Two men, one morning and a 40 tonne truck!
It was one of the stranger starts to a day I’ve had in a few years! I woke up at 5.30am for a rendezvous with one of our HGV drivers – my guide for the morning was Dave Hodgson and I would be accompanying him on his morning route around the Northeast, delivering our fantastic oils to three Kerfoot Packed Oils clients.
In the Logistics Division at The Kerfoot Group, our day-to-day role is to ensure our oil is delivered to our customers where and when they need it. This means coordinating all deliveries between our 12 drivers, which can get a little complicated! It seemed a great idea to spend a morning on one of our trucks to really gain a good perspective on what a driver’s day involves.
The journey to our first customer gave me a great opportunity to ask Dave some questions about being a driver for The Kerfoot Group, which he was really positive about, highlighting areas in which the company operates very professionally such as the use of Fleetboard to encourage economical and environmentally friendly driving. Dave also explained how The Kerfoot Group distributes the geographical runs and nights out amongst the drivers to ensure they are all treated fairly.
When we arrived at our destination I was struck by how effortless Dave made the unloading process look – had I been doing it we may still have been there at lunchtime! Just 20 minutes after arriving on site we were back on the road, heading towards Teesside for our next delivery. Another smooth drop complete and though it was only 10am, it was time to grab some lunch – Dave had been on the road since 6am and needed to take a break! Over lunch I was able to ask Dave more questions about his work such as how he deals with being away from home and sleeping in his cab on nights out, which is something truck drivers have to get used to. Dave also had lots of questions for me about the work I do back at the office. I explained our booking-in procedures which make the delivery process as efficient as possible by ensuring our drivers are expected when they arrive at their delivery points.
Break over, we carried on to our last customer of the day. Once we were finished it was back down the A19 for a special errand; we had a consignment to deliver to Kerfoot HQ, The Olive House in Northallerton. After visiting the office we headed back to Leeming Bar and went our separate ways; Dave continued back to our factory in the Port of Goole and I returned to the office to catch up on my emails! All this and it was only 1pm.
The morning spent on the road was a great experience, I learned a lot from Dave about the incredible job our drivers do each day. Dave definitely made his job look easy, but not so easy that I would be confident giving it a go! The highlight of the morning was the first delivery, it was great to see how quickly Dave was able to prepare the trailer ready for the customer to unload their IBC’s. From Dave’s point of view I like to think that he learned a little bit more about what we do in the office, particularly when it comes to booking drivers in for deliveries and some of the complications that we can encounter. What a valuable experience, though I don’t think I’ll be swapping the office for a Kerfoot cab anytime soon!
Jamie Atkinson, Logistics Desk Support