Customer Spotlight: DC Douch & Son
One of WG Davies longest standing customers is DC Douch & Son, run by Des, who stepped into our Customer Spotlight and spoke to Janet Birkmyre about his business, his family and his relationship with WG Davies over the years.
Des started the business back in 1967 and for the past 25 years the company has specialised in timber haulage, moving wood for the forestry commission. “We take it to a rail head and it is loaded onto a train so that it can be taken to Wrexham where it is cut for the building industry, as well as for MDF and plasterboard”. Before that they moved steel “I think I used to carry steel for Roger’s Grandfather” Des recalls and before that it was stone.
When asked how the business started, Des told us “When I got married in 1965, there was a very busy quarry near to where we were living and my father in law persuaded me to buy a tipper lorry. That is how it started and I have been married a long time now!” Des’s wife has a beautiful Welsh name, Enfys, which apparently transfers into English as “rainbow” but Des warned “if you include that she’ll kill me!”.
The business is very much a family affair and although his wife is not directly involved in the business Des was quick to acknowledge that “she has always supported me”. Today Des works alongside his son, Paul, who joined the business by a very interesting route; “He has been with me since he was 21 and he loves it. Before that he a Master Baker, specialising in confectionery but he came home one day and saw that I had a lorry sitting in the yard. He asked his mother “what is Dad going to do with the lorry?” She told him I planned to sell it and that got him thinking. He told me that if I put him through the test, he would drive it and he has been with me ever since. He is 51 now.”
Des also has two daughters, Mandy and Alison, one of which helps with the accounts, plus four grandchildren; Daniel, Dominic, Serenar and Patthara, as well as great grandson by the name of Mason. It is obviously a talented family as Serenar recently won the Welsh Factor talent competition.
Des and his wife have always had dogs, “at the moment we have two rescue dogs, a six year old Cavachon, Benjy and old Grumpy Gordon, a long haired Dachshund who is 11. They love Gordon at WG Davies, he comes in with me and walks around their office as if he owns it. He keeps a watchful eye on me at work every day, he lays in the bunk in the lorry and goes to sleep. Enfys and I love them both to bits.”
All of Des’s vehicles are drawbars; MAN six wheeler rigids, with a trailer behind them and he has just ordered a new vehicle to be delivered at the end of August. He has run ERF and then MAN since he first started and since day one, WG Davies have supported him when needed. Why ERF/MAN? “Because it is a good wagon and if I get any problems WG Davies always sort me out – they have been good to me over the years. We don’t do a lot of mileage but some of the tracks we have to drive down are terrible, so I need lorries that can cope with the terrain”.
Des has worked with WG Davies since before Roger took over the business, “I used to deal with Roger’s father John”, he recalls, “So now when I go there and it is like going into my own house. WG Davies have always worked alongside me to keep my vehicles running, Roger and his team, including Malcolm, his son and now his daughter, Rachel, they all really look after us really well.”
Asked what have been the biggest challenges he has faced, Des says “just keeping the work going. We have been very fortunate; we have had good work and we try to look after people and they look after us. That is why WG Davies is so important to our business, they make us feel like we are a priority to them and they understand the urgency when we have a problem. With their support we can get on with our business and make sure we deliver on time – that is the most important thing”.
Thank you, Des, for stepping into the WG Davies Customer Spotlight.
We wish you every success in the future.