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‘Take your shoes off!’ is the first thing you hear when you enter Sascha Verch’s cab. “I don’t walk around my living-room at home with shoes on either,” the 38-year-old says with a twinkle in his eye. His brother, father and son all agree with him. They are all truck drivers at REMONDIS Industrie Service’s branch in Lübeck – this is not just a job to them but a passion that they have turned into a career.
Hans Verch (58) began transporting industrial waste safely around the streets of Schleswig-Holstein 28 years ago. His son Sascha then joined him two years ago, and his second son, Pascal (32), just last year. His grandson Luca (16) started an apprenticeship at the company to train to become a lorry driver this August. Anyone who has kept a close eye on the logistics sector knows that this is something that is very rare indeed. There is a shortage of truck drivers across all industries at the moment.
All four have succeeded in turning their fascination for lorries into a profession.
All four had wanted to become a lorry driver since they were toddlers. And Hans’ father had also worked as a truck driver. Just like their ‘old man’, Hans and his two sons first went into long-haul freight transport. They have seen much of the world since then. Even 16-year-old Luca remembers how, while still knee high to a grasshopper, he sat next to his dad in his cab. Over the years, he has been to every European country except Greece.
“No-one wants to do the job anymore!” Hans says. “Hours sat in traffic jams, overcrowded rest areas and dilapidated shower rooms. And let’s be honest. It is possible to have a family and be a long-haul truck driver but it’s not easy,” he continued. None of them wants to be ‘on the road’ day in day out anymore. “We’re happy where we are. We get to see our family every day, have far more free time and can meet up with friends,” Pascal said, comparing the two. “I meet up regularly with about 30 people nowadays. In the past it was just one,” his brother Sascha added. And, at the end of the day, the money is right, too. In his old job, Pascal spent an extra 150 to 200 euros a month on shower facilities and lorry parks and buying all kinds of fast food. He can now save that money and eat healthy meals as well. “You won’t find me going anywhere else soon,” he concluded.
It is obvious that the lorries they drive are much more than simply a means to do their work. Each has a different way of demonstrating their passion for their truck. Hans, for example, cleans his four walls every single day. He always has a spare pair of shoes and a change of clothes with him so that his cab is always spotless. Sascha and Pascal have gone for a more comfortable look, hanging curtains up on the windows. Luca, who must learn from the passenger seat until he turns 18, intends to be just like them. And their love of their job can be seen in their homes as well. With over 600 model trucks, they have all managed to transport their profession into their living rooms – no dirt, but a whole load of fascination.