Tanker driver goes above and beyond for self-isolating customer

30 April 2020
Duncan Dyce

Customer service with a smile

Tanker driver Duncan Dyce went above and beyond for a customer who was self-isolating due to the coronavirus pandemic

A Scottish Water tanker driver who is helping keep the water cycle flowing during lockdown inspired one customer to sing his praises in a letter to a national newspaper after coming to her aid while emptying her septic tank. 

Duncan Dyce, who has worked in the water industry for more than 22 years, helped an elderly woman who was self-isolating in the Highlands after the pipes connected to her septic tank became blocked.  

Although he was there just to empty the tank, Duncan stayed late to do what he could to resolve the situation, before returning the following day from a nearby job to ensure everything was working as it should. 

His help prompted the customer to write in to a special letters section in The Metro dedicated to highlighting the work of key workers, saying that Duncan went “beyond the call of duty” 

Duncan said: “This woman was in her 80s and technically I was just there to empty the tank but I just couldn’t leave without helping her, I wouldn’t want anyone to be in that situation. There was something jammed down the pipe and it was no bother for me to fix it.  

“If I’m there anyway and I know how to help, then why wouldn’t I? I would do that for anyone. I had another job close by the next day and just popped back to check everything was working ok for her afterwards.” 

Duncan, who has clocked up more than 500,000 miles on the road emptying septic tanks and waste water treatment works over the past seven years according to the mileage on his tanker, is based in Inverness and typically attends around 140 jobs a month stretching from the Black Isle to Foyers, Aviemore, Grantown-on-Spey and Mosstodloch. 

“It’s pretty hectic,” Duncan says. “It hasn’t really got any quieter since the lockdown. The main things that have changed for us is getting more PPE that we have to wear when we attend jobs – I've got a new mask, we have wipes and good alcohol hand gel that we take with us.  

“It’s just about being sensible and making sure you wash your hands and keep your distance from people when we are out on jobs. I’m not really a worrier so I’m trying not to overthink things.” 

He added: “For some folk, you are the only person they’ll have seen in weeks so they are keen to chat and tell you all their stories and I think it is important to try and spread a bit of positivity if you can even while maintaining a safe distance.”