Grafter duo are part of push to attract new drivers at Fagan & Whalley

A pair of brand-new Isuzu Grafter 3.5 tonne curtainsided rigids are playing an important role in the latest initiative at long-established haulier Fagan & Whalley, who have just launched its Future-Bound programme that is designed to provide exciting training opportunities for those looking to embark on a career in the logistics industry.

Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Daniel Wood, operations strategy director at Fagan & Whalley said, ”The prime motivation behind the introduction of new Isuzu Grafters into our fleet is to develop our Future-Bound programme, which will play a part in addressing the current driver shortage issues by attracting new people into our industry. The Isuzu Grafter is the perfect truck for teaching people about driving a truck as it has all the attributes of a truck without having to have the formal qualifications to drive it.”

Daniel continues, “Using the Grafter with the curtainsided body, we can teach new applicants all about load security, ratchet strapping, and tail lift procedures as well as the loading and unloading of a curtainsided body. In addition, the over engine cab of the Grafter gives potential drivers a first-hand experience of driving a truck, as opposed to a bonneted vehicle.”

Both the Isuzu Grafters will have a dual application within the Fagan & Whalley fleet as, in addition to being used as training vehicles, they will also be used on daily deliveries as part of the company’s Palletforce pallet network operations.

“Apart from the practical new driver training benefits, the Grafters have an actual payload capacity of one tonne so we will be using them within our pallet network delivery operations based out of our head office in Padiham, Burnley,” added Daniel Wood.

The Isuzu Grafter N35.125(S) short wheelbase chassis were supplied to Fagan & Whalley by Cumbria Truck Centre, whose parent company are also part of the same Palletforce pallet network as Fagan & Whalley, and fellow long-time members of The Transport Association. Fagan & Whalley arranged the curtainsided body specification through their nominated bodybuilder, PPS Commercials in Bury, Lancashire.

Fagan & Whalley are probably one of the most widely recognised transport companies in the UK with the family run business now approaching its 100th year. This year, they launched its Future-Bound scheme that is operating as a structured driver training programme. This scheme invites applicants with a UK driving licence to work towards their professional HGV qualifications, beginning with the Fagan & Whalley Grafter 3.5 tonne trucks and allowing for progression through 12 tonne, 18 tonne and 44 tonne vehicles.

“The acute driver shortage issue is one of today’s hot topics and it’s reassuring to see long-standing established companies, such as Fagan & Whalley, taking a proactive role in addressing these problems. The Isuzu Grafter at 3.5 tonne GVW is the perfect vehicle for participants of the Future-Bound scheme to be given access to their first truck driving experience. Fagan & Whalley, like many other key industry companies such as IJ McGill Transport in Bristol, are basing their driver training programme on the proven versatility of the Isuzu Grafter chassis,” said Richard Waterworth, head of sales, Isuzu Truck UK.