Work experience at a tank driving experience school sparked Robert Wiltshire’s interest in working on heavy vehicles and led him to pursue his dream job as an HGV Technician at CTS Hire. FVI interviews him about his experiences and his ambitions.
Rob started his apprenticeship at the CTS Hire Brackley depot in July 2021, under the guidance of Depot Manager Allan Robinson and the team. Rob is learning how to maintain and service the company’s fleet, including refuse trucks ranging in size from 7.5-tonne to 26 tonne, specialist recycling vehicles and caged tippers. Alongside his practical training, Rob attends the City of Bristol College, studying Heavy Vehicle Service and Maintenance Level 3. The course is awarded and accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).
How are you enjoying your apprenticeship?
‘I am really enjoying it, and I am learning a lot. The people at CTS Hire are very encouraging and friendly to work with, and Kevin Franklin and Allan Robinson are great mentors.
‘I feel I have got the best of both worlds, a nice balance between college and work. I learn things at CTS that I can take back into the classroom and my learning at college supports what I am doing in the workshop. I don’t feel rushed and can learn at my own pace.’
Why did you want to work with HGV’s?
‘My interest started when I did some work experience at a company that offers tank driving experiences and corporate events. I got the opportunity to drive them now and again, which was great fun!
‘My dad was a mechanic in the army, and he is now a fleet manager for the NHS. I guess you could say it runs in the family. If you can work on HGVs, you can pretty much work on anything. It’s my dream job. I honestly wouldn’t choose to do anything else.’
What do you like most about the work/job?
‘I like working with my hands. Whenever I’ve done something to a vehicle, I get a sense of achievement, even if it’s just rewiring a sidelight. I feel proud of myself.’
Who is your inspiration?
‘My dad and I like his approach to life, and we share an interest in vehicles.’
What do you do outside of work?
‘I do plastic model making, mainly tanks, as I am interested in WW2. I also have three dogs – a Yorkie terrier, border terrier and border collie – so they keep me busy.’
Any ambitions or plans for the future?
‘My girlfriend and I would like to travel and perhaps live overseas at some point. I can work anywhere as a vehicle technician, which is an added bonus.’