Chris Wigmore – or ‘Wiggy’ as friends and colleagues know him – is the Toyota Fleet Management Centre’s ‘Gateman’.
When trucks arrive at the Old Dalby site at the end of a long-term rental contract, it's the role of the ‘Gateman’ to identify the machines that are in good enough condition to become part of Toyota’s Approved Used Trucks fleet.
Once passed fit, trucks undertake a thorough refurbishment process before, ultimately, being re-sold or hired out again to existing customers.
Chris has many things to consider, before making his final decision on a truck’s future. The main criteria are the hours that a truck has worked, its age and general condition.
"If, for example, a model comes back with a damaged overhead guard or it’s a ‘non-runner’ then it will almost certainly go to trade. But trucks with low hours, that look good and are generally in good working order are selected for the ex-rental fleet,” explains Chris.
In Chris’s experience, trucks that have been operating in sites that are open to the elements and harsh conditions, such as at recycling plants, usually return in the worst condition. “Given the unforgiving environments and tough work they get through, trucks that have spent a few years shuttling around recycling centres are usually pretty tired by the end of their rental period,” he says.
Chris has been in his current role for over 6 years. Prior to joining Toyota he spent two decades as a self-employed construction professional specialising in preparing the ground at building sites before construction work started.
Outside work hours – which for Chris are 6.00 in the morning to 4.30 in the afternoon – ‘Wiggy’ is a keen darts player, enjoys weight training and has developed an acute interest is woodworking. He has a lathe and enjoys creating useful items, such as fruit bowls, from discarded timber.
“One of the things that I enjoy most about working at the Toyota Fleet Management is seeing trucks get a new lease of life – which is clearly beneficial to the environment. I suppose this could be one of the reasons that I enjoy turning discarded wood into things that people can use too,” he adds.