This month, HGV fitter Mick Dixon, 72, tell us about how times have changed during his long career with Jempsons…
Tell us about life when you started with the company…
I started in 1961. Mr Jempson Snr was in charge when I started. The good thing about him was that you could hear him coming because he always had a cough. So if you were doing something you shouldn’t, you knew you had to stop!
What did your job entail then and how has it changed?
I used to do all the breakdowns. The biggest one I can remember is when an engine failed at the Mont Blanc Tunnel and I had to go out there, repair the engine and bring the lorry back home. I was on call 24/7 so used to be sitting on the side of the bed at 1, 2, 3am, talking the drivers through their breakdowns to see if they could get themselves going. I used to be able to go back to sleep, but my wife couldn’t! Now we’ve got newer lorries, it doesn’t happen so much. In the old days, you took things to bits and repaired them, but these days they’re run by a computer and you fit new parts. We were called fitters and mechanics in those days, but they’re called technicians now. Now I’m part-time and in the workshop, doing a bit of driving and helping out with servicing.
Any plans to slow down a bit?!
I should be retired but I always say you need something to do. I mean, I play golf, but you can’t play golf seven days a week! I will carry on as long as my head is in gear and there’s work.