He could probably draw the map of Europe with his eyes closed, rank the countries by organisation, parking, quality of roads… Antonio Albano features among the “memorable drivers”, with more than 30 years experience with Torello and has proudly received his MB Special Edition. A model with more power and a GigaSpace cabin, a level up from other models. In short, a suite on wheels.
The new Actros is perfectly made for experienced drivers
We asked him a few questions on the day he received his new vehicle: he seemed the sort of person who isn’t easily persuaded – we had already established this – and considers the concept of loyalty as a moral duty. Because hearing words like: “you always feel like family” has a certain effect, especially when they say it.
What’s your name?
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Belgium, so they’ve affectionately nicknamed me “the Belgian”. I lived in Belgium for 20 years, then I came here to Montoro and started working with Nicola Torello.
How long have you worked for the Torello Group?
For almost 30 years now.
How many kilometres do you think you’ve covered in that time?
With an average of at least 150,000 a year, I’d reckon that I’ve covered more than 4.5 million kilometres.
When and how did your passion for this job start?
I always like to say that it all came about on a whim. It all began when I first got in the truck with my uncle. I drove about 100 meters, just to try it, but I couldn’t get into second gear and I braked too hard, as if the truck was a car, meaning that my uncle hit into the dashboard. He told me to get out of the truck because it wasn’t for me. I accepted this as a challenge… and here I am today, 30 years later.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited on a trip?
I’ve travelled all over Europe, the furthest place perhaps being Denmark. But I’ve always enjoyed going back to Belgium, where some of my family members still live. It’s a great opportunity to drop by and see them. I’ve always enjoyed visiting different places: Germany and England are certainly among the most beautiful. The best organized cities definitely have to be the German ones; as for the quality of motorways and parking spaces, I think France is the number 1 country. Over the years I’ve learnt a few languages to help myself be better understood, particularly when I’m at work. I speak French pretty well, and then a little English and German.
How have the vehicles and the nature of this job changed over time?
Well, there certainly have been changes. It’s strange to think that when I started out, we were working with a paper map, no navigators, tools or technology like the intarder or the automatic gearbox. It was all manual. Now, with technology advancing more and more, our role is certainly easier in certain ways, but there is always something to learn, to take note of. Passion is fundamental: In taking care of the truck, loading and unloading… These are all things that depend on the driver and his/her relationship with work. Since starting here, technology has brought about 70-80% of changes, but there have also been changes in terms of the company’s organisational structure. Here at Torello, for example, we started this adventure with 40 people: we did everything together, on Saturday we prepared the load… and then we went to lunch together. Now, the family’s grown, expanded. Something that hasn’t changed at Torello, however, are the values it holds: the atmosphere here is the same as it was 30 years ago – you always feel part of a family.
An episode and/or a place you remember fondly?
It would have to be the fun times that I spent with my colleagues, when we’d spend quality evenings together after unloading our vehicles. Before, it was easier to arrange seeing each other, but now the paces and journey routes are different, so it’s more complicated.
During your travels are there regions or areas that you particularly love, say for the cuisine? Favourite place or food?
I mainly cook at home. I rarely go to restaurants. I live my driver’s life to the fullest.
Have you driven the new Actros yet? What do you think?
No, this is my first time, but it’s certainly an attractive vehicle equipped with a whole range of technology.
It’s hard to imagine what over 4 million kilometres is like, but everything is ready for the trip. Today, knowing your own way in life matters more than knowing the way. Knowing this helps us grow.