Meet Billy Smart, Skip Lorry Driver
10 December 2020
Billy joined TJ earlier this year after a globe-trotting career left him craving a role closer to home. Outside of work Billy enjoys practising judo and spending time with his family.
What does your role involve?
My role involves delivering and collecting skips across the Hampshire area for residential or commercial addresses. It is varied; no two collections or pick ups are ever the same and it’s nice to have the interaction with the customers. Customer service is very important to me so I always ensure that I deliver an excellent service every time. Being out and about on the road is enjoyable, there’s a freedom to it that many other jobs lack. You have your list of jobs for the day and off you go!
What’s your career background?
I joined the army aged 16 and learnt to drive – in a lorry no less! – through the services. This gave me confidence in driving from a young age and I’ve always enjoyed it. I hold my Class 1 and Class 2 licenses and currently drive the skip lorries for TJ.
I went all over the world with the Army and after several tours of duty I decided to divert into the Royal Marines a few years later. I worked as a Communications Technician but suffered some serious injuries which meant that I had to learn to walk again. When I recovered, I was nearing my end of service so I spent my last few years in the Royal Navy as a Communications Petty Officer. During my time in the services I gained an HND in Communications and a BSc in Engineering – I love to learn and challenge myself!
When my service ended I took a job with a national aerospace company which was based in Saudi Arabia. I enjoyed the job but it held high levels of responsibility and I missed going home to my family each night so I decided on a change in career. I remembered my love of driving so when the job at TJ came up, I went for it!
What are the most rewarding elements of your role?
The most rewarding part is when you complete a job for a customer and you know they are happy with the service they’ve received. I always go out of my way to be helpful to ensure that satisfaction. There have been some jobs where the customer has overfilled a skip and instead of simply saying I can’t take it away as it is, I’ve advised the customer on taking out a few items to ensure it is safe and then continued with the collection.
What are the most challenging parts of your role?
Anything that delays me from getting my work done! Heavy traffic, bad weather and the logistics of having a driving job! I love to get my work done and done well, so when I face delays it is disappointing as I’m always striving to do my best.
What do you pride yourself on?
I’m a glass half full type of guy, so I think my positive outlook on life spills over into my work. I always give 100% and like to ensure that I do the best I can; in this role that means ensuring that each customer I deal with is happy with the service. When a customer calls into the office to say thanks for the service I’ve provided, that gives me a huge buzz! I also pride myself on pushing forward in whatever I’m doing; I won’t sit still because it’s comfortable, I like to challenge myself and be continually learning new things.
Why is TJ a great place to work?
I decided to change career direction and applied for the job at TJ because I wanted a job that would get me out and about and home to my family each evening. In my previous job I worked abroad for long periods of time and this job with TJ enables me to have a much better work-life balance. I also like that TJ recognises potential in people; I’m hopeful that I can progress here and I’m sure there will be opportunities for me to do that.
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