The team at Thomas Hardie Used Trucks Middlewich was treated to a spectacular day out at Zip World in Bethesda, Wales last month. The method behind Used truck Business Development Manager, Jonathan Bownes madness, was to push his staff to new heights and enable them to face their fears head-on. This is something that John is extremely passionate about and encourages his team to pursue daily.
The day consisted of an early morning conference, which included a welcome message, and safety briefing by the organisers. Followed by a short discussion on how best to overcome our fears and challenges, which Thomas Hardie / UVS are keen to address and overcome. This was supported further by an introduction from our Managing Director, Jim Murray along with Volvo UK Used Truck Sales Director Phil Wilkes, primarily aimed at highlighting the successes and achievements which Thomas Hardie Commercials are regularly receiving and constantly striving towards.
Introductions over, and it was time for a spot of go-karting, an activity new to Zip World, and Thomas Hardie Used Trucks being the first group to attempt this new challenge. With speeds exceeding 40mph down a 3km track, the team was supplied with safety attire and ushered onto an ATV bus to begin the fifteen-minute climb to the peak of Zip Worlds quarry, a colossal 500ft up!
Once at the top, they were subject to a brief set of rules, before the gang could set about selecting their three-wheeled chariots. Safely strapped in and itching to go, the team lined up and began edging their way towards the starting line.
With an encouraging nudge from the Zip World staff, participants were encouraged down the quarry track where chicanes and steep banks awaited. With no engine or means of power, gravity became our best ally, with only rear brakes fitted to the handlebars to aid with the steering.
Jonathan Bownes commented “Speaking as a participant, it created an entirely new level of thrill. The views combined with the speed and rugged terrain take go-carting to a whole new level, and it was enjoyed by the entire team, who expeditiously jumped back on the bus for round 2. The consensus was that the majority of participants would happily venture up and down the track, until the tyre’s on their go-kart became bald!”
Following a fun-filled morning of karting, the thrill seekers returned to the conference room for a well-deserved lunch, provided by Zip World. Marc Tony Joyce, a close personal friend of Jonathan, also attended on the day to give a short, but incredibly motivational speech to the attendees. As a former serving member of the British Armed forces, Marc brought a more realistic approach to fear and challenge, speaking from prior experiences and methods he used to progress through his military career.
(Marc has a blog describing his time and experiences with the British Army, that gives a brilliant insight into the life of a serving soldier- https://www.thevetsproject.com/the-blog/marc-tony-joyce )
After lunch, there was little time to contemplate the morning’s activity as they were swiftly moved on to the next activity of the day, Velocity 2! the fastest zip line in the world and considered to be Jonathan's main challenge for the squad. All members of the team committed to participate in this daunting activity, gearing up both mentally and physically. The group was introduced to a less intense version of Velocity 2 to start with, much slower than it’s bigger and faster counterpart and it offered them the opportunity to learn how the system worked and enabled them to prepare themselves for what was to come.
It wasn’t long until they were back on the ATV preparing themselves for the main event, but first, they were required to make the fifteen-minute climb to the summit.
The sense of excitement and adrenaline overpowered the feelings of fear and anxiety as people lined up to be strapped in. The magnificent views of the surrounding Welsh countryside kept thoughts of the impending challenge at bay. Once the first, second and final check had been carried out, it was a short, three second countdown, then…Geronimo!
The initial drop from the starting station is most definitely the fastest, hitting speeds of over 60mph in less than ten seconds, facing forwards with a 500ft drop into the quarry’s striking blue water below. It was a once in a life-time experience that only by taking part, can you truly appreciate it. Coming to an abrupt, but controlled halt at the finish line, you are lowered and released with only an eagerness to return to the top, consumed by adrenaline.
With a final visit to Zip Worlds conference room, the group had one last discussion, reflecting on the experiences of the day over a cold beer, which was well and truly deserved.
The day would conclude with a fantastic meal, accompanied with an overnight stay at The Quay Hotel and Spa in Deganwy.
To describe the day as a success wouldn’t do Thomas Hardie or the Middlewich team justice. The plan was kept strictly confidential to increase suspense and to allow the excitement to take hold.
The stereotypical, old ways of staff infrastructure have been abolished. Valeter’s and labourer’s sat, ate, and laughed alongside salesmen, directors, and managers. The event brought together all sides of the company, breathing fresh air into a more professional and modern take on working together as a ‘TEAM’.
Thomas Hardie Used Trucks strives to become the place for all used truck purchases throughout the UK and afar. Where professionals work alongside likeminded individuals to guarantee a superior level of service for our customers.
Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales' goal for a modern, sophisticated and market-leading group has further strengthened as a result of last month’s venture and will continue to improve and grow as time progresses.
Here’s to the next Thomas Hardie UVS challenge!
By Marcus Harley
(Thomas Hardie Used Vehicle Sales Support)