Guillaume Baude and his pimped Actros 1853
First-class trucks, no time pressure and nice workmates – that's how Guillaume Baude always imagined life as a professional driver. At Transports Maillard he found exactly what he was looking for.
"Now I enjoy my work again, and I'm experiencing long-distance haulage differently."
– Guillaume Baude, a passionate trucker
Guillaume Baude has been working for Transports Maillard for three years. Something he's particularly happy about. That's because Guillaume's boss wants to send happy workers out on to the roads. All the tractor units have powerful engines, the chassis have stainless steel panelling, and the cabs are adapted to their drivers' wishes. Guillaume's 530 horsepower Actros, for example, has special interior lighting and leather seats.
A headlamp array on the roof and an illuminated board name plate were of course part of his requirements.
A job that's fun again.
The man from Vertou near Nantes wanted to be a trucker right from his childhood. He trained as a professional driver and passed the relevant technical qualification and the test to set up a transport company. But the first job that Guillaume got made him think twice about whether he had made the right career choice: "There, all I did was drive, drive, drive. Always in a hurry, always under stress. Often I had to set off on a Sunday evening and I didn't get back until the following Saturday morning. Eventually I just got fed up of it."
Now he works for a smaller company. There are seven tractor units
and a drawbar combination in the fleet. "We have good
material," says Guillaume approvingly. All the semitrailers have
a fork-lift on board: the drivers have to distribute the load on the
platform so that it is sorted in order of unloading. Guillaume likes
the working environment, and he has enough time to do his job
Driving home in convoy.
His boss only expects him to do one round trip per week. This means Guillaume can park his trailer with its sliding tarpaulin back on the company courtyard on Thursday evening. Then Friday is spent delivering to customers in and around Nantes. After that, he loads the semitrailer for the following week with goods that have to go to eastern France. The loads can be anything from pallets with agricultural machinery to car parts. Normally there are several lots which Guillaume picks up from six or seven companies in Brittany to form a full load. "Now I enjoy my work again, and I'm experiencing long-distance haulage differently."
On Wednesdays, the six drivers who serve eastern France meet at a service station. Then they drive home to Brittany together. Precisely how Guillaume imagined his ideal job.
Photos: Alex Kraus