Driver James loves life behind the wheel


Driver James ‘Monkey’ Harris loves his life behind the wheel – splitting his time between an Actros and the racing track.

James ‘Monkey’ Harris loves life on the road. He spends most of his time behind a steering wheel, splitting his time between his job for Lenham Storage and his passion – the motorsports track. He’s also the lucky driver of a special anniversary edition Actros.

Honoured to drive an Actros.

James, 33, has been a trucker for five years, working for family-run business Lenham Storage for four years, based in Kent. The company specialise in grocery and FMCG distribution and recently celebrated their 70th anniversary – marking the occasion with a specially commissioned Actros truck. James wasn’t the first to drive it but after eight months it was passed down to him, as he was considered a sensible driver who kept his trucks in mint condition. It was an honour for James, as he states he felt “very, very, very trusted” and spends much time cleaning and polishing it for the company and for himself, “I look after it and take a bit of pride in it.”

Driver aids make his job efficient.

As well as the impressive livery, the truck features also make James feel lucky to drive it. When asked what he appreciates the most, he states, “Definitely the driver aids. Lane Keeping Assist, Active Brake Assist and Proximity Control Assist – I use all of them all the time. I’m encouraged to by the Transport Manager; the company purchased trucks with extras so we can use them and drive more efficiently and safely.

James also listed his in-cab must-have: leather seats. “This is the only truck on the fleet with leather seats,” he enthuses. 

He loves his Actros so much it was even a guest at his wedding in 2017!

Enjoying your job and keeping cool.

James’ job doesn’t take him away from home too much – the furthest he’s been is Preston, meaning he’s only away from home for generally one night. He doesn’t mind the journeys too much though, “I just really enjoy driving and the comfort of the truck plus the open road,” he explains. His one bugbear? Traffic. But he knows there isn’t a lot you can do about it so takes a relaxed approach, “I’m pretty chilled…there’s not much I can do about it, you just have to wait it out and inform the right people that you’ve been delayed.”

Driving is more than just a job for James; it’s his passion and lifelong hobby. He’s spent many hours at the race tracks, working with race teams and travelling all over Europe, as well as instructing at a kart track. He’s currently a ‘Driver Mentor’ due to his knowledge and experience.

James’ boss at Lenham Storage also dabbles in racing in his free time, however it’s actually truck racing – an up-and-coming sport. James helps out at events and offers advice where he can.

“Driving is definitely in my blood.”

– James ‘Monkey’ Harris

Trucking for generations.

Driving has always been a part of James’ life. His Dad was a trucker for over 30 years and now semi-retired, still drives occasionally. His great-grandfather was also a truck tyre fitter, “Driving is definitely in my blood…trucks have been in my family for a few generations now.”

Why ‘Monkey’?

We had to ask. Where does the nickname ‘Monkey’ come from?

“It’s actually from a previous job 16 years ago, I was climbing a tree and someone shouted ‘hey it’s Monkey Harris’. Then later my colleagues realised there was a character on the TV show ‘Only Fools and Horses’ called Monkey Harris and it just stuck. Now everyone calls me Monkey – even my wife and grandparents!”

Are you passionate about driving a Mercedes-Benz Truck?

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