16 August 2020 10:35
Hendrik Valgma and his yellow Actros 1848
Hendrik Valgma's yellow Actros 1848 is well cared for and spotlessly clean – stuffy air is a no-go!
“I can't stand the smell of dust and general stuffiness. I need fresh air in the cab!”
– Hendrik Valgma
For many drivers a clean and well cared for truck is very important. But for Hendrik Valgma from Tallinn that just isn't enough: “I can't stand the smell of dust and general stuffiness. I need fresh air in the cab!” So it's a good thing that the 43-year old drives his yellow Actros 1848 alone and can not only run riot cleaning it but can also air the cab to his heart's content. Perhaps that explains why there is a kettle for tea in the cab rather than a coffee machine?
The bigger, the better.
Hendrik knew fairly early on what things he liked. He has wanted to work with large machines since he was a child. “The bigger they are, the more fun to be had,” says the father of a nine-year old daughter and reminisces: “I once went to Russia when I was twelve. The most impressive thing I saw was a giant orange-coloured truck. I said to myself that driving it must have been a lot of fun ...”
However, at first he worked as a mechanic for a year and then as a fireman for five years. “Until Aave Transport asked me if would like to drive for them. I agreed immediately.” What he particularly likes about his job is that he is: “always meeting new people and experiencing new places, which is great.” For the most part he drives collective consignments for DHL Freight from Estonia to Germany and back. Every now and then he travels to the Netherlands.
It's always been Mercedes-Benz.
In the meantime Hendrik has been doing that for twelve years and has never regretted his decision. Another constant in his professional life has most certainly contributed to that: “Since I started working as a truck driver, I have always driven Mercedes trucks,” Hendrik points out. “Plus most of the trucks in our company fleet are Mercedes. And of course my own car also bears a star.”
On holiday the world looks completely different. Hendrik prefers planes for long journeys. He particularly likes going to Norway or the Alps with his partner and their daughter. But if he holidays in Estonia then he is quite happy for someone else to take the wheel.
Ships aren't his thing at all: “Being at sea is a bit gloomy; I prefer to walk along the beach.” He would really like to travel to the Caribbean. When he is not dreaming of holidays, Hendrik likes to watch films. This has one great advantage: you can do that almost everywhere at any time – at home, at the cinema and even in a well-aired driver's cab. Only when the truck is stationary, of course.
Photos: DHL Freight Estonia