A day in the life of Terry Ritchie
When I arrive at work at around 6.45am, the yard is already buzzing with the lorries all loading up. We have nine trucks and two pick-ups which service the three depots at Inverurie, Westhill and Stonehaven, and each order is different – from pallets of slabs on the artic to gravel on the tipper. I check in with all the drivers and the yard foreman and the trucks all set off at around 7am, heading out to domestic customers and builders across the city and shire. It’s a great sight to see the convoy of GPH trucks head out together.
I then head inside to check e-mails and answer queries. I get calls from all three depots all day booking in loads and discussing any urgent requirements, so I am never far from my phone.
During the morning, I plan the second load, according to the orders which have come in. The first of the trucks start to come in mid morning, load up again and head out across the countryside. It is my job to make sure the deliveries are sent out in a timely and efficient manner. We cover a fairly big geographical region and our delivery service is very popular, so it can be a bit of a challenge at times.
I am lucky to live just a mile away from GPH in Inverurie, so I go home for lunch, which I really value. Although I was born in Insch, I have lived in Inverurie for 45 years, and my wife Aileen and I have two children and two grandchildren. I like being able to get home at lunchtime, but I do take my phone with me to take calls about urgent orders or drivers checking in, as I prefer to be available all day if I can.
I’ve been working in haulage for more than 20 years and at one point I ran my own company, so I have seen a lot of changes over the years. In particular, the improvements in health and safety have been significant. There is an impressive safety software system, called the safety cloud, which is a really useful safety, incident and defect reporting system. The tippers, the artic and the other lorries are in constant use from south of Stonehaven to north of Inverurie, so we need to keep on top of any maintenance issues, which the software helps us do. Nothing will get missed which is important.
During the afternoon drivers come back and pick up a third load and there is often a fourth load as well. We all get on really well and there is always a lot of banter. I plan the loads for the next morning and discuss the requirements with the drivers and yard foreman, before heading home at about 5pm.
Having been a runner in my younger days, and survived a midlife crisis of having a motorbike, I am now a very keen golfer. I don’t play as often, or as well, as I would like to, but I enjoy getting out on the golf course at Inverurie in the summer evenings and at weekends in winter.
My grandson lives around the corner from my wife and I so we often look after him, which is good fun. My granddaughter lives in Bermuda so we only get out there once a year, where I also get in the occasional game of golf too.
Why I love my job?
I enjoy being involved in different aspects of transport.
The building industry has always been of interest as it is ever-evolving, with changing tastes and new technologies.
I really love working as a team.
GPH is a progressive company, always looking for ways to improve, which is something I find really motivational.
The job is challenging and keeps me on my feet, but I thrive on being busy and there is an excellent team for support.