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Chris Westbrook talks about his career with Tructyre

Working for Tructyre

When Tructyre first opened its doors for business, we had just two technicians and two used service vehicles. Today, over 20 years later, we are proud to employ over 120 technicians with a fleet of Mercedes service vehicles, operating from 26 depots.

Our technicians are dedicated to providing exceptional levels of service to Tructyre’s valued clients. Supported by our extensive training programme, our technicians deliver proactive accident prevention and roadside service, keeping over 12,000 vehicles and trailers mobile.

As we have grown over the years, we have consistently needed to recruit good quality employees. As part of this campaign, we developed an apprenticeship scheme that has successfully developed many skilled Tructyre technicians.

Chris Westbrook joined Tructyre in November 2004 aged 18, and has progressed considerably since then. Now the Manager for our Reading depot, Chris talks about his training, his experience and a few personal details.

Chris Westbrook, commercial tyre technician

Getting started at Tructyre

Chris studied car mechanics at college and when this course finished, a friend of his suggested there were vacancies at Tructyre. He decided to apply. “Knowing that you could start at the bottom and have a career to aim for sounded great. I also liked that there would be a variety of work – no two days are the same.”

Starting at the Winchester depot, Chris began his training in the vehicle bays under the direction of qualified technicians. Within the first few months, he completed internal training modules provided by both the Michelin and Bridgestone technical schools.

Then in 2005, he completed his City and Guilds Light Vehicle Fitting and Heavy Vehicle Fitting certification, and also the Michelin Technical course.

In 2006, Chris completed the City and Guilds Roadside certification and the 141 MBA Michelin Truck Tyre Servicing course – which together are now known as Licence to Fit with REACT accreditation, with Roadside Recovery endorsement. The REACT accreditation licence lasts for five years, at which point every Tructyre technician completes a refresher course to ensure they are up-to-date with latest developments.

Truck Tyre fitter

Equipped with his own Tructyre liveried van, Chris provided proactive tyre failure prevention and roadside service to clients located within the Winchester service area. Chris continued to improve his experience with a move to our Andover depot.

Throughout this time, Chris continued to improve his industry knowledge, including torque settings and retorque times for specific vehicles and trailers, customer tyre policies and procedures.

With this experience and attention to detail, Chris was able to mentor new apprentices – and it soon became evident to us that he had leadership potential. So in 2009, we invested in him taking the Michelin 670 Train to Train course.

The Tructyre challenge is to deliver exceptional levels of service to our valued clients. So when we secure new clients within a depot’s service area, or existing clients expand their operations, we may temporarily need to draft in support from other depots – before we can permanently rebalance the number of technicians required at that location. With his positive and enthusiastic outlook, Chris provided support to our clients within other service areas – including Didcot, Poole and Basingstoke.

Whilst working at the Basingstoke depot, Chris was entrusted to fill in for Paul Brooks, the Manager, on an informal basis. Such was his success that both Paul and Pete Fox, the Area Manager, suggested Chris apply for the Charge Hand position (the Manager’s second-in-command) on a full-time basis. To support this, Chris was trained to City & Guilds Customer Services Level 2 NVQ, and also the Team Leading Level 2 NVQ.

Due to his continuing performance levels in Basingstoke, Chris took the next step of his career – promotion to Depot Manager. When, at the start of 2014, a vacancy arose at our Reading depot, we were delighted to appoint Chris to this high-profile position.

What did your training involve?

“The training that Tructyre provide is extensive, which is why we are recognised as an Investors in People Gold accredited company.”

“I really like the fact that Tructyre will go the extra mile to help anyone – they’ll always back you. I like being able to help out and I’m here to provide a service. We take pride in beating industry callout targets and exceeding our customer’s expectations. To do that we sometimes have to be flexible with our hours, but Tructyre supports us and rewards us well.”

What’s it like working for Tructyre?

Chris says that he particularly enjoys the variety of work; no two days are the same, with an interesting combination of proactive tyre failure prevention on vehicle fleets, and time-critical roadside breakdowns. Even though Tructyre is growing, he thinks the company still feels small. He also believes that being an independent organisation, they are able to give a much better service to clients. “We get to know our customers, their fleets and their needs. Being independent, we’re free to recommend the right tyres for them – we’re not tied to one brand.”

Tell us a bit more about yourself

Outside of work Chris is a keen footballer, playing during the week and at weekends – he also played for Winchester City at school. At the time of interview, Chris was looking forward to going on holiday to Menorca with his girlfriend.

What would you say to anyone considering joining as an apprentice?

Chris highly recommends that if anyone is considering a career at Tructyre, that they should go for it. “I’d definitely say come in and enjoy it. It’s a real hands-on career and every day is different. Regardless of the hours, the pay is better and you know that Tructyre will treat you better too.”

Quick fire quiz

What did you have for breakfast?
I don’t normally eat breakfast. However, I ate 12 Jaffa
Cakes this morning when I got caught in traffic!

What’s your favourite film?
Difficult one. I have two – Gladiator and Armageddon.

Which football team do you support?
Southampton FC.

What’s your favourite music?
I like 80s music – lots of it!

What’s your favourite food?
Sunday Roast.

What’s your dream car?
A Bugatti Veyron.

Chris Westbrook, Tructyre Fleet Management
Chris Westbrook, Depot Manager at Tructyre Fleet Management in Reading
I really like the fact that Tructyre will go the extra mile to help anyone – they’ll always back you. I like being able to help out and I’m here to provide a service.

Chris Westbrook,
Depot Manager, Reading.

t: +44 (0)330 100 7707

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