A Leader with a Passion for People. UVS Development Manager, Jonathan Bownes.

Imagine a ship at sea, a proud and powerful vessel tackling challenging conditions whilst providing a vital service for its crew and customers. Now imagine the captain, a determined individual with the team, objective and destination at the forefront of everything they believe in, Business Development Manager Jonathan Bownes is that captain. But a captain without their crew is destined for failure, and nobody believes this more than Jonathan.

Like many Winsford residents, Jonathan’s story begins at Verdin Highschool. ‘School was fantastic, I had an absolute ball. If there was an option for it to last forty years I’d take it. Work now is very similar to school, but instead of learning Geography and Pythagoras theory, it’s finance deals, buy-backs and everything else that sales incorporates.’ At school, Jonathan didn’t take himself too seriously, often more interested in making others laugh and smile than tectonic plates or equators.

Not wanting to waste any time transitioning into the world of work, by 11.30 am on his last day of school, Jonathan was in the passenger seat of a TVR Griffith 500, hurtling towards his first job as an apprentice mechanic at Christopher Neil TVR & Lotus Specialists. Thanks to a YTS (Youth Training Scheme), Jon worked alongside a team of technicians repairing, maintaining and racing TVR’s and Lotus’s. ‘I learned more in the three years I spent in that garage than anywhere else and drove some fantastic cars too. Lamborghini Countash, Ferrari F40’s and 911 Turbos, but I realized that my wages wouldn’t stretch very far, plus that kind of environment just wasn’t for me.’ Jonathan would eventually extend into the used car trade, buying and selling through the auction to help bulk out his pay packet.

With bigger and better aspirations in mind, Jonathan would repeatedly send his CV to Brunner Mond (ICI), a local chemical and engineering plant. ‘At the time, if you got a job at Brunner Mond, it was a job for life.’
On the third attempt, over eleven hundred people applied with only five securing a place, Jonathan was one of those five. Unfortunately, Jonathan’s time with the plant was cut short, thanks to a routine medical assessment. ‘Turns out I was colour-blind, so working with the kind of equipment and cabling they did on a daily bases meant it just wasn’t to be.’
Following the recent revelation, Jonathan returned to Chris Neil’s, and the spanners, eventually achieving level 4 Motorvehicle Repairs at STS (Specialized Training Solutions) in Sandbach and taking home Apprentice of the Year on two occasions whilst working at Chris Neils.

A job application in the local paper for a Trainee Used Truck Salesman caught Jonathan’s attention. So, one afternoon, following a routine PDI of a V8 Lotus Esprit, Jonathan combined the test drive with a run down to Thomas Hardie’s Used Truck depot in Middlewich. The job application required a written letter, but Jonathan has a history of not always doing things ‘by the book’. ‘I arrived in this brand new V8 Lotus donning a set of bright pink Exclusively 9 Porsche overalls, rigger boots and AC Millan socks. I asked for Graham Smith, the Director at the time, to discuss the job he had available. He appreciated my confidence but insisted I still apply through the appropriate routes.’

Jonathan embarked on a six-month trial before solidifying his position as a Used Truck Salesman. Thanks to his friendly, outgoing personality, it didn’t take Jonathan long to build a strong and loyal customer portfolio of which he still maintains today. ‘The sales job was the best thing to ever happen to me. It suited my character and personality, plus I love people. I am a people person at heart, it’s what I buzz off the most.’ Jonathan would do well as a used truck salesman, visiting numerous countries around the world and supplying the majority of the UK and Ireland with countless quality Volvos. ‘There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about the job, it had its challenges obviously with the 2008 recession, Foot & Mouth and the introduction of Adblu knocking us back for six. But on the whole, I wouldn’t change any aspect of it.’ To further expand his own knowledge of sales, Jonathan would invest eighteen months into a new vehicles sales position at Thomas Hardie’s Deeside depot, but with the used side increasing in momentum, Jonathan made the decision to focus all his efforts on what he knew best, returning to Middlewich’s used vehicle sector for a further thirteen years.

With UVS progressing faster than anticipated, Chris Schofield, Used Truck Director, and Jonathan together decided that a new strategy would be needed to address the growing demand, alongside a vision to develop the business to coincide with the nature of automotive selling. As a result, in 2015, Jonathan was appointed Business Development Manager and was now responsible for strenghtening the department. The world was shifting online, so UVS needed to adapt. The demand for used trucks was mounting, so an experienced sales team was required to cater for the expansion and a dedicated department responsible for restoring used Volvos back to their former glory was a must.

‘Every aspect of my role will always revolve around the people. Allowing others the chance to introduce new methods and ideas to the business, watching the department grow and learn everyday,  recognising talent early on and encouraging it. It’s a constant drive to enhance the team and the business. It wouldn’t be possible without the trust we’ve gained from the board, allowing me to shape the department into what I believe is right. The business is un-recognizable from how it was five, ten, fifteen years ago, such has been the power of progression and it will always move forward as long as I have a say. Stagnation is my biggest fear, once it sets in, it’s an up-hill struggle to abolish, but with the right people and the right attitude, anything is possible.’

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Outside of work, Jonathan conveys his people skills onto the football pitch, with the beautiful game taking up the majority of his time. Jonathan currently plays for Whitegate United and has also managed the Red Lion pub team. Mountain biking, running and ‘very’ amateur boxing also keeps Jonathan out of trouble and in a stable working condition. ‘Everything I do outside of football is to keep me fit for football. It’s everything to me.’ Another guilty pleasure of Jonathans is his 916 Ducati. ‘Apart from when I collected it, it’s never left the garage. It’s truly the most beautiful thing ever built by man’. Despite a beloved bike gathering dust or precious moments on the ball, the family will always come first. With two daughters, the dog and a ‘very’ understanding wife claiming any spare time.

Jonathan’s biggest passion is his people, investing immeasurable amounts of energy and time into their development. Not only to help the department but themselves too.



The Man Behind the Lens, John Bogue. Supervisor, Photographer Innovator.

If you follow Thomas Hardie Commercial’s social channels, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some of John Bogue’s craft, with his work previously featuring in Commercial Motor magazine and alongside multiple big-name hauliers throughout the UK. John’s passion and enthusiasm has helped him elevate his position throughout the company. Now, with his efforts engaged in driving the used truck PDI bay further than ever before, let’s dig out the photo album, avoid the awkward baby pictures and together learn a little more about John Bogue.

Apart from the exams, John enjoyed his time at Winsford’s Verdin high school, studying Product Design, Psychology and A-level maths. Following a relatively pleasant school life, John worked at Macouti’s in Northwich, a bespoke furniture shop, delivering items to customers homes. ‘I like being physically active, so manoeuvering really heavy furniture like a big awkward puzzle was great.’

John later returned to education via a Site Carpentry & Joinery course at Mid-Cheshire College, where he spent three years learning the do’s and don’t of woodwork, achieving a distinction along the way. ‘I’m a big fan of building things with my hands and I like to take my time to get it right. I’m a very meticulous guy and am conscious of the finer details in everything I do.’

With College at an end, John ‘tolerated’ three years at a supermarket warehouse, working up the ladder and eventually achieving Key Operative, responsible for keeping the machines in check. ‘The job was pretty much a stop-gap that went on for longer than it should. I made some good friends, but it wasn’t exactly challenging or exciting.’

Following three difficult years in a job that struggled to test his capabilities, John applied for a vacancy at Fords of Winsford, where he would spend the next seven years. During this time, John would work his way through numerous roles such as valeter, upholstery repairs and wheel refurbishing. ‘I learnt a lot at Fords and made some fantastic friends. My meticulousness’ would get the better of me sometimes, as I would spend longer than others getting certain repairs absolutely perfect. I also missed out on some great opportunities as I struggled with the idea of change, but on the whole, it was a great experience with some awesome people.’

A very similar role as a valeter/labourer became available, just down the road at Thomas Hardie’s Used Truck Centre. With John already well-acquainted with the skills necessary to succeed, it wasn’t long before he began introducing some of his own tips and tricks learned from Fords to the rest of the team. ‘The aspect I enjoy most about the UVS bay is the responsibility you have. You aren’t just a valeter, you are the last stop before the customer collects. It’s your job to make sure that particular truck is perfect in every sense and it’s all down to the people and the team to make that happen.’

Now would be a good time to introduce perhaps John’s biggest passion in life…aside from his family of course.36 X 24 - Thomas Hardie
Roughly seven or eight years ago, a very close friend introduced him to the world of photography. John would spend countless hours at a friend’s canal barge, learning every intricacy there is, from exposure to subject, ISO to lighting. This passion would drift in and out of John’s life, eventually landing front and centre, one late afternoon on the used truck sales pitch. Following a spur-of-the-moment photoshoot of a friends car, John’s talents behind the lens were noticed by multiple members of the used truck team, all with a similar vision for how these skills could benefit the world of haulage.
John would continue to prove himself to be a valuable asset to the business for a further five years. Developing his camera skills and venturing into videography, producing numerous promotional pieces for the wider company.

Today, John holds the position of PDI Supervisor and is responsible for a small, close-knit team.
‘I wanted to challenge myself with something I’ve never done before. I feel my personality has developed off the back of managing my team, plus I care about the final product and how we come across to others. I hold great pride in my squad and enjoy keeping spirits up and offering praise where it’s due.’

‘Photography is a snapshot of time, a glimpse of emotions and feelings at that moment, impossible to reproduce. Phones weren’t what they are today so taking a genuinely good picture was unbelievably satisfying. My work comes from the heart and I try to make every picture count. But I struggle to accept praise for work that I don’t class as difficult. I’m so self-judgemental of my work, I do sometimes miss the early experimental days.’ A lot of my work portrays trucks in a heroic light. Trucks to some are literally just trucks, but to me, they are the lifeblood of the country. Truck and driver working in harmony, pumping life, or goods you could say, around the world.’Fh16 Hero Image - Thomas Hardie

One of John’s earliest subjects was Oscar, his Border Collie. Collie’s are the smartest of all dog breeds and Oscar was no exception, with an impressive arsenal of tricks up his…leg? ‘I was proud of what I and Oscar achieved together. We had such a strong connection and it was so rewarding seeing him progress and develop. Unfortunately, I  had to let him go to some good friends of mine as I just didn’t have the space or time to give him the exercise and attention a breed like that needs.’

Believe it or not, John does actually spare some time for other hobbies. Drawing, the gym and martial arts are a few more activities that help keep John out of trouble and on the straight and narrow. ‘I started out with Wing Chun and later moved onto Muay Tai boxing. I love pushing the boundaries of what the body can do.’

‘Drawing is an expression of you at that moment. It’s an articulation of your feelings and thoughts and it help’s me relax, music also plays a big part.’

A passionate and dedicated member of the used truck team, John offers a skill set not found anywhere else in the used truck world. Committed to pushing and improving the PDI department, whilst providing a unique perspective on automotive media and capturing some of the business’s most memorable moments.

An Up and Coming Member of the Used Truck Team Drifts in for a Chat

A relatively new face amongst the UVS team is Lawrence Eden, PDI Valeter/labourer. Joining the team back in November last year, Lawrence has proven to be a Swiss army knife of the bay. A reliable member of the PDI squad who tackles a little bit of everything, every day.

Following his time at Woodford Lodge High School, Lawrence completed a two-year Motorvehicle Fabrication and Welding course at Hartford Mid-Cheshire College, eventually realising this might not have been one of his better decisions. ‘I was always interested in mechanics as it’s easier to do a lot of the stuff yourself, but I didn’t fancy a job in a garage working on the floor or on my back all day’.

Toycraft, located in the centre of Chester, was famous for its steam train chugging around the store and it is this iconic toy shop where we find Lawrence, maintaining the tracks and working the tills. ‘My brother’s girlfriend (at the time) worked there and they were short-staffed one Christmas so that’s how I got the job. I worked there for roughly a year and to be fair it was an interesting job because it sold Steiff bears which were really expensive’.

Lawrence later transitioned from selling wooden toys to traffic management, laying out cones and directing the public on behalf of Gwynedd Environmental Waste Services LTD. Laurance worked as part of a team of four clearing road drains across Chesire for roughly a year and a half. ‘I enjoyed the night shifts more, especially when working the weekend shift around Chester, you definitely see some sights late at night!’

Moving from one extreme to the other, Lawrence went from working underground to above ground as a roofers mate, removing battens, re-felting and passing tiles. Loz worked at these dizzying heights for two and half years and enjoyed the high life. ‘It was good to see the world from a different perspective every day as we worked at different locations every week’.

With such a strong interest in motor vehicles, it made sense for Lawrence to work alongside the four-wheeled chariot next and Arnold Clarke would facilitate this venture.
Spending roughly four to five years with the company, Loz was responsible for valeting and preparing stock for sale, working between the Winsford and Northwich depots. ‘There would be a list of registrations that would need work that day and we’d all compete to find the cleanest car! I enjoyed valeting, plus it was my job to apply the infamous yellow sticker to the rear window’.

When not applying the finishing details to potential customers vehicles, Lawrence himself invests a lot of personal time into his own cars. Building replica Audi S3’s and offroad Suzuki Jimny’s. Loz has also spectated numerous drifting events around the UK, following the British Drifting Champion, Steve (Baggsy) Biagioni and Team Japspeed.
Loz Jimny - Thomas HardieLawrence has also built his own sideways missile. Spec’d for the mud instead of tarmac, Loz’s 2.5″ lifted Jimny complete with Malatesta tyres and Wicks drainpipe snorkel.

Almost a year into his time at Thomas Hardies, Lawrence’s previous experience preparing cars has proven to be an invaluable skill-set for the UVS team. Now valeting and carrying-out final checks on all our sold trucks before entering the customer’s hands. ‘It’s like a family here, a really close-knit team who enjoy what they do’.

An incredibly reliable and multi-talented individual with an impeccable eye for detail and pride in his work. With only a year under his belt, who knows what’s in store for Laurance and the department, apart from perhaps a gymkhana track.


An Administrator Who Works Well Under Pressure, But We’ll Spare You the Tyre Jokes…

When calling or visiting our used truck centre, chances are the first voice or face you’ll experience will be that of James Glovers, Used Vehicle Administrator. Although James has spent twenty years working for the Thomas Hardie group, he also boasts a long and prosperous business history, previously working alongside some of the biggest names in the automotive world.

Jim attended St Augustines all-boys Catholic Grammer school and discovered the perks of administration from a very early age. ‘I skipped a lot of school by writing out my own absence notes on my mum’s typewriter, I was into admin before I knew it.’
Jim later enrolled at Openshaw College and studied A-level physics, chemistry and biology, but couldn’t manage life without routine. ‘I needed structure to my days. The college timetable was so sporadic, it just wasn’t for me’.

Following college, Jim took on the role of Assistant Buyer at Follows & Bate, a horticultural appliance manufacturer. Jim would be responsible for backing up the buyers by keeping stock records up-to-date and general administrative duties. ‘The job was definitely a learning experience and I had to grow up pretty quick.’

Jim spent roughly three years with F&B before a colleague within the business moved to Dunlop tyres and suggested that Jim does the same.
Here, Jim held the role as General Clerk and experienced his first taste of sales. Still maintaining stock control, Jim later progressed to Sales Assistant, Sales Leader, Senior Sales Leader and eventually Sales Leader Group. ‘I really enjoyed the more modern environment and working alongside colleagues and friends. But that job made me realise I didn’t enjoy sales or being a salesperson as much.’

Following seven years at Dunlop Tyres and with a negative opinion of sales, this didn’t stop Jim from taking on a Sales Representative job at Tyre Services Earthmover Division, this time with the promise of a company car to sweeten the deal. ‘I didn’t really want the job, but I liked the idea of a company car, but even that turned out to be a nightmare. The first car was an old blue Ford Escort estate that I wrote off in a multiple car accident. The second car seized up as apparently engines need oil and the third caught fire outside my house whilst I was trying to repair it…but to be honest, that was probably for the best!’

Img 20211112 142128 (resize) - Thomas HardieSeven years pass at Tyre Services Earthmover Division before the same friend that introduced Jim to the world of tyres suggested that Jim applies for their old job at Bridgestone tyres, a relatively new Japanese based company.
Now responsible for assessing tyres depths, pressures and general condition, Jim would recommend replacements where needed and report back to the relevant site decision-maker. The business would later combine the engineer/sales positions into one Sales Representative role, returning Jim to a sales orientated position.
James would later progress through to Sales Administration, Marketer for earthmover tyres and eventually Original Equipment Manager.
In 1989 Jim travelled to Japan, the home of Bridgestone Tyres, for an earthmover tyres conference. This visit consisted of a ten-day tour of the local area and the manufacturing plants Bridgestone utilised at the time.
During his time as Original Equipment Manager, Jim was tasked with setting up a Bridgestone Tyres account with Volvo Trucks, at the then manufacturing plant at Irvine in Scotland, resulting in the first Bridgestone tyres ever to be fitted to a Volvo truck as specified by the end-user.

Img 20211112 141656 - Thomas Hardie

In 1988, Bridgestone bought out Firestone, a rival tyre manufacturer at the time, meaning towards his latter years, Jim would be selling Firestone tractor tyres throughout the North of England and Scotland.

James inevitably fell out of love with the sales game and being away from home for such long periods of time. So, in 2001, Jim took on the role of UVS Administrator. It didn’t come with a blue Ford Escort company car, but it did mean Jim would be home for 5:30 and didn’t have to work directly for a sale ever again, thanks to the dedicated used vehicle sales team Jim now supports.

Today, Jim is mainly involved with administrative duties. Although he isn’t technically a receptionist, James greets customers upon arrival, introducing them to the various members of the Thomas Hardie team based at Middlewich.
Not wanting to fall behind, Jim has undertaken various courses over the years revolving around his current position, helping to further educate himself and help with day-to-day work life.

Outside of his administrative duties, Jim spends some of his time travelling and opts for locations rich with history. Norway, the Farne Islands and Dartmouth, just a few places Jim has recently visited.

James Glover plays a fundamental role within the used truck team and has been the face of the Middlewich office for over twenty years. A character bursting with charisma and kindness. We had to get at least one tyre joke in somewhere…

Sales Support Shares his Story.

Marcus Harley has always had a passion for taking things apart and putting them back, roughly how they started. From cars to computers, if it un-bolts, it’s fair game.
Now, responsible for many online aspects of the used truck department, Marcus has transitioned from motherboard to keyboard, injectors to Instagram, linkages to Linkedin.

With School out of the way, Marcus enrolled at South Cheshire College and began a three-year Motorvehicle Maintenance course covering basic car repair. ‘I’ve always had an interest in cars, so motor vehicle maintenance was a no-brainer. I met some very funny people along the way and had a great time.’

Realising college wouldn’t pay for fuel, phone bills or the pub, Marcus began searching for work and found a small, independent Land Rover/Range Rover garage not too far from home. Here, Marcus was responsible for servicing, diagnostics and chassis repair/protection via Waxoil application. ‘It was my first job and I quickly realised how out-of-my-depth I was! College doesn’t prepare you for the real world. Dealing with customers, rusty bolts and bosses. But looking back, I learned so much and I now appreciate my bosses efforts so much more than I did at the time!’

After spending roughly three years with the garage, Marcus decided the time was right to move away from Land Rover and over into HGVs, this time specializing in converting tractor units into rigids. Here Marcus dealt with axle shifting, bolt-hole drilling and loom extensions. ‘It was definitely a step-up from what I was used to. Everything was heavier, tighter or more stubborn…and that was just the blokes who worked there!’

When not complaining, Marcus likes to work with his hands even outside of the nine-to-five. And with a 1986 Austin Metro being his first car, this was probably for the best. A huge fan of the modified car scene, even a 998cc Metro wasn’t safe and was the first of many cars to receive the odd fettle. Later moving on to Ford Escorts, Vectras, Subaru Impreza’s and now settling for a Citroen C2 VTS Sebastian Loeb edition, Marcus prefers to add his own personal touch to his cars, for better or worse…
When not ‘tastefully’ modifying cars, Marcus has built and helped build numerous gaming computers from the ground up. Acquiring components and assembling them accordingly, Marcus currently runs a self-built rig of his own. ‘Cars and computers are basically the same now anyway, so they go together roughly the same. My father-in-law introduced me to PC building and he also builds classic Minis, so we do have quite a lot in common and fuel each-others passions.’

An online advertisement for a valeter/labourer role at Thomas Hardie Used Truck caught Marcus’ attention and combined a lot of  interests at the time. Investing over three years in the PDI bay, Marcus developed his truck knowledge further and eventually moved away from the detailing side and more into the maintenance and repair. ‘I was obsessed with keeping my cars clean, so a job cleaning and maintaining trucks sounded great. I progressed on to repairing the trucks towards the end which again suited me fine. I worked alongside a great group of lads who were always up for a laugh but had pride in what they did.’

A Sales Support role became available just as Marcus began feeling it was time to move away from the tools and take on a different challenge. Business Development Manager Jonathan Bownes realised that Marcus could play a fundamental role in developing the online and social side of the business. Tasking Marcus with the development of a new website for the used truck department alongside DMS experts Dragon2000.
Now nearly three years into office life, Marcus maintains the used truck social media and website advertising effort. ‘I for one never thought I’d be a part of the world of marketing, but I love getting our trucks out there amongst the masses. Building a relationship between our online customers and the business is so important in today’s world. Plus it’s a great way of showcasing what we have available and what’s going on here in Middlewich’.

With big plans for the used truck department and its online footprint, Marcus is determined, with help from the wider Thomas Hardie Commercials group, to get quality used trucks out onto the global stage.

Writing about yourself is never easy…

Drop a Gear, Disappear Den.

A well-known face around the Thomas Hardie network and with over thirty-three years under his belt, Dennis Roberts is everything Thomas Hardie Commercials stands by. Reliable in difficult situations, honest with the customer and above all dedicated to providing a first-class service.

But behind the corporate commitments lies a man with a taste for speed, mountains and anything on two wheels. 

1975 is roughly the year of the ‘Work Experience Program’, a scheme aimed at helping kids fresh from school transition into the working world. This is where we join Dennis, building dams, bridges and carrying out general maintenance for a local cemetery. ‘It was basically a scheme to keep people off the dole. A group of twelve lads all at similar ages having a laugh outdoors, it was fantastic!’ 

With an urge to develop his skills, Den turned to a nearby Skill Centre for guidance into his next venture and found himself training to be a toolmaker, learning the ways of the lathe, milling and shaping machines. After investing thirteen weeks in the world of engineering, Dennis knew something wasn’t quite right. ‘I didn’t enjoy working all day indoors. Spending entire days couped up in a factory just didn’t work for me.’ 

Struggling to find his feet, Den looked into a local Honda motorbike dealership for work but unfortunately, they were no longer hiring. 

Eventually, an advertisement for an apprentice HGV fitter at D.H Jones Coal and Haulage in Acrefair became available and this is where Dennis spent the next ten years. Following the completion of a three-year apprenticeship, Dennis claimed the fitter role and thrived. ‘It was honestly one of the best places I’ve ever worked. You really felt like part of a close-knit team with a great gang of lads. Everyone got stuck in because if the trucks weren’t working, they weren’t earning. But it was seven days a week and long days at that.’

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and this chapter closed with a knock at Dennis’ front door late one evening with the news that the business was closing. 

Whilst listening to Marcher Sound Radio, a local North Wales station, Dennis overheard a job vacancy advert for a tachograph technician at Thomas Hardie Commercials over in Queensferry, a role Dennis was very accustomed to already.

During this time, Dennis progressed to Workshop Foreman and the business relocated from Queensferry to the now established Deeside depot. In 2003 Dennis moved to the current Middlewich depot which also brought a further career change in the shape of Contract Returns Coordinator. ‘Workshop Foreman was tough at times. Always trying to grow the depot and finding the best technicians brought its own unique challenges.’

It would be wrong to continue without mentioning Dennis’ long-term relationship with the crotch rocket. 

Before Dennis could drive a car, his bedroom walls would be littered with iconic motorbikes and riders of the time. His father would never own a car, opting for the two-wheeled alternative instead. Travelling to work via motorbikes meant these were Dennis’ workhorses rather than weekend warriors. ‘I love everything about bikes. The speed, sound, thrill and feeling. But moving away from them twenty years ago probably saved my life!’

  • Suzuki 100 single cylinder
  • Yamaha 125 Twin
  • Honda CB250 (1978) 
  • Honda CB250 (1979)
  • Honda CB250 N
  • Suzuki GT380 Tripple 
  • Honda CB400 N
  • Yamaha XS 250
  • Honda 200 Twin 
  • Suzuki GT380
  • Kawasaki Z750
  • GSX 750
  • GSX R 750

To name but a few… 

When not dreaming of two-stroke, Dennis is an avid hiker and has scaled plenty of big hills in his time. Snowden four times, Tryfan, Cnicht, Glyder Fach & Fawr, Yr Arawn, Moel Siabod to name just a few. ‘I also attempted Scafell Pike but got lost and ended up twenty-five miles from the car, English mountains must not like me! It’s hard to explain why hiking is so good. Maybe it’s the views or the sense of achievement getting to the top. It’s always a challenge as I’m actually afraid of heights!’

From 2003 to the present day, Dennis is responsible for coordinating returning vehicles off-contract. Logistically organising movements, inspecting vehicles and costing repairs. ‘Managing my schedule and being out and about away from the desk is great. Chatting with customers and getting to know new ones is also good. But inspecting fifteen trucks out on a yard in the middle of January isn’t so fun!’

Dennis Mtt V2 2 - Thomas Hardie

Dennis achieved Excellence in Customer Service award in 2019 and was also nominated for the same award the year before.

A highly regarded and respected member of the Thomas Hardie group who will always find time to help and support others…but you’ll have to catch him first!


A Sit Down with Steve. Master of Tractors Units, Muddy Ones too.

Go back 35 years and you’ll either find Steven Gregory behind the wheel of a tractor working the land or busy in the parlour milking.
Today, Steve works with a slightly different beast.
The used truck PDI bay.

Steve left school and went straight into working on a dairy farm in Swanlow near Winsford, milking cows and driving tractors on behalf of the farm, often out silaging until two o’clock in the morning. Farming is a full-time, fully committed career with a deep understanding and appreciation for the land and its livestock. ‘I liked working with the animals and being out on my own with the tractors. I also enjoyed working with the pedigree cows. We’d raise them from calves and it was great to be a part of their lives. You had kind of an affinity with them.’

The farm Steve worked on eventually changed direction and moved away from the dairy side and focused more on tractor rental where Steve would service and maintain the fleet. But inevitably, the time for Steve to depart had come and after thirty-five years of service, Steve moved away from the world of farming and into the Thomas Hardie group.

Behind the scenes, Steve is a big Elvis fan, enjoying the odd tribute act from time to time and has seen his fair share over the years. ‘I’ve liked Elvis for as long as I can remember and enjoy impersonators and tribute bands.’
Steve also appreciates a good motor, with the likes of V6 Vectra SRI’s, RS2000 Escorts and currently the new Focus ST being amongst a long history of sporty numbers. ‘When I was younger I loved the RAC Rally and would follow it through the stages.’

The preparation process is arguably one of, if not, the most crucial stage of any sold vehicle. Steven represents a pivotal position within this process, assuring customers always receive a uniform level of quality.
Working with the used truck department now for three years, for Steve, it’s the team and the product that means the most. ‘I like working with the good bunch of lads we have here. There’s a lot of pride in the job and it’s great to see the difference in our trucks when they go out.’

A hard-working, committed individual with a history to prove it. What more could a business want?