Keeping it in the family: Q&A with owner-driver Gareth McCutcheon
We talk to owner-driver Gareth McCutcheon about the trucks he and his father, Dennis have owned over the years.
Q. What is your job title and where do you work?
A. I’m an owner-driver, and I work for Lagan Cement Products.
Q. What industry do you work in?
A. Lagan Cement Products supplies bulk and bagged cement, sand, roof tiles, ready-mixed concrete and concrete blocks. I deliver the ready-mixed concrete.
Q. How long have you been a driver?
A. I started driving in 1998. At that time you had to be 21 to get your HGV licence, so I served my time as a Mercedes-Benz truck technician from the age of 16. My dad asked Agnew Commercial, which is the garage that serviced his truck, if I could do some work experience. After the work experience they offered me an apprenticeship. The dealership is still there, but it’s called Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van Newtownabbey now.
Q. There is a great family connection here, can you tell me more about it?
A. My dad, Dennis, was also an owner-driver. He started driving around ten years before I did. He retired three years ago.
Q. Have you always been into trucks?
A. Yes, for as long as I can remember. I grew up with them.
Q. Who or what first got you interested in trucks?
A. My dad took me out with him in his truck on a Saturday and during the summer holidays.
Q. What do you like most about your job/driving?
A. The variety. I like being out and about, seeing different people each day. You don’t know what or who you will see.
Q. Can you tell me about your current truck? Make and model? Age?
A. My current truck is a Mercedes-Benz Arocs; it will be two years old in April.
Q. Can you tell me about your previous trucks?
A. The first truck in the family was the 1989 green and white Pioneer SK. This was my dad’s truck. Since then we have owned various other Mercedes-Benz trucks including an orange Readymix Atego and a white, red, and blue Cemex previous generation Actros.
Q. Have you always been into Mercedes-Benz trucks? If so what is it about them you like?
A. They are good reliable trucks; I learnt that first hand when I worked on them as a truck technician.
Q. What is your favourite feature of your truck?
A. I like the auto gearbox; it makes life a lot easier.
Q. How do people react when they see your truck?
A. People love the new livery. It’s quite striking. Everyone was talking about it when it first came out and I turned up on site.
Q. What is your must have item in the cab when you are out on the road?
A. My phone.
Q. Do you ever go to any truck events?
A. The company I work for supports the annual Action Cancer Truck Pull which took place in October 2016. Companies from the cement and concrete industry take each other on as they attempt to pull a Lagan Cement Products truck 20m in the fastest time! It’s a great family day out.
Q. And finally, have you got any interesting hobbies?
A. I have got a two-year-old and a three-year-old, and they keep me pretty busy!