From Battlefield to Boardroom. Regional Sales Executive Reveals All.

Destined for military life, Ronnie Kelsall transitioned from Highland Gunner to Sales Executive; a difficult move for many. Re-acquainting with day-to-day life and returning to the ‘9 to 5’ can be a challenge, but for Ronnie and his extensive customer portfolio, the change, we think, was for the best.

Our journey begins in Asda, where we find a 15-year-old Ronnie Kelsall, in the early stages of his career, saving up for his first set of wheels. Not wanting to spend too long around the shelves, Ron applied for the army. Unfortunately, medical reasons put a stop to this first attempt. Not one to be defeated, Ronnie adjusted his bearings and pursued a college course specializing in welding and fabrication.

Ronnie’s true desires remained with the military, and it wasn’t long before the call for further medical and physical tests at Lichfield came over comms. Following two days of extensive screening and tests, Ronnie was given the all-clear for basic training over at Pirbright Army Training Centre. ‘My parents dropped me off at Crewe station and that was that. I arrived at Pirbright with just the bags I took with me alongside 20 or so lads who looked just as nervous as I did.’

Following twelve weeks of basic training, in which Ronnie received the ‘Best at Drill’ award for his outstanding efforts on parade, Ronnie progressed onto phase two and was assigned to 19 Regiment Royal Artillery Highland Gunners. ‘Looking back, you meet some great people, visit some fantastic places and you learn so much about yourself. It’s unreal.’

Ronnie joined an artillery based unit consisting of two main functions, OP (Observation Post) and Gunner. Opting for OP, Ronnie would be tasked with calculating, plotting and calling in fire, observing the outcome and adjusting accordingly.

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Salisbury Plain training complete, Ronnie embarked on a seven-month tour of Iraq. He was patrolling perimeters, training local police and escorting/protecting government officials located around Port Umm Qasr. ‘It was a long seven months but it was a good feeling knowing you were a part of the rebuilding effort. I’ve never felt more apprehensive in my life. Seeing grown men more upset about leaving friends and family than actually fighting really brought it home.’

With the tour at an end, Ronnie returned to Blighty and met his now-wife Kate, bringing the military days to a close. Whilst at home, Ronnie played for a Sunday league football team, managed by Thomas Hardie Used Truck Business Development Manager, Jonathan Bownes. Jonathan felt that Ronnie would make a strong addition to the used truck team and suggested that Ron apply for a recent valeting vacancy.

Ronnie spent three and half years valeting, before moving over to parts salesperson and, eventually, parts supervisor. ‘I was responsible for a small department which brings its own unique challenges.’

A further two years pass and a rare opportunity for an Aftermarket Sales Executive role provides Ronnie with a different kind of challenge. This tasked Ronnie with supporting Thomas Hardie customers with maintenance contracts for mainly fleet hauliers. ‘It was my first taste of meeting customers on my own and that again was a unique challenge. But that job definitely helped mould me into who I am today and taught me crucial aspects of the business’

By this time, the sky was the limit and another progressive move in the form of Used Truck Sales Executive became available…the natural next step. With an already good understanding of sales and the customer, this move would put Ronnie front and centre amongst the North West truck sales scene.

Today, five years on, Ronnie boasts Salesman of the Year 2019 alongside an impressive track record of sales and customers. Ronnies no-nonsense approach, combined with a strong understanding of the product and brand, has produced a well rounded, confident member of the sales team. ‘The game changes all the time with stock levels, availability, customers needs, delivery times, etc. We adapt and find customers who are right for the trucks that we have at the time. Every sale is different, every customer has their own needs. So it’s our job to provide our customers with what they are after. It’s addictive!’

Img 20211005 132457 - Thomas HardieDiscussing the future and achievements over the years, Ronnie is a proud owner of one certificate in particular and has sky-high aspirations going forward. ‘I’d like to one day do a solo skydive. I’ve jumped out of planes before but strapped to someone else. I’d like to eventually be able to jump solo. I’m also a certified underwater helicopter escape artist…I’ve done a course and everything. If you ever find yourself trapped in a sinking helicopter, give us a bell, you’ve got my mobile.’



The Talented Mr Mcdonough Drops In for a Chat.

A man of many talents, Luke Mcdonough, has seen it all. From the hustle and bustle of building sites to the endless labyrinth of salt mines beneath Winsford. He can also do a ‘nose blunt to tray flip, back into transition’…we’ll try to explain what that means a little bit later.

Luke’s varied career history begins with the classic paper round at aged thirteen, followed by working alongside his uncle as a painter and decorator. ‘The job was great as I pretty much worked for myself and enjoyed working alongside my uncle. It was a great feeling of freedom’.

Following several career moves, one, in particular, being a brickies mate, Luke found himself working at Britain’s oldest serving rock salt mine in Winsford. Here, Luke was responsible for the disposal of old classified documents and files stored below. ‘It was like an underground world. Fifteen of us spread out across a space the size of a small town, no other job like it.’

Outside of the day to day, Luke likes to make the most of his time. But skateboarding is where Luke’s talents come into their own.
Luke was seven years old when he first came into contact with the sport, face first, grinding on the pavement. Cuts and bruises aside, Luke pushed forward, determined to make his mark amongst his friends and the world of skateboarding. Still dabbling with the deck today, Luke holds numerous tricks and achievements to his name. ‘People would leave when I got to the skatepark because they knew what was about to go down. Drop-ins, tray flips, christ-airs, backflips you name it.’

Luke Skating - Thomas HardieBack to the grind (pun intended), Luke kicks off his time at Thomas Hardies in the PDI bay, the breeding ground for success. ‘The bay’ gives people the chance to learn the company from the ground up and offers many something new. For Luke, the technical side of the job attracted him the most.
Valeting for roughly a year, Luke eventually progressed to Reconditioner. Which is a highly regarded position amongst the UVS team. He is responsible for restoring tired or damaged areas of our trucks to their former glory. ‘I love a challenge, so handling the repairs side of the job suits me fine. I’ve always had an interest in the spanners so Reconditioner was the perfect opportunity for me.’

From rock salt depths to the UVS frontline, Luke now holds a vital position amongst the used truck team and when called upon, has the knowledge and the experience to tackle the trickiest of tasks…and tray flips. Whatever they are.

Getting to Grips With Carl. A Salesman with a Driving Ambition for Success.

A combination of football and paint spraying resulted in a defining career shift. Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary when moving up the ladder of life.

Like many living in the area, Fords Of Winsfords is where Carl Boase’s story begins. Following a year of valeting, an opportunity to venture into the world of body repair became available via a day-release training scheme which saw Carl learning the do’s and don’t when it came to filler and colour matching.

Carl spent nine years at Ford’s, eventually reaching body shop supervisor, but couldn’t see himself there for the foreseeable. ‘For me, it held me in good stead for the future and it was a brilliant first job. But at the end of the day, I didn’t want to spray forever and I realised it just wasn’t my vocation at the time’.

Outside of the day to day, Carl played football for Middlewich Town and acquired a severe knee injury early on. Continuing with football into his early 30’s and moving from Fords to Arnold Clarke, Carl concluded that the injury was not helping with a life of manual labour and a kick about every Saturday.

Chris Hull, Middlewich Depot Manager and a close friend, suggested a parts job at Thomas Hardies. A decision that would take Carl out of the paint shop and more importantly, off his hands and knees.

Carl racked up four years behind the counter, three of those being Parts Supervisor. ‘Parts was very different to the spray booth. It was more mentally demanding, but it was a great environment because I was working with some good friends of mine. I wasn’t a fan of shifts and the early mornings so supervisor was the goal’

At the tender age of 35, Carl developed a keen interest in a very different type of pitch, now investing more time in his handicap and the clubhouse rather than the dressing room and set pieces.
Golf scratched Carl’s competitive itch left behind following the injury and quickly became the outside of work focus alongside the family. Securing a position on Mcdonald’s Portal Golf Club Committee and boasting a handicap of 7.9, Carl’s competitive side was certainly allowed to flourish on the fairway.

An internal application for Trainee Sales Person became available whilst Carl was still Parts Supervisor and seemed to be the natural next step. Adapting from a world of selling truck parts to selling the trucks themselves, Carl already had a strong understanding of the brand and product, as well as a good level of self-discipline and work ethic.

Today Carl represents our used truck national sales effort, supplying high-quality used Volvos mainly to the UK and Ireland. ‘Every day is different and the customer’s needs are what makes the job so varied. Apart from the buzz of the sale, I enjoy keeping tabs on where my trucks are up to whilst being prepared and keeping the customer totally in the know throughout the whole process’. Carl achieved Thomas Hardie’s Sales Person of the Year back in 2017 and was also nominated for Volvos Truck Salesman of the Year in 2014 whilst still in his first year of sales, in which he came second.

Carl couldn’t put his finger on a single memorable sales story as there are just too many to mention, but a proud achievement of Carl’s is Felixstowe Logistics, who have only ever bought from Carl over the past ten years and run a complete Thomas Hardie Used Trucks supplied fleet.

From valet bay to forecourt, Carl has always strived for success. A determined salesperson with the customers best interests always at the forefront.

Did we mention his handicap was 7.9? Carl was very keen for that to be in…

Off the Pitch into the Office. Meet Adam, Economy & Export Executive

A semi-professional footballer with eyes set on a career overseas coaching the beautiful game. How does a person destined for the pitch find themselves selling trucks and being so darn good at it?


Adam Studied BTEC Sports Science and Psychology alongside perfecting his footwork on the field.
Realising his talent lay outside the classroom, Adam pursued a career in semi-professional football and earned a living doing so.

Soon after, an opportunity in coaching the sport became available in America – specifically Seatle, Washington State and Oregan. ‘It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend time in America and teach kids what I knew’.

Once returning to the UK following 6 months of coaching, Adam dabbled in car sales for roughly a year before tackling his next venture, mobile valeting/detailing.
Working alongside a close friend, the pair gradually built a strong and reliable client base in Cheshire and the surrounding area. Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porshe and Range Rover to name just a selection of the vehicles Adam would maintain weekly. ‘The job was fantastic as you essentially worked for yourself and could organise your workload. But the winter months were tough, I don’t miss them!’

Opting for a slightly warmer alternative, Adam eventually moved from mobile valeting to join the used truck team in 2013 within the PDI department.
Here he could hone and flex his teamwork skills, alongside his attention to detail with customers and their vehicles.
Displaying a strong understanding of leadership and management, Adam later progressed to PDI Supervisor, taking ownership of the department. Here Adam would further dial in his knowledge of the business, gaining a better understanding of the customer base and its needs.

Fast forward 5 years to find Adam entering in details to the companies first eBay profile. Selling parts from breaker vehicles and eventually moving on to the odd part-ex vehicle. Adam gradually grew and developed a solid eBay profile over time into what it is today.

Now to 2021. Economy & Export Executive Adam Foy takes ownership of all part-ex and none-warrantable vehicles. With an impressive overseas client base spanning the globe, Adam has developed a reputable and respected portfolio.
Numerous successes in Africa, Europe, New Zealand and at home in the UK. Large numbers of vehicles destined for the auction are now being relocated abroad, helping to provide others with affordable Volvo quality. ‘My stock may not always be the prettiest, but anyone can sell a show pony! The job means I get to meet people from all walks of life, plus nothing beats the feeling of a successful deal!’

Adam secured Sales Person of the Year 2020 this year as Covid interfered with events previous. Adam continues to progress his sales career further and is now venturing into vehicle acquisition. Adam also provides an Economy level warranty package for V4’s that fall within guidelines.

The breaker units of old are now a mere distant memory for Adam and the department. Although Adam still can’t keep his hands off a polishing cloth every now and then.