June 22, 2024

Truck driving academy puts growing distribution firm on road to success

McCarthy Group, Wrexham, Drivers. Pictured McCarthy Driver Connor Dudds, Kevin Dandy, Trainer, Nick Mogg, McCarthy Driver and Diane Howell HR Administrator. Picture Mandy Jones

A growing distribution and warehouse company has set up a driver training academy to help fuel future growth and create 30 new jobs.

McCarthy Distribution, based on Wrexham Industrial Estate, is on course to increase turnover to £15 million after clinching a series of lucrative contracts.

As part of the deal for new drivers, McCarthy pay all the training costs to get them up to speed in exchange for the recruits signing up to stay on board for at least two years.

According to McCarthy, they like to take things “slow and steady” with new recruits starting on delivery vans.

HR administrator Diane Howell said: “Staff retention here is excellent because McCarthy is a great company to work for but we are growing so there is a constant need to recruit new drivers.

“We’ve set up the academy essentially so that we can grow our own, starting with vans and then Class 1 level to drive rigid lorries and then on to articulated trucks.

“The cost of training a driver from a 3.5 ton van to Class 2 and then Class 1 can be  up to £6,000, which is a significant investment by McCarthy so we ask them to sign a training agreement that ties them to the company for a minimum of two years.

“The pay rates for drivers are pretty good and on top of that there are some pretty generous bonuses.”

Among the latest graduates of the academy is Connor Dudds, 22, who’s following in the tyre tracks of his truck driving father and grandfather.

He said: “Driving trucks is in my DNA so I always knew that I wanted to become a driver.

“The training here has been excellent and I’m very happy to achieve my dream.

“The best thing was that I passed first time with zero minors or minor faults. So it was a perfect pass and really a proud moment. I phoned my dad straight away to let him know.

“McCarthy is brilliant company to work for and everyone gets along well. It’s more like a family place to work really.”

Experienced driver Nick Mogg, 49, mentors the new recruits after they start.

He said: “I am part of the fixtures here and I buddy up with the new drivers coming through. We don’t chuck them in at the deep end in the beginning.”

According to trainer Kevin Dandy, the experience at McCarthy is a complete contrast to his own first day in the industry.

He said: “When I first started with a haulage company in Chester, they gave me three drops into London on my  first day, whereas we look after our drivers here, and make sure that they know what they’re doing.

“We’ve got some real quality blue chip customers at McCarthy so it’s important that we look after our team, sending the right candidates and the right people to site.

“We have quite a sophisticated computer system in the wagon, like a handheld that we can scan the pallets off and on the vehicle. It’s got digital signatures so we’re not carrying paperwork with us which has been a godsend in covid.

“We’ve got such a good team of drivers and the office staff are brilliant. It’s a really nice place to work.

“McCarthy is an uber professional company and we’ve got the capabilities and the scope to look after big customers while at the same time we’ve got that feel of a family firm. It really is the best of both worlds.”