John Weaver & Sons is a timber haulage company that has grown up alongside Certainly Wood. We caught up with one of the aforementioned sons, Alan Weaver, to find out a little bit more about the business and how it’s developed.
Where is John Weaver & Sons based?
We’re in a small Herefordshire village called Staunton on Arrow. Both myself and my brother Mark live there, together with my parents and that’s where our yard is based too. It was my father John who started the business back in 1982 when his job with the Forestry Commission came to an end.
The village itself only has about 400 people living there – like many rural communities today, we lost our local pub and shop decades ago.
What does your business do?
It’s simple – we move timber from one place to another – be it from woodlands or yards to mills and other businesses like Certainly Wood. Some of our clients use timber for construction, but the log trade is definitely the biggest.
What’s your day like?
We’re normally in the yard by 5 or 6am and work a 12-hour day, travelling as far afield as Wales. Our catchment area is about a 3-hour drive. The work is fairly consistent all-year-round although I prefer the summer – it’s always easier to haul logs in the drier months and you don’t have the dark evenings to contend with.
How did you get into the trade?
It’s a family business so it was something my brother and I were keen to join. However, we both did a five-year apprenticeship elsewhere. I trained as a lorry mechanic initially.
We then had to get our truck driver’s license and also train how to use a crane to load the timber on and off the lorry. Sadly, I don’t have any children and my brother has two daughters so we don’t really have anyone to follow in our footsteps.
How do you get business?
We get business the old-fashioned way – via word of mouth. We don’t even have a website. I’ve known the chaps at Certainly Wood for a long time now – we used to row together and even competed in the Henley Regatta many moons ago.
What do you do in your spare time?
The business keeps me pretty busy. I do enjoy watching motorbike racing and, of course, cozying up in front of my wood-burning stove now the nights are drawing in.