Tiger Trailers supports Veterans into Logistics at a key time for the road transport sector
Tiger Trailers is delighted to have provided initial support to non-profit organisation Veterans into Logistics at an important time for the community interest company (CIC) itself, the ex-military personnel and families it assists, and the supply chain and haulage industry as a whole.
Veterans into Logistics’ primary objectives include providing HGV/LGV driver training to empower former armed forces members to embark on and enjoy fulfilling careers in road transport rather than face a life of unemployment and sometimes homelessness, and the organisation’s growing vehicle fleet features its liveried DAF CF85 truck tractor unit on centre stage, named in memory of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
The organisation recently strengthened its training vehicle provision with a class 1 ‘box van’ trailer, which Tiger Trailers inspected, serviced and carried out modifications to when the Veterans into Logistics (VIL) team visited the Cheshire manufacturer’s site. The 13.6m trailer’s tail-lift was removed and replaced with new underrun bars and lights, and various external enhancements were made to the bodywork, providing VIL with the confidence to fully utilise this important asset in their activities.
Darren Wright, Veterans into Logistics’ co-founder and Director & Logistics Advisor, comments: “Many thanks to Tiger Trailers for providing us with much-needed fixtures to our ‘Class 1’ trailer and for inviting us to their site to meet their team, which included former Staffordshire Regiment soldier Steven Creswell.”
Veterans into Logistics’ full management team visited Tiger Trailers’ Winsford factory for the trailer’s servicing and handover, namely Major Ian Battersby (Director), Janice Gurney (Finance Director), Darren Wright (Director & Logistics Advisory) and Leilah Wright (Media Supervisor).
VIL’s debut visit to Tiger coincided with the attendance of the eye-catching Derian House Children’s Hospice Volvo FH Globetrotter operated by Thomas Hardie Commercials of Middlewich, who were providing truck safety sessions to the manufacturer’s engineering, production, supply chain and other teams.
Steven Cresswell, Stage 1-5 Production Manager at Tiger Trailers, is himself a veteran, having served in Iraq and other locations with Staffordshire Regiment, and was delighted to meet the VIL team and pose for a photograph with them in acknowledgement of the great and multi-faceted work the organisation does.
Formed in 2020 with the aim of reducing unemployment amongst military veterans while helping safeguard their mental health, VIL provides skills, opportunities, and personal support to veterans struggling to cope with reintegration into civilian life, and its HGV training focus comes at a time when the UK’s truck driver shortage is widely publicised and urgently needs addressing as the haulage sector approaches its Christmas peak.
Encouraging women into the logistics sector as drivers is seen by Tiger Trailers and many other entities as a key way of addressing the truck driver shortage while ensuring that the industry becomes increasingly diverse and welcoming. Heidi Chapman, Cheshire businesswoman and tireless charity campaigner whose activities currently see her driving class 2 HGVs as she works towards her class 1 licence, is part of VIL’s wider team and attended the trailer handover at Tiger Trailers.
“We are very proud to have been able to provide support to Veterans into Logistics by servicing and modifying their HGV trailer and it was an honour to welcome their entire team to our HQ to discuss the excellent and timely work they do, and how we can continue to work together going forward, to support both veterans and their families plus the wider road transport sector at such a challenging time”, comments Alison Cartwright who heads Tiger Trailers’ CSR and safety activities.
Veterans into Logistics has already helped many ex-military personnel into HGV/LGV driving careers, such as former Queens Lancashire Regiment soldier Steven Eden who now drives a class 1 for ASDA, and disabled ex-Royal Artillery soldier Craig Dyer who has taken up driving Wilko lorries for Wincanton. The Armed Forces Covenant silver award-winning organisation has recently had discussions with hauliers including Kinaxia Logistics and Mark Thompson Transport on how to lessen the truck driver shortage, and VIL has received donations from well-known personalities including former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton.
Tiger Trailers, headquartered at the Bostock end of Winsford Industrial Estate on a site that in January will be just three years old and was the sector’s first to include an indoor showroom, is one of the UK’s small number of leading articulated semi-trailer and rigid bodywork manufacturers and employs around 200 people. Its product range spans from curtainsiders and box vans to fixed and moving double deck trailers, demountables, flatbeds, rigid bodywork and specialist builds such as fork-lift truck carriers.
Tiger Trailers’ ever-strengthening employee engagement and wellbeing programmes were recently demonstrated through the factory’s previously plain ‘locker wall’ being decorated in messages of gratitude to each member of #TeamTiger, and the company will be making several CSR announcements over the coming weeks and months.