Forest Fuels adds another Stock Controller to extend the team
Forest Fuels’ Telford depot welcomes the latest addition to its growing team.
Sue Mullinder joins following a 13 year spell at Telford and Wrekin Council where she covered a variety of roles within the Transport Department organising and managing transport arrangements for schoolchildren and people of all ages and with wide ranging needs all over the county of Shropshire.
In her new Forest Fuels role as Stock Controller she’ll still be connected to one of the destinations she's worked extensively with in the past - the Arthog Outdoor Education Centre but instead of ensuring the safe delivery of children to it, she’ll be managing and co-ordinating the sourcing of the secure supply chain of wood fuel to it. Prior to working for the council Sue was a life assurances and pensions administrator in the town for 10 years.
Living in the Telford area, Sue is married with 4 grown up boys though life revolves much more now around her 3 granddaughters; a 4 year-old, 3 month old and the latest at just 3 weeks old. Any remaining spare time is dedicated to caring for her pet cats and rabbits.
Says Howard Towns, Forest Fuels Production Manager, “ We’re delighted to welcome Sue to our team. She brings along a wealth of experience and we’re really pleased to have her on board to extend the size and strength of our department.”
Forest Fuels logistics team training day
Forest Fuels invests in its people as logistics team meet up for another team training day at its Telford depot.
Bringing the logistics team together from our depots spread far and wide is in itself a logistical challenge but nonetheless one that is extremely beneficial.
Health and safety is at the very core of what we do. Handling large quantities of biomass wood fuel and wood pellet in a wide range of different sizes and shapes of vehicles brings many potential hazards. However with thorough and comprehensive training we can and do manage to keep incidents and accidents to a remarkably low level.
The team were updated and refreshed on company policies and procedures and brought upto date on current legislation along with essential driver operational information.
Making deliveries safely is our number one driver responsibility. Some ports for blown wood chip and pellet deliveries can be as high as 12 feet off the ground. We regularly meet at customer's premises to establish safe delivery methods and working practices that are safe and workable for all concerned. Without proper planning and preparation delivery drivers have in the past been faced with situations where they might need to climb ladders or even clamber over boxes or obstructions in order to make a delivery. Doing these things, holding pipes or climbing up to secure pipes is neither safe or necessary as we have a variety of items in stock such as bends and connectors and can make on site recommendations about adaptations such as pipe supports. It's an important part of Forest Fuels' different approach to customer care.
Forest Fuels staff are trained to take their safety as seriously as the safety of the customer they're delivering to and anyone else in the vicinity. Our drivers are the crucial link in the customer care team and we invest time and money in training them to be the best representation of the trusted and respected Forest Fuels brand.
Says Forest Fuels Logistics Manager, Tony Vick, "Team training sessions are extremely important at Forest Fuels. Not only does it give us the chance to share vital information quickly but also there's a valuable two-way flow. With the depth of experience among our team there's a wealth of useful discussion within the networking that we make time for."
Forest Fuels welcomes new Finance Apprentice
The latest addition to the Forest Fuels team is Hayley Brooks who joins the Finance Team as Finance Apprentice.
Hayley will be based at Forest Fuels’ Okehampton head office and has already settled in to the team.
Says Hayley, “I’m really pleased to have been appointed to the role and relish the challenges ahead. Everyone’s been really welcoming”.
Hayley is already well down the track studying her AAT qualifications with just two more exams to complete Level 3.
Says Richard Lawes, Forest Fuels’ Finance Manager, “Hayley’s a great addition to our team – a smashing personality and well on her way to achieving full AAT qualifications”.
Hayley was born in Okehampton, went to Okehampton Primary School and completed her education at Okehampton College. With two boys aged 3 and 5 she’s adept at juggling the work-life balance. Her favourite spare time activity is shopping!
Is Your Boiler Ready for the heating season?
At Forest Fuels, we practice what we preach.
We’re passionate about renewable energy and sustainability. Biomass wood fuel is the way forward for so many good reasons.
At our Telford depot we’ve installed a wood pellet biomass boiler with vacuum fed fuel hopper. It’s conveniently located outside our boiler room in this weatherproof plastic hopper. When it’s time to fill the hopper we simply blow the ENplusA1 wood pellet in from one of our custom built blower lorries. It’s quick, easy and trouble-free.
Here, we’ve emptied out the hopper to give it a thorough clean out, check everything’s all working smoothly and completely moisture-free ahead of the heating season which is fast approaching.
In this photo you can see how the vacuum system works – the upper tube blows air in to the hopper to displace the pellets whilst the lower tube sucks to pull the pellets through to the boiler’s internal fuel store in readiness to feed the burner.
Says Forest Fuels’ Service Engineer Mike Castle, “Having a planned maintenance programme is really important in order to have trouble-free and worry-free operation of your biomass wood fuel boiler.
Generally the work required is fairly minimal and relatively inexpensive especially when compared to the costs you could encounter if you don’t bother with maintenance and trust to luck.
We regularly get called out to boiler breakdowns and almost all of the time they could have been prevented with a modest planned maintenance programme. Any downtime can also have a negative impact on RHI claims not to mention the extra costs that can stack up running back up systems on other costly and environmentally unfriendly fuels. Out of sight can mean out of mind and we encourage regular checking emptying of ash as part of the on-site routine on a monthly basis”.
Forest Fuels can help with your biomass boiler servicing requirements for both wood chip and wood pellet fired boilers. Click here for full details or call 01409 281977 option 1 and talk to one of our friendly team. We also offer full maintenance with our commercial biomass boiler buy back scheme. Ask for details and eligibility.
Cold and Dry Winter Ahead
Improved forecasting skills predict cold weather coming
The Met Office has a new weapon in its armoury. The North Atlantic Oscillation. Well it's not new as such but the results of its effectiveness in helping to predict the winter weather we get have not been seen before in such detail and over such a long period.
The North Atlantic Oscillation is explained as being a giant see-saw that swings the atmospheric pressure. In essence, if it swings positive we're in for mild and wet winter weather, like the wash-out we had last year and if it's negative we are destined for much colder and drier winter weather.
You might be thinking that the weather forecasters are just guessing. Well, there's considerable scientific research and data behind this - 35 years of it to be precise. The Met Office's Dr Nick Dunstone is an expert in this area. You can find out about his credentials here. Using the Met Office Super Computer, they wound back the clock over the last 35 years' data looking at what the North Atlantic Oscillation showed for each winter ahead and then retro-predicted the weather for that winter using the positive/negative methodology. The results were 60% accurate when compared to the actual weather that occurred. The phenomenon isn't new; it was discovered by Sir Gilbert Walker in the 1920s but it's only now that the vast amount of information has been analysed that the patterns can be seen.
Forest Fuels' Commercial Director Mark Appleton said, "Getting a reliable and accurate forecast on the winter ahead is extremely helpful to us. We can use the information to help us to help our customers to have enough biomass wood fuel to stay warm during the very coldest spells of winter".
So what about the prediction for this winter? According to Dr Nick Dunstone it's a negative North Atlantic Oscillation phase - so get ready for a cold snap!