Get to Know... James Hunter, our recently-appointed Head of Sales

James Hunter talks about his career in South Africa and the UK - including his experience with armed guards!

Where are you from originally? 

I’m from Johannesburg in South Africa, but I moved to the UK in 2016 with my wife and two of my three sons. 

What was your first job? 

I was a Management Trainee at Unitrans Bulk, a transport company. 

What job(s) did you have before joining DGTT? 

In South Africa, I was a shareholder in two companies; one was a national courier of sensitive cargo and we held the Apple accounts as well as those of a number of other large brands such as Estee Lauder. The other was a very small, niche truck rental business closely aligned to the courier business.

One of my most vivid memories from that time is having to have armed guards in cars escorting our shipments to protect them from being hijacked! 

I also spent two years as a Fleet Consultant with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council in its waste management company, Pikitup. 

My first role in the UK was as General Manager (Wycombe and Aylesbury) with Arriva. I also spent 18 months as a Business Manager with Veolia in Northampton. 

When did you join DGTT? 

October 2019. 

What was your first job at DGTT? 

Head of Remarketing for Dawsondirect, our used truck and trailer sales business. 

What’s your current job and what does it involve? 

Head of Sales for both truck and trailer and Dawsondirect. 

I’m still relatively new to the truck and trailer role. At the moment, it involves getting to know the business from a contract hire/rental perspective and building a team of sales professionals who can support the business into the future. The rate of change we’ll experience over the next 10 to 15 years will be exceptional and we need to align our resources, both internally and externally, in order to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves. 

What’s been the highlight of your time at DGTT? 

The success of Dawsondirect over the past few years has been fantastic. Whilst I acknowledge that we’ve worked in a favourable market, the team has put in a huge effort to deliver the sales they’ve achieved.  

Who or what has been the main influence in your career? 

There have been a number of people who’ve influenced my career at various stages, and I’ve been privileged to work with, and be mentored by, a few exceptional people. I think those that stand out had a few qualities as human beings that resonated with me. All were compassionate, had humility and the ability to coach and guide. I’ve also had the privilege of working with, and for some, horrid people. Whilst those times were unpleasant, they were also quite often opportunities to learn how not to go about life. 

What significant changes have you seen in the business during your time at DGTT? 

Truck and trailer has become, and is still transitioning into, a more people-centric business. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated an awareness of balance in all our lives and, as a consequence, this is trickling down into business.  

What do you do in your spare time? 

I play as much golf as possible. I love nature and I’m quite a keen, if unaccomplished, amateur photographer. When I lived in South Africa, we were fortunate to have easy access to the ‘bush’ and all that comes with it. I spent many fantastic hours either walking in a big five reserve with a ranger or simply taking in the peace and tranquillity on a game drive. There were also exceptional photo opportunities. I think a week in nature is really good for the soul. The UK is full of new and wonderful places to see and visit; I thoroughly enjoy a simple walk around a city or village I’ve not been to before and a visit to the ‘local’ for a bite to eat and a pint. 

What’s on your bucket list? 

Play the Old Course at St Andrews and travel as much as possible. A week in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya watching a wildebeest migration is right up there. 

What annoys you in life? 

People who are petty and/or vindictive. 

What’s your biggest regret? 

Like most people, I’ve had my ups and downs, successes and failures. I have few regrets. I think if I could turn back the clock I probably would never have smoked. Most other things I’ve done were right at the time and can be put down as experience. I don’t really believe in living life looking in the rear-view mirror.

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Dawsongroup Truck and Trailer Limited.

Delaware Drive, Tongwell,

Milton Keynes MK15 8JH

Dawsongroup Truck and Trailer Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Financial Conduct Authority Register number: 725515