BUS DRIVER OF THE MONTH: Graeme's passion


This month’s Mercedes-Benz Driver of the Month has passion and pride beyond any measure

BUS DRIVER OF THE MONTH: Graeme's passion
<b><font color=red> BUS DRIVER OF THE MONTH:</b></font> Graeme’s passion

By David Goeldner | January 13, 2011

There would be few drivers as passionate about the bus and coach industry as January’s Mercedes-Benz Driver of the Month winner, Graeme McCulloch.

Graeme is an industry ‘blue blood’ having spent all of his working life around buses and coaches, first as a body builder with the original Dennings back in 1973 and for the past 21 years as Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel’s longest serving driver.

Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel General Manager Skye Naismith says Graeme’s knowledge and understanding of not only vehicles but the importance of teamwork comes as second nature.

"Always leading by example, his work ethic, commitment to the bus industry, and daily customer service is of the highest standard," Skye says.

"In his role as Driver Supervisor with Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel, Graeme is well respected for his ability to empathise with fellow drivers."

Graeme is also a licensed Department of Transport compliance officer, and has a keen interest in the safety and design of public passenger vehicles, providing invaluable knowledge to assist Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel with its vehicle purchases.

Graeme is a passionate supporter of the bus industry, and is an avid ABC magazine reader, never missing an issue which he shares with his 80 year old father Keith, now retired, but a bus industry veteran from the 1950s.

"Dad likes to know exactly what’s going on," Graeme says.

And both father and son are passionate about driving.

"I absolutely love driving," Graeme says.

"I would be happy to be out there all day every day."

In 2011, Graeme drove 30,000 kms without incident.

But Graeme knows that there’s more to delivering the service than driving. It also gets down to presentation, and cleanliness, and also getting along well with other people.

Graeme does a lot of seniors’ charter work, and always ensures he is standing at the door of the bus to greet his passengers.

"You need to treat them like royalty because many of them have saved their pensions to have a nice day out," he says.

Graeme also makes sure he says good morning to every school kid that he carries on many of Mt Gravatt’s runs around south-east Brisbane.

Other drivers have asked why Graeme bothers to say hello, even to the rude kids.

"If you just take the time to say good morning, you never know how you might lift that kid’s spirits, even if they say nothing in return," he says.

"These kids will finish school one day, and they might end up wanting to hire a bus for a sporting or community group – and they know that Mt Gravatt looked after them when they were at school."

Skye says Graeme’s contribution to the industry is evident not only within Mt Gravatt’s workplace, but through his positive promotion of transport and logistics as an industry of choice.

Graeme was 33 when he joined Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel, and even now in his 50s –

and the company’s longest serving driver – is still one of the youngest in the team.

And he has no plans to work anywhere else.

"Buses are in my blood," Graeme says.

NOMINATE YOUR DRIVER:

To nominate your staff member for Driver of the Month, send details of driver’s career history, a written reference highlighting the driver’s contribution to your operations, and include a photo of your nominated driver. Also include the nominator’s email address and phone contact.

Send entries by post or email to:

David Goeldner, Managing Editor Australasian Bus & Coach

PO Box 3712 South Brisbane Qld 4101

Email: dgoeldner@acpmagazines.com.au

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