So your design has been done and agreed, your walls are up and ready. You’ve spoken to your designer to push the button on the next stage, and you’re told that your job will be put out to manufacture and we’ll be back in touch about delivery.
But what does that mean?
It means that the next person who is likely to contact you will be Rob.
Rob has worked for ETS since the very, very first day. He is our Production and Delivery Manager, and it is at his command that our factory and fleet operate.
We ran Rob to ground – the man can be found at his desk organising deliveries and transportation, or out in the factory overseeing truss manufacture, or in the other unit overseeing the joist manufacture, or in the timber yard, or unloading lorries, or loading lorries … you get the picture. So to ensure we had a captive audience, we brought out the big guns – a cup of tea and a biscuit, to make sure we could steal five minutes of his time.
For Rob, the requirements of a project are different from that of a designer. Rob doesn’t need to know about your gorgeous new orangery or your fantastic new attic space. He’s a bit more prosaic than that. Rob wants to know things like do you live on the main road? Do you have any overhanging trees and are those trees subject to protection orders?
To prepare you, we have complied, with Rob’s help, a list of things that he needs to know to make sure that your delivery goes as smoothly as it could.
Things your Production Manager needs to know
Firstly, and somewhat obviously, Rob needs your site address. You’d be surprised, but it isn’t that uncommon for a project to get all the way to the point of manufacture without us having a full site address. Ideally, we’d like one at the initial point of enquiry, but as long as we have a street, an area, or a postcode, or a combination of those things for snow loadings the exact location isn’t that critical.
Until that is, it comes on to Rob’s desk.
We need to have your full site address, or your neighbours if you haven’t yet got a house number. From that, Rob will do an initial investigation as to what kind of road your project is on and what he thinks might be a concern, so that when he gets in touch, these issues can be discussed.
He will need to know about road restrictions that might not be obvious; any site with a school close by will be subject to access restrictions due to school traffic making access difficult. Red routes, in particular, need special consideration or bus lanes that are active between certain hours. Perhaps your street is a one way or has a busy junction that might be blocked by the vehicle we are delivering with while it unloads.
Let’s not forget that it’s not just about the road outside your site, it’s the road leading to your site. Are there any low bridges? Or weak bridges that we won’t be able to cross? Rob isn’t going to expect you to know every road and their conditions for miles around and all our delivery drivers use SatNav specifically for the vehicle size and weight they drive, but as they say, forewarned is forearmed.
Site access is a separate subject which linked to the site address. If your site is tucked away down narrow private drive chances are you’ll be somewhat dismayed if a 51-foot articulated lorry turned up. But it isn’t just large vehicles trying to get into small spaces. Does your site have somewhere for the vehicle to unload safely? Or if your project is up a narrow private drive, can the vehicle turn around or will they have to reserve out?
But let’s say you’ve sorted any restrictions and the vehicle delivering your trusses or posi joists can access your site with ease, the next thing Rob will need to know is who will be on site. Be it yourself, your builder, or your best mate who offered to lend a hand; we will need their name and contact number. This is for a few reasons: If you wake up and there’s a foot of snow, or the wind and rain are coming down sideways, Rob will want to check to see if you still want your delivery. Adverse weather conditions are a different set of health and safety considerations.
As much as we consistently do meet the delivery times we agree with you, there are times when delays happen. Traffic jams are sometimes unavoidable, as are road closures, necessitating a delay while an alternative route is taken. We are very aware you’re sat on-site waiting for us, and with a contact name and number, we can keep you up to date. Equally, if we’re coming to you and you’d like a little advanced warning so you can meet us on site because you have other commitments we can call you to give you that warning.
We also need to know how offloading of the delivery is to be done. Do you have a gang of people or mechanical offload? A single person should not attempt to handle more than 25kg alone, and trusses can weigh up to 170 kilos each. How the trailers are offloaded should always consider the health and safety aspects, and the appropriate number of people or machinery should be present.
But taking all that into account we have a full range of vehicles so most site restrictions can be overcome. Our drivers all experienced in the handling of roof trusses, spandrels and posi-joists and will always offer guidance.
If you have arranged delivery with Rob and something goes wrong, as these things do, we ask that you give us 24 hours notice if you need to delay or change your delivery.