AA Tyre Fit has 180 tyre-fitters and not a single one of them is female – until now that is.
For one day only I was invited to join the national patrol team as the group's one and only female fitter.
Clad in the group's standard uniform comprising steel toecapped boots, heavy-duty trousers, shirt, fleece and a bright yellow jacket, I set to work. The uniform looks great on the male fitters, but on my 5ft 1in female frame I wasn't feeling too attractive.
But looks were cast aside as I had work to do. The first call-out was a puncture at one of AA Tyre Fit's fleet customers – Europcar.
The vehicle, a Volkswagen Golf, was located at Europcar's rental depot at Heathrow airport and Mark Dean, my mentor for the day, assured me that this was a simple problem to fix.
And sure enough within 30 minutes, the Golf's puncture had been repaired. AA Tyre Fit vans are fully-equipped with both the machinery and supplies to repair most problems, ensuring the minimum downtime for fleets.
Once a job has been completed, the fitter logs on to the satellite navigation and deployment system inside the van, which then allocates the next job.
This time it was a real emergency. A female driver was stranded on a supermarket car park, frozen pizzas rapidly defrosting in the boot and a punctured tyre rendering her immobile.
We jetted off and were on the scene within 15 minutes. Again it was just one puncture which took less than 20 minutes to repair.
A quick stop for lunch and we were on the way to our final job of the day which was a fleet booking.
AA Tyre Fit deals with a mixture of emergency call-outs and bookings from customers wanting tyres replaced without having to take their vehicles into a tyre-fitting depot. A hotel manager with a Vauxhall Vectra company vehicle had booked it in for two new tyres. He had left the keys at the hotel reception, so we were able to complete the job without him being present.
The job took the fitter little over half an hour to complete and my day as an AA tyre fitter's helper was over.
I can't say I'm considering a career change (not until they change the uniform, anyway) but I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I was surprised at how quickly the fitter attended and completed the jobs, which would surely be a benefit to fleets. I was also amazed at how just by wearing a bright yellow AA jacket, the general public perceived me as a source of knowledge. I was asked directions three times and randomly quizzed by members of the public on the range of services offered by the AA.