Joe in front of the Golden Truck

Joe's passion for the logistics industry started at an early age

Me, my dad and a truck: DB Schenker’s Joe tells the story of his very special vacation:

Joe has been working as Business Development Manager Land Freight at DB Schenker’s UK. The reason why he ended up working in a logistics company is almost a romantic one. It has to do with his dad and a truck. His father, Joe Snr., has worked as a truck driver for 45 years. Joe Jr., who grew up in Ireland, spent most of his summer vacations travelling with his father – in his truck. Today, he shares some of his memories about this very special time with us.

I always knew I would end up working in the industry. Must be due to the genes – thanks dad.

Portrait of Joe

Joe, Business Development Manager

Joe, travelling on a truck with your father sounds like a dream for many children. Can you describe your first memories of these special vacations?

One very vivid memory I have was as an 11-year-old travelling through the old Check Points between West and East Germany. The wall had just fallen a couple of months prior to this. I saw the old infrastructure still from the Soviet times: huge gates at the check points, look out towers, no mans land between each gate. We were delivering to a town in East Germany and it was like a totally different world compared to West Germany. The streets were stone, the buildings looked old and grey, it was like time stood still in East Germany. I was just starting to learn about Second World War in school, so this was a great experience for me. You know, life is the best teacher.

Your father has been away from home for quite long periods of time. I guess this situation made these trips even more valuable?

We would also go on other holidays during summer locally here in Ireland, but no doubt about it - these trips with my father were bonus away time. My dad had great knowledge of the areas we were in and would always find a nice cinema or restaurant. Funnily enough I had two friends in school who were in a similar situation as me, their fathers were also truck drivers and we would always share our stories in school. 

Which countries did you travel to? Which was your favorite one? 

I think I have been to every country in Western Europe prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain. It would be great to have a map with small pins on it, marking the places I visited. The trips I liked the most were to Italy, Portugal or Spain because it was so warm, much warmer than Ireland. I also liked going through Mount Blanc, the view was incredible and terrifying too as a small kid. Once we delivered building material to the new San Siro football stadium in Milan prior to the World Cup in Italy. It was just huge. Today I still get goosebumps, when I see this stadium on TV.

Most kids complain when driving for too long. What about you?

My father had a CB radio on board so that was cool to communicate with other truckers and find out where they were from and heading to. I had no iPad, iPhone or Game Boy to keep me occupied back then so this was a great way to pass time. And of course, we had a common radio. Well, this is like with kids today: I never liked his music. My father is a cowboy at heart and loves his country music.  Kenny Rogers and Johnny Cash accompanied us quite some time. Today, I think – wow this is cool. Making a movie out of my trips, this music would make up the perfect soundtrack.

What is your relation to trucks today? Do you still believe in the magic of trucks? 

Oh yes - I still have a very keen interest in trucks today and this is now passed down to my kids, they love trucks too. We have a cool collection with their names printed on the side of the trailers: “Conor Transport” and “Cillian Transport”. Anytime they see a truck it is the same reaction I gave at that age. My eldest son can now tell me the different makes of trucks, his favorite is a Scania and funnily enough mine was the 142 Scania. 

Are you still dealing with trucks in some way? 

I am a Business Development Manager for DB Schenker in Ireland. I get to enjoy Ireland from my car visiting clients and new prospects. There are plenty of scenic places in Ireland. I am not involved in the day to day operations or transport. However, I still see all that goes on in the company. I always knew I would end up working in the industry. Must be due to the genes – thanks dad.

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Sonja Wenka
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