Ryder driver Terry

Terry Lee

Driver case study - Terry Lee

Ryder driver Terry

THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A TRUCK DRIVER

For Terry Lee, a betting shop manager of 12 years’ experience, hearing about an opportunity to become an HGV driver with Ryder presented a huge opportunity for a change in direction.

He grasped that opportunity and after just 18 months driving trucks gained several promotions. Today he is the Ryder contract manager responsible for ensuring car instrument panels are delivered on a just-in-time basis.

In just four years with no previous knowledge of, or interest in, trucks, Terry is responsible for two team leaders, 27 drivers, six 7.5t rigid trucks, nine tractor units and 12 trailers.

I started on 1 March 2017. And that’s basically when I became an HGV driver with absolutely no experience whatsoever. Ryder’s driver training academy manager and driving instructor, has been a friend of mine for 15 years and mentioned a driver opportunity to me. He thought I had the right attitude, but it was still a massive leap of faith to join Ryder and become an HGV driver.

TOTAL CAREER CHANGE
At that time, Terry had worked in betting shops for 16 years, the hours were long – 12/14 hours a day, seven days a week with very few lunch breaks. Driving wasn’t that much of a change for Terry but learning to drive an HGV was a totally new experience! He had to learn how to use a manual split gearbox and get used to reversing in a busy Ryder yard.
 
The one-to-one training is brilliant. We worked on the reversing and I got it perfect in the test. I was always rubbish at tests – they’re just not my forte – but my trainer helped me with that, taught me in the right way. I’ve got a deformed left arm and getting into an HGV is a challenge in itself – not just physically but in my head too. The challenge was part of the attraction. I was taught in a very calm manner and my instructor was always there to support me throughout the training – he helped me overcome every challenge.
Ryder driver Terry

BECOMING A RYDER DEDICATED DELIVERY SOLUTIONS DRIVER

Once qualified, Terry became a pool driver for Ryder in the Midlands, working on a variety of contracts. He has delivered to depots, factories, construction sites and even people’s homes.

Initially Terry found himself on Ryder’s contract with a large non-food wholesaler, where he enjoyed plenty of face-to-face interaction with staff - and his background in customer service came to the fore, helping to sort out any delivery issues.

MANAGERIAL PROWESS

When he wasn’t driving, Terry’s natural aptitude for management meant he was supporting the contract manager on administrative and driver management tasks. A space became available on a Ryder-paid-for training course to gain the Transport Manager CPC (the qualification required to run a truck operation), and having passed the qualification, he was offered the role of team leader.

I then had to get to grips with what happens when vehicles break down and vehicles are off the road for maintenance,” he says.

Terry says he was ready to be a contract manager. As part of Ryder’s regular personal development and training reviews, he put himself forward.

I went to my line manager and asked to be considered for the next contract manager role that became available – and four days later, I got this job!

LIFE AS A CONTRACT MANAGER

In a typical day Terry gets to the depot for 8am. There’s only very occasional weekend working. The focus is on the customer and ensuring the operation is compliant with Operating Licence laws. His role also includes payroll and billing. During his time with Ryder, Terry gained the qualification to hone truck drivers’ skills to drive as safely and as fuel-efficiently as possible:

I enjoy being responsible for something that’s working. I like to see drivers I’ve trained going out and doing their job. All the time, I’m thinking about what our customer needs.

His message to anyone considering a career as a truck driver, specifically with Ryder, is simple:

You are valued when you’re with Ryder – I didn’t feel that when I ran a betting shop. If you’ve got the right attitude, we can teach you, and you can be successful. If you’re considering being an HGV driver, remember this country needs you. Truck driving can be a job for life, and we at Ryder are prepared to spend time and money to get you into that job.