Meet the latest investments in our future
Produce Packaging investing to train its own HGV drivers.
It will not have passed anyone by that competition for HGV drivers is intense. So there is no better way to bypass this than by training our own drivers and ensuring our business has the resources it needs to continue growing. With their ambition and our guidance and opportunity, Mike, John, Mark, Ben and Dan will be the future of the Produce Packaging fleet.
In addition to investing in our people we have recently started a program of investment in our vehicle fleet. Our first sleeper cab was delivered in March of this year and we now have another on order for delivery in early 2022. The first vehicle has proved so valuable in adding flexibility to our logistics that getting a second was an easy decision to make. We are now able to cover the entire UK, both delivering the essential products that our customers demand, but also to collect them from our manufacturing partners. Reducing lead times, reducing vehicle movements and enhancing our ability to provide first class customer service.
We have been very fortunate that the Produce Packaging (and H L Hutchinson) ethos has meant that turn over of staff, and particularly drivers, has been very low over the years. Given the current climate, it might be easy to see greener grass on the other side of the fence but our team are committed to us and this training program is designed to add strength and depth.
We must, of course, plan for the replacement of retiring drivers and one of our stalwarts, Alan Sharp has recently retired after 17 years of professional service at our Marden depot. Another long serving driver will be joining him on the beach of retirement in a couple of years too! So adding to our delivery driver numbers is an essential part of planning for the future and they are investments we are only too pleased to make. Meet some of the team below.
Mike Clanton - Forfar
Mike has been with us at our Forfar depot since 2018. During this time he has proved a great asset to the distribution team and is now training for his C licence and moving on to the larger vehicles in our fleet.
As we continue to grow our customer base and our depot, the need for larger deliveries grows with it.
Hopefully Mike will be set to complete his test in the New Year and be ready for the busier season to come.
UPDATE! Mike has upgraded his licence to include the C category and is now able to use the larger vehicles in our fleet for greater efficiency. Well done Mike.
John Stillwell - Marden
John joined us at Marden in 2019 to help with the rising demand placed upon our box erecting facility. Having proved hardworking and thorough in his approach, with a good eye for detail, we knew that John was a very capable member of the team.
This year, as our need for drivers has grown, John expressed an interest in training for his HGV licences and we were only to happy to set him on the path.
Currently learning the ropes in the yard and completing the steps needed to apply for his full licences, we hope to see John ticking off both C + E qualifications in 2022.
UPDATE! John has successfully achieved his C licence and can now utilise our larger vehicles. He hopes to add his E category later but is already racking up the miles. Congratulations John.
Mark Dauny - Spalding
Slightly in advance of Ben and Dan in terms of existing qualifications, Mark joined our Spalding team earlier this year.
“I joined Produce Packaging in August as a delivery driver. From the moment I stepped through the door I was made to feel part of the team.
I have been driving class two vehicles for over 15 years, delivering building supplies and products nationwide for my previous employer. I am really enjoying working with the guys at Spalding, interacting with my customers and in general working for the business. After being ‘just another number’ for my previous employer, it is refreshing to be valued and treated on par with my peers.
I have been offered the opportunity to take my class one license at the end of the year, which I am excited about.”
We are all looking forward to seeing you take the next steps Mark.
UPDATE! Mark has successfully added the E category to his licence and can now utilise our full fleet for maximum efficiency, including our sleeper cabs and trailers. Excellent work Mark.
Ben Clarke - Marden
Ben joined us recently from a high pressure delivery environment. Over the next 12 months we hope to see Ben develop his skills and achieve the qualifications needed to drive our full range of vehicles.
“I joined Produce Packaging in October as a trainee HGV delivery driver. I’ve been made very welcome and I’m settling in well.
Before joining I was a DHL driver working across the South-East doing multi drop deliveries. There was not much prospect for upgrading my skills and licenses, so I am very much looking forward to getting on with my training, whilst also learning the roles and systems at the Marden depot. It’s also good to be part of an industry rather than ‘just’ a delivery driver, so I am also looking forward to learning more about our industry and our clients.”
Welcome Ben and good luck!
Dan Crosby - Marden
Joining us most recently is Dan. HGV driving is a new ambition for Dan and the timing was perfect.
“I joined Produce Packaging in November as a trainee HGV delivery driver. I’ve worked on the same estate as Produce Packaging for several years and knew a few of the staff, so settling in has been easy.
I have joined from a Plastics Moulding company around the corner from the Marden depot and the opportunity to train and work as an HGV driver was too good to pass up. I’ll also be training to work in the box erecting facility. I am looking forward to getting on the road and meeting our customers whilst learning.
My spare time is well spent as I am a musician and play guitar in a rock band. I am sure I’m going to enjoy my time at Produce Packaging, but if I get the call to play Wembley and go on tour with the band’s album, I’ll be off!”
We are looking forward to seeing you on the road Dan, once you’re qualified you can be your own roadie too!
UPDATE! Dan has successfully achieved his C licence and can now utilise our larger vehicles. After getting some miles under his belt, we hope he will extend this to include the E category at a later date. Happy travels Dan.