It pisses me off every single day that I'm in a wheelchair.  I'd give in if it didn't, stop taking on challenges and doing things every day.

I've had the business since '91.  I wasn't sure I was going to keep it, but it was all I'd known; I'd done it before the accident, there was nothing to stop me doing it now.  I did put someone else in charge for six months and went to Thailand, but I got sick of sitting on a beach and came back to take over.

Before, I would never ask anyone to do anything I wouldn't do myself.  That's always been a part of my business, and it still applies now.  Modern trucks are automatic anyway, so I can whack hand controls on and drive them.  I mostly go out at weekends when the office is quiet, or if a driver can't do a job.  I drive all the forklifts in the yard too.

'Nothing I can't do that you can do', is my motto.  It might take us longer, I might have to work out a way of doing it, but I'll get it.  And you learn all the time.  I paid for a hoist for one of the trucks when I first came back.  It worked, but it was slow and you'd end up with an audience, everyone standing around watching.  Now, the main way I get into the cab is by getting on the forks of a forklift and getting one of the lads to raise me up.

'Nothing I can't do that you can do'

We go all over, getting machinery to Norway, 20 tonne drilling pipes down to Gatwick and onto the planes, helicopters to Luxembourg, even over to the Ukraine.  We do more international trips when oil prices are high and the companies are pumping loads and needing new equipment.  You can see the recession through our work, but we've still got lots of work on ourselves.

Brian working underneath a truck, with wheelchair on the side

I took a call recently for a last minute job getting a delivery from South Shields up to Aberdeen; none of the other drivers were around, so I did it.  The parcel was in the car and I was on my way within an hour.

I've got arms like Popeye now.  It's a big thing for me as it means I don't need as much help.  I can lift my chair into the car one-handed - even the biggest lad in the yard can't do that.

Being disabled and running my business has been a hindrance.  But it's also been a help.  I learnt who my friends were when I had my accident; business contacts I'd dealt with for 20 years but had never met were coming to see me.  And people remember me, I always get the work.  But that's also because I'm good at what I do, and if we're going to do a job, we're going to do it properly.  People remember bad jobs.Brian working underneath a truck

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