As part of Teletrac Navman’s campaign, Going the Extra Mile, Heather Waters interviewed this month’s Hidden Heroes in the transport industry – John Pearce Transport. Speaking with Managing Director, Clive Davies who nominated Driver, Dan McRae and his colleagues for the award, Heather heard how the company and its workforce have operated during the last 18 months.
Keeping Britain moving
Throughout the pandemic, the drivers at John Pearce Transport have gone above and beyond to keep Britain moving safely. The company’s services have allowed essential goods and medical supplies to be delivered to people and businesses in homes, businesses and hospitals, across the country.
During the first three months of the Covid outbreak, John Pearce Transport took the decision to furlough some of its most vulnerable and at-risk staff. Clive commented: “We didn’t take the decision to furlough staff lightly and we were so grateful at the response - of those at home and still in work - and how well they all stuck together, even in the face of adversity. By July and August 2020, work picked back up and we were able to get all drivers back into work. After what has been a very challenging and unprecedented 18 months, I’ve never felt prouder and more humbled by our workforce, which is why I felt they so deserved the Teletrac Navman award for Hidden Heroes.”
According to Dan, during the first UK lockdown in March 2020, increased demand for goods meant that transport work doubled. From delivering beds and ventilators to hospitals and bags of stone and grass to homes, the requirement for delivered goods and equipment was soaring.
Dan said: “Lorry drivers are often viewed as big boxes that get in the way on the roads, but we were doing our best to keep vital services in business and bring goods to the public who couldn’t leave their homes. As the home deliveries grew, so did the challenges that came with driving down narrow domestic streets, with many more parked cars than normal, but deliveries just had to be made! So receiving the Hidden Heroes award is great recognition of the team’s hard work and we’re really grateful to Clive for the nomination.”
Looking after the workforce
John Pearce Transport’s drivers were incredibly flexible and had to work difficult hours during the peak of the pandemic. Clive continued: “Many drivers faced unforeseen challenges, meaning that on occasion, even on their way out of the door to go home, an urgent job would come in which meant that we had to put our drivers back on the road. We also lost a few drivers, due to the national driver shortage, which put extra pressure on retained drivers. As a smaller family-run business, it’s difficult to compete with large organisations who are paying huge amounts to attract drivers. We look after our own as best we can and we’re so grateful to those who have stuck by us, not just our drivers, but our warehouse, office and workshop staff too.”
Dan concluded “Even in light of the last year, I have felt very well supported and looked after at Pearce Transport. I love my job and think it’s a great place to work and this latest pat on the back from our senior management goes such a long way to boosting moral and job satisfaction.”
John Pearce Transport were awarded a Hidden Heroes award and a sum of money which could be donated to a charity of their choice. They place mental health support high on their business agenda and have even trained some of their staff in first aid for mental health, to help identify any issues across the team. As a result, they decided to donate their prize money to Mind in Neath Port Talbot.
If you'd be interested in making a nomination for our next Hidden Hero award, please contact Heather Waters to find out more.