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I’ve got My Eyes On the Prize’, says RTITB’s Operator of the Year Competition finalist, Gary Maher

When crowned as the champion of RTITB’s Northern England National Champion back in April, Gary Maher expressed his shock and elation regarding his win, stating: ‘I was surprised to be crowned champion, but am very glad to have got through to the Grand Final.’

With the RTITB Operator of the Year 2011 Grand Final creeping closer, Gary, like the remaining 9 Grand Finalists, is eager to get stuck in and see if he has what it takes to be crowned champion. As a re-entrant from RTITB’s competition held in 2008, Gary, who was trained by TNT Express Services UK and Ireland, was understandably nervous, stating afterwards: ‘It was a really excellent day, the tests are a little scary at first, but as long as you concentrate, it’s fine. The event was very enjoyable and a lot more relaxed this time around.’ Although he has been trained as an operator for 4 years, Gary, who is married with 3 children, is a mechanic by trade.

Fast forward 3 months later, and Gary is enthusiastic to see what’s in store for the Grand Final to be held at RTITB, Telford, on 16th September: ‘Really excited for the Grand Final. Can’t wait to get started and see what RTITB have in store for us!’

As Gary operates trucks sporadically in his role as an engineer for TNT, he honestly divulged that an opportunity to practise ahead of the final was yet to present itself. However, Gary refuses to see this as a hindrance, stating: ‘This could be a good thing though; it does not allow me to pick up any bad
habits. I purely operate the way in which in which I was taught.’

Gary’s line manager, John Sinclair of TNT, is also optimistic that Gary’s infrequent use of trucks within his day-to-day role will not be of a disadvantage to him during the Grand Final, stating: ‘It’s superb that he’s got through, I’m really over the moon for him. It shows off his skills for other aspects of the business- his level of operation is brilliant.’ Nevertheless, John recognises the advantage of even the smallest amount of practise, saying: ‘I will be giving Gary some time set aside in work hours to practise and familiarise himself with the trucks before he heads down to Telford for the Grand Final.’ John also showed his extreme support for Gary when asked about his attendance to the final, stating: ‘Of course I’m coming along; I can’t wait to come along and support Gary.’

Gary was first notified about the RTITB Operator of the Year 2011 competition once contacted directly from the RTITB events department. Although Gary had entered the competition back in 2008 and unfortunately failed to place within the top 3, he was eager to give it another go and see if this time he had what it takes. However, he remains defiant, saying: ‘I have most definitely got my eyes on the prize, I want to walk away with a brand new car- and as long as I stay calm on the day, anything is possible.’

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