Friday 3 September 2021Meet the Duynie Team - Robert
Here at Duynie, logistics are central to making our business work. Sourcing the best co-products and producing top-quality feeds isn’t the whole story – we have to get those feeds from A to B, often via C. For that, we need drivers who know the motorways and obscure lanes of Britain like the backs of their hands. That’s where Rob Le-Gros comes in. When we want an artic manoeuvred into a tight spot, Rob’s our man.
So Rob, has it been a long journey getting to your current role with Duynie?
I joined the business back in March 1998 – at that time I was working for Bacton Transport, then James & Son, which eventually merged into Duynie UK. I’ve always been involved in agriculture – starting as a farmworker, then as a fitter and a contractor. Eventually, I got into haulage, which felt like the natural next step.
What do you do from day to day?
A typical day involves collecting co-products from various outlets and delivering them to farms. Most days I carry moist co-products, only doing dry goods occasionally. I’m based in Suffolk and spend half my time driving locally, the other half takes me anywhere in the UK. A typical route is East Anglia through to the Midlands and Wales.
Do you have a favourite bit of the job?
I come from a family farm, so it’s always interesting getting to meet other farmers, see their set-ups and how they all do things slightly differently.
And there have to be some challenges?
That’s simple: traffic and access. I drive a Volvo FH 500 – the best for our kind of work – with an artic tipping trailer. Most other traffic doesn’t realise how must room an artic needs, which can cause issues. Tight farm accesses, small gateways and narrow tracks are common challenges. When access problems like this come up, or if it doesn’t seem safe to tip, there’s no checklist you can use to solve them. It’s down to observation and discussion with the farmer, but there’s always a way.
While at Duynie, what personal achievements have you been most proud of?
Finding my way around Britain!
Life on the road seems like a lonely one – is that the case?
When I’m away, I read a lot and catch up on the previous week’s TV, recorded onto DVD. But, yes, it does get lonely sometimes.
British people love to talk about the best and worst roads. Which would get your vote?
Roads to hate are getting more and more all the time, but the most hated are the M25 and anything southeast of that.They’re always busy and seems to have the worst drivers who can't understand that HGVs keep them in food! The one I loveis the A143 – it’s the one that takes me home.
When you finally do get home, how do you unwind?
I like getting on with some gardening, going out shooting and just spending time with the family.