With the huge responsibility of transporting the tour’s gantry, including the all-important start and finish lines, our team of drivers play a pivotal role in ensuring this wonderful event runs smoothly. We chatted with Mick Hands, one of our HGV drivers based in Wednesbury about his experience as being him and his partner Mark being the first of our four HGV drivers to take part last week.
My experience started the day before the Tour began, on Friday 6th September. I drove up to Carlisle to pick up my co driver Mark Syme then carried on towards the first finishing point in Kirkcudbright. We stayed at the designated hotel in Dumfries with the whole team putting on the event. Our day ended with a meeting with all the team, getting to know one another and building the excitement for the following days.
Technically my day two was day one of the Tour. After driving to the finishing point in Kirkcudbright we were allocated an area to unload the hospitality space and quickly got to work unloading gazebos, tables, chairs, umbrellas, soft drinks, water, alcoholic drinks, signage and anything else that was being transported within the HGV. We then parked up and got to watch the exciting finale of the first stage. Once everyone had left the hospitality area, we reloaded the trailer and headed off to our next destination; Kelso. Once there, we headed off to the next hotel for dinner plus a little bit of sleep…if possible.
Although days 3, 4 and 5 were similar, it was a pleasure to be a part of the tour. Taking part is extremely hard work, with long days and very little sleep, however the team spirit is great and the team from Yodel have been great company. Delivering the tour is something different from my standard day and I even managed to squeeze a photo shoot in, in front of the impressive finishing line in Kelso. After day 5, I passed the baton over to another colleague to complete the final 3 stages of the tour and to get a good night’s sleep in my own bed.