What job combines australia-wide travel, enough exercise to be able to skip the gym, meeting new people and playing tetris all day?
As a driver and furniture removalist, John Boers has been moving homes for 25 years, and those are just some of the day to day tasks he and the team at Port Macquarie Removals perform every day.
“With this job, you could end up anywhere in Australia, and while most of our work is in NSW, there’s nothing unusual about having to be in Bourke for a 7am start on a Monday,” John said.
Most training for furniture removal is completed on the job, as no two jobs are the same, and with his vast experience John passes on his skills and knowledge to the younger crew members.
“I was fortunate enough to learn my skill set from an old timer, and for his age he could pack and move cubic metres of furniture, including pianos, just as easily as the young guys.”
Obviously a removalist requires fitness, strength and endurance, but also complex truck driving and reversing, great communication, a clever mind for puzzles and weight distribution, and the ability to look after people’s personal belongings.
“Moving can be stressful for people, so we try to make it fun and have a good time. Some light-hearted humour, a big grin and a joke go a long way to making a sometimes tough day enjoyable,” John said.
“Meeting people and seeing new places is why I’m so passionate about this career and why I’ll still be doing it in 10 years. The best bit of the day is seeing a job through to the end and knowing the client is happy and content with the whole moving experience.”
A strict routine of tasks ensures that the sometimes $100,000 worth of items in each job is looked after properly, starting with truck safety and equipment checks, as well as complex paperwork.
“We have to make sure we have all the gear we need before we leave and we do detailed inventory and condition reports. The administration staff back at Port Macquarie Removals, including sales and operations, play a large part in ensuring these jobs run smoothly.”
John moved from New Zealand in the 1980s and has a trade in Advanced Automotive Engineering.
“I used to contract out to seven removal companies and drive or fly up and down the coast. I decided that I should get a local job and now work is only five minutes away from home, which is perfect, though I still drive all over NSW.
“This industry provides a great lifestyle. I’ve been living in Port Macquarie for three years, but being away so much I’d say I’ve only been here three months in total,” John said.
“You could be freezing your toes off in Melbourne one day, and the next you’re up in sunny Queensland, getting sunburnt. What more could you ask for in a job?”
6.00am Breakfast and preparation for the day or sometimes week ahead.
6.30am Check over truck, paperwork and equipment needed.
7.00am On site at the first job, check truck access, meet clients and evaluate task at hand.
7.30am Load the truck; playing Tetris, and making sure everything fits.
12.00pm Transit to delivery point and a quick lunch.
1.00pm Unload the truck, usually in half the time as the load.
3.00pm Complete job and paperwork and on to the next job or back to the yard.