If you’re a Melburnian, chances are you’ve spotted them rolling through the streets over the past 15 years: Old Mate, Supermoose, Bobby Brave and the rest of the nicknamed Man With A Van fleet. These titles — proudly displayed on side of the truck cab in bold stickering — are more than simply a useful reference point for the operations team. Each is also a tribute to a long-serving member of staff, who has been rewarded for their hard yakka with a vehicle namesake.
How we came up with the naming system
Director Tim Bishop, whose tribute van, Nugget, is long since out of commission, said that while the tradition started as simply a bit of fun, it has also proven to be useful in the day-to-day operations of the company.
“I'd come from working in warehouses as a young man where vehicles were referred to as 'Unit 1' or by registration number or similar, which made them boring and difficult to remember," Tim said.
“Having grown up with Thomas The Tank Engine, I thought real names was a more fun approach."
It’s also become a worthy way to pay tribute to the most experienced movers in the company, some of whom have completed almost 3000 home relocations.
“When a loved member of staff moves on, it's often a sad affair,” Tim said.
“Being able to provide recognition to those who’ve given their blood, sweat and tears to the job is something we’re very pleased with."
“Naming a truck after them helps keep their memory, and if they're still on staff it recognises their service."
“Removals is a tough gig, particularly at Man With A Van, where we ask for a very high level of customer service from our staff, as well as the strength and skill required to do the heavy lifting.”
A lot of the truck nicknames come with an amusing backstory, and Tim nominated a now-retired mover, Oliver Clark, as providing the funniest.
“Atomic Thrust would have to be a favourite. It refers to a video clip from Oli’s other life [as a comedian],” Bishop said.
View the music video here.