Neil Vincent, HGV Driver

29-6-2020

Department: Transport

“I really enjoy being out on the road and seeing lots of animals and different farms. When required I can stay overnight in the lorry, this is often for long distance journeys."

Joining the team at Exeter

“I got my class 1 HGV/LGV licence back in 1994 and consequently have 26 years of experience driving a variety of large commercial vehicles across the UK and Europe.”

“I joined the ForFarmers transportation team in Exeter over four years ago. I initially started driving the bag lorry and would deliver a range of products to customers across the South West of England. I then moved on to the tankers and now switch between a tanker and an artic blower.”

“As a driver we are customer facing and therefore represent the company. We often have a chat to the farmers whilst their feed is unloading and building this rapport is really important. I enjoy delivering to the same customers and finding out the new developments on their farms.”

“ForFarmers gives a lot of opportunities to employees. Personally I have been given access to drive all of the different vehicles at our Exeter site. This variety keeps our jobs interesting and rewarding.”

Neil in front of the Exeter Mill

Out on the road

“My day usually starts between 5am and 6am. I arrive at the Exeter mill and check in with the transportation team. I also collect the necessary keys and associated paperwork for the lorry and deliveries. The mill continues to operate and produce feed throughout the night so quite often the lorries have already been loaded. This saves us time and makes our operations more efficient.”

“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 down in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset 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.”

“After completing my deliveries for the day, I head back to base. Once back at Exeter, 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. When required I can stay overnight in the lorry, this is often for long distance journeys.

Continuing despite Covid-19

“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. The farmers are usually working elsewhere on the farm but when I leave there is usually a wave goodbye.” 

“At the Exeter feed mill, quite a few changes have been implemented including distancing rules and extra sanitising precautions. As a company and as individuals, we continue to follow Government guidelines and advice so we can continue supplying feed to our customers across the country.”

Neil Sample
Neil Loading

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.”

 “ForFarmers has a trustworthy culture and as a result I am trusted to carry out my job without frequent phone calls to check and see how everything is going. The ForFarmers fleet of lorries are top of the range and this again highlights a reassurance and commitment to the driver, customers and a sustainable agricultural industry.”

“One of the best bits about my job is that I get to drive across the South West of England and there are some spectacular views along the way; this is definitely a work perk!”