National Lorry Week begins today, the 16th of November 2020! We have been celebrating the past few weeks by sharing stories from our very own HGV Heroes here at Alltruck plc. To open up NLW, we are sharing an interview with the Managing Director of Alltruck plc, Paul Robinson. Throughout this week, we’ll be sharing more videos from our awesome Alltruckers who will be answering questions about the Transport Industry.
Happy National Lorry Week!
Paul Robinson is the Managing Director at Alltruck plc. He has been the MD for 20 years since he did a management buyout from the Bank of Scotland. Prior to being MD, Paul worked as a Sales Director at Alltruck plc, and he has been with the company since it was first founded in 1990.
Watch Paul’s interview on video here:
Well, that’s a very long story of how I got involved with Alltruck. I first got into the truck/rental/contract hire industry when I joined a company called Chart Hire in 1986 as a Graduate Trainee, which is where I got a full grounding in our industry.
As a Graduate Trainee, you spent several months in different departments of the company from working in the garages, working in the Rental departments, working in the Fleet departments, and then eventually I went into Sales and Account Management.
That company was acquired by a competitor in 1990 and we were all made redundant. Four of us got together with a local truck dealership and, as it was in those days, Alltruck Hire Ltd. was born.
My experience within the trucking industry started when I left school at 16.
I did my apprenticeship with a company called Spicer Transmissions which made manufactured gearboxes for HGVs. They then sponsored me to do a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
I’ve been in the trucking industry in one way or another for 43 years now.
The transport industry has obviously gone through a challenging time this year with Covid, and I think what has really come out of the Covid environment for the trucking industry as a whole is that the general public has a better appreciation of what our industry does. They realise that everything happens because of commercial vehicles.
I think people that aren’t in our industry don’t fully appreciate how dynamic, interesting, and challenging a career logistics is.
There are some great opportunities for individuals who like diversity and like challenges – particularly where no two days are the same. As your career develops, from a strategic perspective, it seems that the strategic decisions and capabilities of our industry are regularly challenged. That keeps us exciting, keeps us on our toes, and keeps us one of the most efficient logistic industries in Europe.
I would say there’s two. There’s one that were all aware of, and that’s the electrification of some form in commercial vehicles. The whole industry is aware that current internal combustion engine will no longer be here in 10, 15, 20 years’ time.
Agreeing the format of the replacement for the internal combustion engine is still open for debate, and that will provide exciting time for us, for the industry and will help protect the environment.
That aside, I think the biggest challenge our industry faces is recruitment. It is attracting individuals with flair, passion and vision into our industry. I think Covid has helped us to some extent broaden the appeal because of the necessity of the industry.
I do believe our sector is becoming more attractive.
I think the challenge for us business leaders is creating an environment once we have recruited the future talent for our industry where those individuals can flourish. That is something that I spend 80% of my time at within Alltruck.
That’s a very good question, and I’m pleased you’ve asked it. I think I’m more proud of what we’ve achieved within Alltruck.
When I see how we’ve developed people’s careers and changed their lives is hugely rewarding. We have a highly empowered, highly trusting work environment that enables people to flourish. The fact that we’re within the commercial vehicle industry is probably more by accident.
I would never say that I went to school, graduated and thought “I wanna join and get involved with commercial vehicles and the logistics sector”. But, once I was in it, because it is so fast-changing and so dynamic, it makes life a lot easier to create opportunities within our sector for individuals to develop and flourish.