Brian Evans pictured with his new AGRO Merchants Group vehicle
Driver, Brian Evans, has become Grocontinental’s longest-ever serving member of staff after working with the company for 45 years and covering 4.5 million miles on the road.
Brian (65) began driving in 1973 at the age of 20 and has witnessed unprecedented changes in the transport industry during his long career.
In a fitting move, Brian has taken charge of the first AGRO Merchants Group liveried vehicle, following Grocontinental becoming part of the Group at the end of last year. The delivery of the new vehicle, an MAN TGX-XLX, heralds the start of the Grocontinental fleet carrying the AGRO Merchants Group branding.
In his 45 years of driving, mostly across Europe and often staying four nights a week away from home, Brian has accumulated a wealth of experiences including harrowing trips to Romania and Kosovo in the 1990s to deliver aid to poverty-stricken families.
The new vehicle he will be driving is something of a departure from the less luxurious trucks of the 1970s. As he recalls:
“The vehicle I drove at the start of my time as a driver had one small bunk and no air-conditioning. On our trips to Spain in 90°f temperatures, we had to create our own cab air-conditioning. This consisted of filling two five-gallon drums up with water and sticking them in the temperature-controlled trailers we were pulling. We’d then wait for the water to freeze then carry the drums into the cabs so that they would cool the air a bit so we could get a good night’s sleep.”
Speaking about Brian’s achievement, Chris Moss, AGRO Merchants Group’s Managing Director for UK & Ireland, said:
“It’s very fitting that the first new AGRO Merchants Group vehicle will be driven by Brian. To complete 45 years driving for one company is an incredible achievement and Brian’s passion for driving has certainly not diminished over the years.”
Brian has no intention of giving up his working life behind the wheel and putting his feet up just yet:
“I’m certainly not looking to retire for a while yet,” he said. “I no longer drive on the continent but I’m thoroughly enjoying driving throughout the UK. I plan to keep driving as long as I can.”
The final word about Brian’s achievement goes to Grocontinental founder, Ray Grocott, who spotted the young man’s potential back in the early 70s.
“I was approached by Brian’s dad, Sam, at the local cattle auction to see if I would give his young son a chance working for me. Brian started as a yard lad and before too long he was out on the road.
“Looking back, I made a very good decision that day to employ Brian. We couldn’t have wished for a more loyal and dedicated member of staff over his 45 years with us. He is a great ambassador for the company.”