His path to the road transport industry was uncommon. Gary Davidson was working on the Paris end of Collins Street in Melbourne in recruitment, acting on client queries regarding payments. He noticed truck drivers were earning impressive salaries.
“At the time I thought these guys are on a pretty good wicket, earning more than I was in a silk tie,” he recalls. When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008 his entire department was moved to New Zealand. By his own admission, he became a truck driver as part of his reinvention.
“Knowing I didn’t have the time for more years of study I decided to give it a go and I haven’t regretted it one bit,” Gary says.
His baptism behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle entailed making deliveries for St. Vincent De Paul, helping to unload their charity bins in a medium rigid furniture truck. It proved to be a stepping-stone to heavy combinations.
Through his network he had become familiar with Logical Staffing Solutions and going through an agency, according to Gary, was the best option for his new career path given he didn’t have a wealth of experience when he started out.
“Whatever I lacked in experience I made up with enthusiasm,” he says.
Currently working six days a week, five of those for SeaRoad Logistics based in Port Melbourne, he alternates between a Tautliner and driving a Kenworth prime mover, using an 18-speed Eaton Roadranger, hauling 20 foot shipping containers loaded with a full spectrum of goods from general freight to live animals.
SeaRoad Logistics provide freight forwarding to Tasmania and King Island and Gary often spends the day dispatched to various parts of metropolitan Melbourne, meeting up with the ships at port. He loves the work.
“I’m the boss of nobody, yet you could say I’m the boss of myself,” he says. “One of the best parts of the job is the moving landscape. You look out the window and it changes every day.”
Qualifications haven’t been an obstacle. Gary holds several licences including Heavy Combination, Dangerous Goods, Safe to Load (SLP), Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC), for work over 500 litres/kilograms, B-double and forklift. He has worked hard to ensure he is available for any task.
“My mantra is any truck, any product, any time,” he says. “I don’t get too many complaints. I put my effort in. Truck driving has enabled me to turn my situation around.”
Logical are first class explains Gary. Having worked in recruiting he knows.
“If you look after them, they look after you. It’s that simple,” he says. “I do my best for them and it’s always reciprocated.”