Zen and the art of transport management

April 21, 2022

A 25-year veteran of Tarmac, Heidi Sherwood left school with virtually no qualifications and has worked her way steadily through the ranks from distribution clerk to her current role as transport manager.

“Honestly, it’s my single biggest career highlight,” Heidi said. “I got where I am through sheer determination and I hope people respect me for it.”

Her role involves managing the weighbridge function team at Tunstead Quarry, which oversees up to 500 vehicle movements per day and managing the weighbridge at Hindlow Quarry. Ensuring that safety and compliance processes are adhered to is a key part of her job.

Since joining Tarmac in 1997, Heidi has worked at different sites and has relished the change and challenges that have gone with her career trajectory.

From a distribution clerk to a stint in credit control, she relocated to Tunstead where she was the weighbridge supervisor before moving up to distribution supervisor, a job she did for many years. Following a year working on secondment as distribution manager for cement, she returned to her previous role and was made distribution manager soon afterward.

Heidi moved to her current role in August 2018 and couldn’t be happier. “I get drawn into a lot of things and love the diversity of my job. I have a lot of freedom to get involved with different projects,” she says.

“I enjoy juggling between commercial, logistics and customer services but I’m really motivated by safety and seeing things done well. Ensuring safety for our customers, colleagues on site and drivers is what it’s all about.”

She is also full of gratitude for her employer. “Tarmac have looked after me incredibly well over the years. I had a near-fatal car accident seven years ago, and they didn’t put me under any pressure to return until I felt well enough. My partner works for Tarmac as well and he was given time off to look after me.”

And she has some good advice about how she has weathered the ups and downs over a quarter of a century. “Getting on in the company is about being who you are. Don’t be afraid to challenge. I’ll challenge a director as much as an operator if I don’t think something is right.

“Also, you don’t always need a university degree to get on. If you’re prepared to learn in later life, you can go far. I did the enabling leadership course and coaching and mentoring diploma, which really helped me.”

While Heidi has a lot of passion for Tarmac, it’s no secret that the next stage of her career will see her pursuing other interests. “I expect I will start winding down over the next five years or so to concentrate more on my work as an Iyengar yoga instructor. I give four evening classes each week, but would like to focus on that full-time eventually.”

Namaste, Heidi…