Veterans into Logistics, a charity specialising in helping former military personnel re-train for a logistics career, has replaced its ageing fleet of three HGV driver training vehicles with more modern Volvo trucks.

The new vehicles comprise an FH 460 LNG Globetrotter 6×2 tractor unit donated by Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland and a tandem-axle box van trailer donated by Asda. At the same time, a grant from the Veterans’ Foundation has enabled the purchase of a second identical tractor unit and trailer, plus a diesel-powered 18-tonne Volvo FL 250 4×2 rigid.

Veterans into Logistics will now use the three Volvos to help around 150 new HGV drivers train and qualify for a new career each year upon leaving the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force.

John Harker MBE, General Manager of Veterans into Logistics, says: “We desperately needed to modernise our training fleet and Volvo Trucks, Asda and the Veterans’ Foundation jointly stepped up at the perfect time. Their generosity has been incredible, with the new trucks and trailers ticking every box.

“Our Mission is to secure voluntary funds to provide HGV driver training for veterans, then guide them into well-paid careers with respected logistics partners. To accomplish this, we need quality training vehicles we can rely on. To say the new vehicles will be working hard for us is an understatement!”

Formed in 2020 by former gunner and paratrooper for the Royal Artillery, Darren Wright, Veterans into Logistics has already transformed the lives of countless ex-service personnel, equipping them with the skills they need to carve out a new career.

Harker adds: “For some, the crossover into civilian life can be daunting and a real challenge. Going from roles where they are valued and make a huge difference, some veterans can start to question their worth, feel isolated and undervalued.

“At Veterans into Logistics we mentor and support them to take the next step in their lives. We understand the apprehension and upheaval that lies ahead, but the guidance we provide helps prepare them for the future – with expert training and the prospects of a very good career in the logistics sector, where HGV drivers are in high demand.”

All three vehicles are Volvo Approved, representing trucks of very good quality, selected from Volvo Used Trucks’ extensive stock. The two tractor units arrive fresh from four years’ service with a major high street DIY chain, offering the reassurance of having been serviced and maintained by the Volvo Trucks dealer network from day one under a top tier Volvo Gold Contract, fitting only Genuine Volvo Parts.

Carl White, Used Truck Director for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, says: “We heard Veterans into Logistics was looking for a new training vehicle and we wanted to help. After identifying the perfect truck, we set about preparing it as we would any Volvo Approved customer vehicle, with an intermediate service, tachograph calibration, comprehensive 200-point inspection, full cosmetic check, and professional valet. The two vehicles funded by the Veterans Foundation have since followed precisely the same preparation process.”

The trucks will operate predominantly in the North West of England, with both LNG-powered tractor units refuelling at Asda’s regional distribution centre in Rochdale.

Volvo Trucks donated the initial vehicle in memory of former colleague Stuart Bird, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Stuart was a Technical Manager for Volvo Used Trucks and had been part of the team since joining the business in 2006, after a career of more than 13 years with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which provides engineering support to maintain and repair the vast array of British Army equipment.

The Veterans’ Foundation grant comes courtesy of its generous supporters, who, through donations, legacies and the 100,000+ playing the Veterans’ Lottery, have supported over 400 different charitable organisations all over the UK with almost £17 million in grant awards since 2016.

(from left to right) Darren Wright, Founder of Veterans into Logistics; Carl White, Used Truck Director for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland; with Stuart Bird’s two sons and widow, Noah Bird, Alfie Bird and Tracie Bird.