Driver case study - Ryan Bradley
CARVING OUT A NEW CAREER PATH
For Ryan Bradley, earning £50 a week playing low-level professional football was not enough to pay the bills. He wanted to earn more and find a job that he could make a career of.
His uncle – an agency driver for 10 years - spoke highly of his job driving a truck for Ryder and suggested Ryan apply to become a Ryder driver.
“My uncle joined Ryder six years ago and has never looked back. I was excited when I was invited for an interview,” says Ryan.
With just a car licence under his belt, Ryan was put straight into the Ryder Driver Training Academy to be trained and put forward to take his Class 2 HGV licence, which would enable him to drive vehicles from 3.5 tonnes to 32 tonnes.
EXCELLENT TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Initially nervous at going straight into training, Ryan was soon at ease behind the wheel of the training truck.
“The lead trainer puts you totally at ease; he breaks everything down so that it’s so simple you can’t possibly do it wrong. You don’t even notice the size of the truck you’re driving.”
The training approach is also “little and often” so that it’s not overwhelming for the trainees.
“We’d drive for an hour and then pull over, have a brew, and then do some more. It was great because it doesn’t stress you out,” says Ryan.
Typically, the training runs for four consecutive days, with the test on the fifth day, but due to Christmas, there was a slight gap. However, Ryder’s trainer ensured Ryan was well prepared for the test and he passed first time.
“Within two weeks of passing my Class 2, I was out on my first contract for Ryder,” says Ryan proudly.
Although Ryder is best known as a provider of commercial vehicle contract hire, rental, and maintenance services, it also has a Dedicated Delivery Solutions (DDS) arm that looks after the transport requirements for a range of businesses of varying sizes; this also includes the provision of HGV drivers.
Ryder employs more than 300 HGV drivers in the UK, a mixture of first jobbers to experienced hands, and is looking to recruit more.
Newly qualified, Ryan joined a DDS contract for a company that distributes steel tubes across the UK.
“I was pre-warned that it wasn’t the easiest contract to start on, but I spent a full year on that contract and absolutely loved it,” says Ryan.
Truck driving isn’t simply about driving a truck from A to B; the truck has to be loaded and unloaded with the customer’s product and delivered on time to the customer’s customer.
Absorbing everything he could, Ryan soon became the most experienced driver on the steel tube contract, showing new drivers the ropes and helping plan the routes with the planners.
“I took on a lot of extra responsibility on that contract, which I enjoyed,” says Ryan.
Ryan’s natural aptitude to help and take on more responsibility has already caught the eye of senior managers.
“I was told that if I keep progressing in this vein, I could potentially become a manager myself and progress through the company. A lot of Ryder managers are former truck drivers,” says Ryan.
Recently acquiring his Class 1 HGV licence, Ryan is now a pool driver for Ryder DDS, able to work on the contracts that require larger articulated vehicles up to 44-tonnes to be driven. He has already worked on the majority of Ryder DDS customer contracts, driven every size and type of vehicle, and travelled the length and breadth of the country.
“I’ve been to the very top of Scotland and the bottom of England and seen the majority of major landmarks. I’m from Wigan and had never been to London before working for Ryder; now I know my way around London like the back of my hand, and have even delivered to 10 Downing Street,” shares Ryan.
Being out on the open road and seeing new sights every day is a key appeal of the job for Ryan. As a football fan, he is slowly ticking off seeing every football stadium in the country on his travels.