Trevor Bayfield's Story as a gritter driver
Get to know Trevor Bayfield
Job title: Gritter driver (contract)
Based: Routes 10 & 12, the Kirby Misperton area of North Yorkshire – both routes are approximately 140 miles long
- How long have you worked in the gritting team for?
2022-2023 will be my second winter season. I started in the team after I received a letter from the government asking for HGV drivers to help with the driver shortage.
- What attracted you to the job?
I see the gritting as a valuable service to my community. I also love driving and in particular, driving a HGV for a few months of the year - this winter contract fits well with my business.
- What are the most enjoyable aspects of working in winter service?
Keeping the roads clear of ice and snow. Knowing that you make such a difference to local people and ultimately are part of a great team all focused on clear and safe roads.
- What qualities do you think you need to be a gritter driver?
Flexibility and it’s essential you enjoy driving in both day and night and in all conditions. We will only be needed when the weather is bad and that can mean very early starts, or late nights, but we are home daily. For some, getting used to shift patterns and irregular hours can be a challenge.
- Outside of winter service for NYHighways, do you have another job and what is it?
I own and run my own agricultural and horticultural dealership - Land Care Machinery Ltd based in Kirkbymoorside, York.
- How do you fit the gritting job in with your other job?
It fits extremely well. My business slows down and can virtually stop in winter, and the winter gritting contract fills that gap and keeps me busy.
- What is a typical day in your life?
It depends on your shift, we normally work a week of days, then a week of nights and the third week is a rest week. I find myself hoping for bad weather as this means fitting the plough and getting stuck in!
Sometimes, you can arrive back home, and the family are still in bed oblivious to the fact that you have been out all night clearing the roads! We can normally tell if the weather will be good or bad, but pre salting the roads can happen in mild conditions, so you can never be sure when you are needed.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to join the gritting team for next season?
Give it a go, if you like driving HGV and like me, have time in winter to spare, then this could be a way of earning and keeping busy when you would normally be locked down for the winter at home. Full training and equipment is provided along with support from a team with many years’ experience who are always on hand.
This isn’t your typical delivery driving job, but an essential service to the local community. If you can handle irregular hours as well as night and day time driving in wintery conditions, then I would contact NYHighways and give it a try!