John Mitchell Haulage & Warehousing

The Grange Courier


Issue number No.14

Winter 2012/2013 


Prize Guy

Firstly, we are delighted to report that Stuart Allison, our head of vehicle maintenance has won the prestigious Scottish Fleet Engineer of the Year 2013 award. Stuart was presented with the trophy in front of 600 invited guests, at the Transport News Scottish Rewards breakfast ceremony, which took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow back on Friday 9th November. Now in its 20th year, these awards are recognised as 'The Oscars' of Scotland's road haulage industry. The judging panel of industry experts were particularly impressed by the results of Stuart's 19 year career at John Mitchell to date, together with his tireless dedication to high standards, legal JM_Stuart_Allison_Presentation_2compliance levels and supervision of his valued team of eight reportees.


Stuart Allison started out as a mechanic with John Mitchell back in 1994. Subsequent promotions to foreman and then fleet engineer duly followed and his current charge consists of 120 vehicles and around 220 trailers. Teamwork is essential to success in this award winner's role and a commitment to working closely with the transport manager, to ensure complete compliance and maximum uptime, is mirrored by a loyalty to his own close knit team. Our picture shows Stuart receiving his award from category sponsor, Gary Potts of Outreach Ltd, whilst event comperes comedian Des Clarke and TV presenter Mary Rhodes look on.


A Recipe for Success

The Cooking Bus is a 13.6 metre articulated trailer that opens out into a kitchen classroom for 16 students to learn about hands on, practical cooking with healthy recipes. Funded by The Scottish Government and The Food Standards Agency, this fantastic articulated resource has already visited many schools and communities across every local council area in Scotland. Last September, John Mitchell Haulage & Warehousing began a working partnership with Focus on Food, the UK’s leading food education outreach programme who operates the Cooking Bus. The partnership sees us supply an exclusively livered tractor unit and a dedicated full-time driver to transport the Cooking Bus across the length and breadth of Scotland. Good teamwork is a core ingredient to every successful endeavour, so Joanne Johnstone, left and Jemima MacLean from Focus on Food work closely with their John Mitchell driver, Gary McGuckin. Look out for our especially liveried silver tractor unit which hauls the colourful Cooking Bus trailer on its travels and for more information visit:

John Mitchell Cooking Bus set up John Mitchell Cooking Bus John Mitchell Cooking Bus Kids


Fleet Street

John_Mitchell_New_SDC_TrailerAfter a busy year with replacement trucks for the John Mitchell fleet, in mid December we took delivery of our first ever SDC trailers. These take the shape of two 13.6 metre long curtainside load carriers. Both of these tri axle types have an internal height of 3.06 metres and they will be used on a wide variety of general haulage tasks.

This duo is equipped with the latest BPW Eco Plus axles, Jost landing legs and ADR specification electrics. Our flying osprey logos and accompanying lettering were factory applied by SDC, in addition to the red chassis paint.


Rear View Mirror

This time around we mark the passing of a trademark, which has served our family well for many decades. The origins of John Mitchell’s maroon and silver livery can be traced right back to the commencement of business back in 1956 and in fact, use of these colours were inspired by the battleship grey and contrasting maroon stripes used by William A Mitchell (uncle of company founder, the late John Mitchell) in the 1920s. Around five years ago we switched to the all over white finish, which is now complemented by the trademark maroon stripes and lettering. Time has proved that this change was a success and it duly promotes the clean, well maintained image our business wishes to project at all times. The adjacent pictures show the last batch of maroon and silver trucks prior to de-commissioning and two of William A Mitchell’s lorries from the 1940s.

JM_William_A_Mitchell_Lorries JM_1973_Seddon JM_Last_of_the_Maroon__Silver_Trucks


Clean and Green

John Mitchell Cab Close Up

An ongoing commitment to the environment is a key criterion in every job at John Mitchell Haulage & Warehousing and we are pleased to announce that our company has been awarded an inaugural membership of the Falkirk ECO Stars scheme. The ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme is designed to provide recognition, guidance and advice to operators of goods vehicles or buses and coaches, who are implementing operational best practice measures, to improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and fleet emissions.

These factors help improve local air quality, maximise carbon savings and tackle climate change. John Mitchell Haulage & Warehousing has been rated as a five star operation with membership number three. The scheme will formally launch in February 2013 and all inaugural members will be invited to a morning event to be presented with their membership certificates. By being part of the scheme we are recognising, along with other members, a demonstration and commitment to improving air quality in the local Falkirk area and beyond.


Depot Developments

Our constant focus on maintaining and developing our 15 acre site at Earls Road Industrial Estate to the highest operational standards has seen some recent investment for the workshop building. A new, fully equipped training room has been constructed on the mezzanine floor, which will provide a useful facility in the run up to September 2014’s Driver CPC training deadline. In the main garage area, our contractors stripped out all the old asbestos / cement cladding and disposed of these materials correctly. The relevant areas were re-clad with new super-insulated material which also reflects light. Talking of illumination, all electric lighting was replaced with low energy units complete with daylight sensors, whilst the fleet engineer’s office and toilets were refurbished and freshly decorated. The result is a superb working environment for our seven strong workshop team who now have a clean, efficient and modern property to carry out the huge variety of servicing, repair and fabrication task tackled in any given week’s work.

John Mitchell New Warehouse John Mitchell Training Room John Mitchell Workshop

Out in the yard we have commenced building a new warehouse which will increase our total storage capacity by 25%. At the time of writing, foundation works were well under way and the estimated completion date of spring 2013 looks to be on schedule. Look out for more news on this building in the next issue of The Grange Courier. 


Safety in Numbers

John Mitchell 2nd Safety Award


Certain key sayings dominate everyday life in Britain and if you’re looking for a new house it’s usually location, location, location. In the world of John Mitchell Haulage & warehousing every operation is headed up by a similar three word phrase which is safety, safety, safety. Recently we were delighted to report that our driver, George Baxter received a Safety Plus+ Award from customer, DSM Nutritional Products of Dalry, Ayrshire. When unloading a KGA tanker last month, George spotted scaffolding tubes protruding at height above the offload point. By immediately stopping and repositioning his vehicle, George acted responsibly and took ownership of the situation, thereby preventing a potentially serious incident.

Our picture shows Willie Boyd from DSM Nutritional Products presenting George with a thank you letter and gift voucher. This recent recognition is the second such DSM Safety Plus+ Award for John Mitchell, as last year our driver Sam Bernard, received a similar commendation for spotting a cracked casting assembly. 


The Two Minute Interview

This issue we turn the spotlight on Grieg Thomson, who has recently joined our office team after leaving school.

John Mitchell Greig ThomsonBriefly describe your job - I work in the Short Sea traffic department, I input jobs into the    system and I also deal with any demurrage / paperwork.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your work? - The company as a whole is great to work for, my work colleagues make it more enjoyable for me as well which always helps, so that is the most enjoyable part.

Where is your favourite place / holiday destination?  - I’ve been to a few places before, but for me nothing’s better than Miami, Florida.


What are your hobbies / interests/  - My hobbies are going to the gym and the football as well, also I love listening to music.


What music are you listening to at the moment? - I generally love most types of music, but I’m always listening to Rap so that’s my favourite.

What was the last film that you saw? - The last film I saw was Black Hawk Down.


What’s your favourite TV programme? - I have a lot to choose from, but my favourite programme is The Office (US).


If you won £150million on the Euro Millions lottery, what would you spend it on? - If I won all that money, I’d love to have it all just sitting in my bank and never spend it, but I’d buy a house in Florida and I’d quite like to buy a Bentley Continental as well.


And finally, who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with? - Once again I have too many to choose from, but I’d quite like to be stuck with Drake, just because he is one of my favourite rappers.


Centenary Celebration


John Mitchell Haulage & Warehousing has always played an active role in its local community. One example of this is our established association with the Air Cadets from 1333 (Grangemouth) Squadron. This busy group is the first corps in the UK to buy a share in their own four-set training aircraft which is based at Dundee Airport. Recently the cadets helped a World War Two veteran celebrate his 100th birthday in some style. Centenarian Jackie Bell took off from Dundee on the surprise flight and was delighted when pilot Liam Kelly asked him to take control of the plane. Watched closely by some cadets back in the passenger seats, Jackie enjoyed reacquainting himself with the controls and said, ‘it took me back to my days in the RAF.’

Jackie was born in Edinburgh and volunteered for the RAF before the war, then training as an aircraft fitter. He worked on Wellington bombers in the Trent Valley and later maintained Spitfires at Grangemouth. Recalling his time there Jackie said, ‘the pilots relied on me, as they were in training. It was a marvelous and happy place but there were terrible times as well. Sadly some of the pilots never came back and one plane came down right next to me.’ After the war, he joined 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force as a reservist and rose to Flight Sergeant. Jackie, who now lives in Glasgow, was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1957 and the Air Efficiency Medal in 1958.

Air Training Corps Flying Officer Tom McMorrow said, ‘Jackie was an inspiration to the cadets. His enthusiasm is amazing but the big thing for me is to see our young generation speaking to a man of his age and experiences. It’s living history and they’re hanging on his every word.’ Our picture shows Jackie after his birthday flight, in front of 1333 (Grangemouth) Squadron’s replica Spitfire fighter aircraft, which is usually transported on a John Mitchell platform trailer.

Model Matters

And finally, this stunning 1:50 scale die cast replica of John Mitchell’s flagship MAN truck and loaded container trailer was produced by Swansea based Code 3 Models. This established maker produces handmade models, finished in incredible detail, with production runs as low as one unit. For over twenty years Code 3 Models provided sample making and new product development work within the toy and model industry for production and exhibitions. From initial concept design and visualisation, to completion via building, moulding, colouring, decoration and finishing, the firm provides a complete modelling service.


Just ten of these mini masterpieces were produced and each comes within an acrylic display base featuring John Mitchell’s flying Osprey logo. Unfortunately we cannot offer any of these pieces for sale, but the replicas have attracted many positive comments on display in our offices.


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