make all the difference for a customer.
“I feel that drivers do have a tough job, and a lot of people don’t think that HGV drivers do very much. We definitely deserve more recognition for our hard work, because what we do is dangerous and requires a lot of skill.”
Finally, how does it make you feel to receive positive feedback from customers?
“To be told by the team back at the depot that a customer has contacted them to thank me for their delivery is always amazing.
“Leaving customers with a smile on their face is something I try to do, but for that to be recognised and appreciated makes it worthwhile.
“Most people probably don’t realise, but being a driver means you have to be a good people person too!
“During the last year or so, during the pandemic, some people may only see me or another delivery driver all day or even all week.
“I know people who have said they have seen their local postman more than their own family since last March, so a smile being friendly really does go a long way!”