Co-operatives Fortnight 2017
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Running from 17th June to 1st July Co-operatives Fortnight 2017 hopes to once again promote that co-operating makes a big difference and that it is time to remind the rest of the UK. For this year’s Co-operatives Fortnight, people are being asked to share their stories of co-operation, these will subsequently be shared on social media.

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Suma Driver Profile

Submitted by on July 30, 2015 – 9:59 am2 Comments

We catch up with Suma driver (New) Bob to find out more about life on the road…

new-bob-3

How long have you driven for Suma?
I have been at Suma for 14 years. When I started we were based in a redundant mill building in Halifax, and our fleet of vehicles certainly wasn’t what it is today.

What vehicle do you drive?
A Daf CF 18 tonne vehicle, which is purpose built to carry both chilled and frozen goods alongside our ambient range. This gives me 350 horsepower, 14 gear options and a top speed of 56mph.

What are your regular delivery rounds?
Our Midshires round which covers the Shropshire and Hereford area, as well as regular trips to the Scottish borders.

Describe your average driving day?
It’s almost always an early start, as we need to arrive at our first delivery as they open. So if they open at 7am and they are four hours from our base, you can see what sort of time I am out of bed. It is always hard work as I might have up to five or six tonnes of goods to unload by hand. But it’s always mixed with fun, beautiful scenery, customers who become friends, an early morning brew, and some great food. I try to do the majority of my deliveries on the first day, and then sleep in the cab overnight, before doing any remaining deliveries. Then I reload with new stock to supply the Suma warehouse before heading home.

What else do you do at Suma when you aren’t driving?
I am also a reach forklift operator, which means I put away incoming goods high up in the racking in the warehouse. Then as we need them to pick orders, I bring them back down and put them into pick locations, so that our pickers can keep picking.

new-bob-2

What is the best thing about being a Suma driver?
I love the customer facing aspect of the role, knowing that I can make a difference to the people who buy from us. The cups of tea and food you get offered aren’t bad either, nor is the fantastic scenery. I think the best part of my job though is the friendship of work colleagues and customers who never fail to make me smile.

new-bob-4

Any favourite deliveries, and why?
Usually the last one! After 14 years though I do have favourites, Honeysuckle in Oswestry, Tully’s’ of Rothbury, The Greenshop in Berwick on Tweed and Setonaikai who are in Shrewsbury are always nice deliveries. I am sure I will now get grief from at least a dozen customers for not including them!
What food and drink keeps you going while out on the road?
Apples, tea, fruit juice, some tea – pies and then even more tea.

What’s on the radio during the day?
Radio four, Classic FM and whatever I have on my phone.

What is the best thing about being a Suma driver?
I love the customer facing aspect of the role, knowing that I can make a difference to the people who buy from us. The cups of tea and food you get offered aren’t bad either, nor is the fantastic scenery. I think the best part of my job though is the friendship of work colleagues and customers who never fail to make me smile.

new-bob-5

Any favourite deliveries, and why?
Usually the last one! After 14 years though I do have favourites, Honeysuckle in Oswestry, Tully’s’ of Rothbury, The Greenshop in Berwick on Tweed and Setonaikai who are in Shrewsbury are always nice deliveries. I am sure I will now get grief from at least a dozen customers for not including them!
What food and drink keeps you going while out on the road?
Apples, tea, fruit juice, some tea – pies and then even more tea.

What’s on the radio during the day?
Radio four, Classic FM and whatever I have on my phone.

What are your hobbies when you aren’t working?
I get involved with all the usual driver hobbies. Drinking tea, drinking ale, socialising, keep fit (Zumba), jigsaws and cross-stitch. I also love taking photos of my wagon in beautiful places, some of which you can see here.

Which is your favourite product in the Suma warehouse?
I can’t do one, how about three? Suma mushroom pate (GH700), Divine milk chocolate (ZX488) and Cofresh vegetable samosas(XL096)

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2 Comments »

  • John Warren says:

    Nice one, Bob. That picture of the Holy Island causeway certainly brings back a few memories of my time delivering throughout Northumberland for SUMA too.

  • The Green Shop Berwick says:

    Thanks Bob. Always a pleasure. You forgot to mention that it’s the SAME teabag! Time after time. That’s the power of Clipper Organic.

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