October 31, 2023
Father and son, Tam and Ricky Leitch have – between them – been part of the Donaldson Family for a total of 47 years. Sawyer Tam started out at our Leven site back in 1989, and today, he and Ricky – who works as a Side Loader Driver, often picking up timber for his dad’s saw – both work at our Donaldson Timber Engineering (DTE) Buckhaven site. Working together means a lot to them both – as does being part of a company where family matters – as they explained when we spoke to them about their experience being part of our family of colleagues.
Tam’s career with us has been varied and he’s been able to move to different roles which have better fitted in with where he was in life and what he wanted to achieve at any given time. “I started off as a labourer, then went on to be a sawyer before moving to the office where I was a foreman and charge hand for about fourteen years, but as I got older and had my own family, I moved back to the shop floor.”
This flexibility and family-centred approach hasn’t just benefited Tam, as he explains. Ricky isn’t the only other member of his family to work alongside him, “I’ve got a few family members here, a nephew and cousin who are all on the shop floor, and my other son, Steven, also works here part-time.”
Like his dad, Ricky has already enjoyed a varied career with the Donaldson Group, starting out as a labourer before moving into his current driving job. Proud Dad Tam is confident that this is just the beginning, thanks to the support and development opportunities on offer. “He’s been already progressed from labourer to driving the side loader in the yard and he could even go further – it’s good to see that the group invest in development and can help you definitely do more; just ask to get your chance at it” explains Tam.
But it’s not just the company that’s helped shape Ricky’s career, he says working with his dad has been a huge help, especially when it comes to finding new and better ways of working. “That’s the thing with family, (we) share (our) experience and each of us will listen to each other and then, we can agree together on whether something works or not and what to do next” says Ricky, “I feel that we can communicate better as a family, and I’m happy to be able to work in this way and learn from him”.
Tam agrees, “We’re able to work closely together and come up with good ideas, we can easily agree on a certain way of doing things which helps us deliver better results together. Ricky benefits from my experience and if he thinks he can improve on things, then we find it easy to talk to each other and often decide to do things differently”.
And when it comes to the future, Tam’s confident that he and his family – and countless other families who work here – have a bright future ahead, thanks to the support of the Donaldson Family “I’ve seen many changes over the years, new machinery, new technology along with new people, but through all the changes, the family remains… I’ve seen many local families grow up with the business too – for me, that’s what makes the Donaldson Group different and that’s why I’m sure my family will always have a secure future here”.