How did you start your career in the CV industry? My first job was in 1986 at British Road Services, part of the National Freight Consortium. I worked in several divisions to gain a good working understanding of the company starting in truck rental, then road haulage and finally contract services. At the time, BRS had a huge UK presence but, like most companies, suffered badly in the 1990 recession. I now help Strathcarron to provide business development services to Tier suppliers in the UK, including project management and engineering support.
Best thing about working in the CV sector. For many years the sector remained rather dormant with few technological advances, but it has responded brilliantly to legislation changes and the need to reduce emissions. Battery electric vehicle availability is following a dramatic growth curve and there are some great advances in manufacturing processes, which I believe will prove to be game changers. There hasn’t been too much attention paid to hydrogen fuel cell options, but they are out there and this segment will see some important advances in the coming year or two. I also like the people. Very down to earth.
What trend/development in commercial vehicles are you most excited about? The need to find new and innovative materials and manufacturing technologies to drive down weight and costs. The two should not be viewed in isolation, but should follow a strong design for manufacturing process to optimise all possible benefits.
Favourite film. I really love Fitzcarraldo with a mad Klaus Kinski determined to build an opera house in the middle of the Peruvian jungle. Beautifully filmed and recommend for anyone wanting to switch off for a few hours.
Last book read. Skydog – the story of Duane Allman. I’m a mad blues fan and ex-pub guitarist and the Allman Brothers Band are one of my favourites. I saw them once in New York, which was amazing.
Dream holiday destination. After the past year my dream would be to have any holiday quite frankly. I love the UK and there’s no finer place to be when the sun shines, but given a choice, probably driving around the US in a camper van with my family listening to great music and eating plenty of dinosaur steaks and dirty burgers. My wife wouldn’t be happy about this by the way, but my daughter would love it!
What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in their career? Probably to have worked fewer hours and combined it with more travel while still young. It’s very easy to become obsessed with what you do – finding the right balance is important