Andy Wright, HGV Driver

Department: Transport

Joining the team at Newcastle-Under-Lyme

“I passed my class 2 rigid HGV licence in 2018 and I wanted to find a driving job that is a bit different from general haulage. Working at ForFarmers has allowed me to see beautiful parts of countryside and I’m therefore not stuck on a motorway, like many other lorry drivers.”

“I joined the ForFarmers Newcastle-Under-Lyme logistics team in 2018. I now mainly drive an 8 wheel rigid and deliver a range of products to customers across the region. The furthest west I’ve delivered to is Holyhead and heading east all the way to Norfolk.”

“As drivers we are responsible for loading the lorries securely and delivering feed to customers safely. We have to navigate small country lanes, large busy motorways and everything in between. Our customers’ farms may also have multiple entrances and a range silo’s and it’s our job to make sure the right feed goes in the correct bin.”

“I often have between 3-6 deliveries to complete a day. This of course depends on the size of the load, travel distance and traffic. As I’m out on farm, I often speak to the farmer or farm workers and it’s really interesting to find out what they are up to on the farm.”

“ForFarmers gives a lot of opportunities to employees. On a personal level I have been offered Class 1 training and ForFarmers is currently supporting me through this qualification.”

ForFarmers fleet

Out on the road

“My day usually starts between 5am and 6am. I arrive at the mill and check in with the transportation team. It’s then time for a brew before collecting the keys and associated paperwork for the deliveries that day. I then drive over to the loading bay to collect the feed. Once in position and I’ve signed in on our computer, the feed is then automatically moved from the finished bins along the conveyor belts and then dropped into the relevant compartments on the lorry.”

“Before heading out on the road, I complete the necessary checks around the vehicle to ensure that it is roadworthy and that the load corresponds with the run sheets. These health and safety checks are all recorded on paper and are handed in to the office. I also double check the farm addresses and delivery notes.”

“I then deliver the feed to the farms and this might be Anglesey, Shropshire or further afield. The planning team work hard to logistically keep our deliveries efficient in terms of time and distance. They also have to consider drivers tachos, the mill’s production and constantly changing traffic levels.”

Andy Wright with his family

“After completing my deliveries for the day, I head back to base. Once back at Newcastle-Under-Lyme, I wash down the lorry and inspect it for the end of the day checks. After filling in the relevant paperwork, I check in with the transportation team and report back any findings.”

“I really enjoy being out on the road and seeing lots of animals and different farms. The job has structured hours and it may be an early start but this enables me to spend my afternoon and evenings with my family at home. This work life balance is really important to me.”

Essential industry

“ForFarmers has continued to supply animal feed despite the Coronavirus outbreak. As a driver we have been classified as ‘key workers’ and have continued working throughout this period. We have had to adapt some of our ways of working, for example I always ring the farmer on route to advise them on an estimated time of arrival and to double check the bin number. I can therefore deliver contact-free which helps maintain everyone’s safety. There is also extra sanitising and hygiene protocols but these have now become a normal routine.”

"I must say customers and colleauges have been really considerate during these difficult times, it really highlights that the agricultural industry pulls together when things get tough."

One team

“For the large majority of hours I work on my own, however I always feel supported by the transportation team. They are always at the end of the phone to help me safely deliver the customer’s products on time. We are a strong team and all get on really well which makes working together a lot more enjoyable.”

“The ForFarmers fleet of lorries are top of the range and this is not only good for our safety but shows a commitment to our customers.”