When did you first become an instructor and how did it happen?

I initially became a forklift instructor in 1990 whilst working for a large distribution center for Storehouse group (Mothercare, Richard Shops, Habitat etc). With 50+ lift truck operators they decided to go down the in-house instructor route. I was shortlisted for the role but was considered too young at the time, so I thought that was that. Luckily, I received a call whilst I was on holiday asking me if I could attend the course the following Monday. The original candidate had decided it wasn’t for him and pulled out at the last minute, I was the only one available so off I went. It’s weird how things happen as my entire career came about because of his decision. Henry, wherever you are Henry thank you very much!

 

What is the best part of the job?

No two days are ever the same, you meet some amazing people and characters along the way. Also you get to operate big boys toys and machinery! I also particularly enjoy running instructor courses and giving people advice and the benefit of my experience

 

What is the worst part of the job?

As others have said the travelling can be a pain sometimes as can the weather, it’s a lovely job in the warm summer months but in winter when its cold, wet and windy it can be a little less enjoyable.

 

Most memorable jobs, (location equipment, people etc)

The obvious answer to this would be my two trips to Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, along with my trip to Ascension Island. The people and the whole experience were something I’ll never forget and I hope that I get to go back there again one day.

 

Furthest distance travelled to conduct training (either with us or another company)

See above, my recent Saint Helena trip involved a flight to Cape Town followed by 6 days at sea aboard the RMS St Helena. The return journey wasn’t quite so bad as the long-awaited airport on the Island opened for business during my stay. I was very pleased to be able to witness a little bit of history when the first commercial flight landed on the island

 

Favourite equipment to train on?

No real favourites as I enjoy pretty much everything I do but if pushed I’d have to say the common counterbalance forklift, its where I started and I’ll always have a soft spot for it

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself that we may not already know…..

Most people know that I am a qualified hot air balloon pilot and have recently returned from a very large balloon festival in Mexico where I was flying a very large bulldog special shape balloon. I’m also a massive NFL fan and support the Tennessee Titans, who I recently finally got the chance to see play live when the played at Wembley in the International series game

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