This year represents an important milestone for Farmer & Carlisle Toyota as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary. To mark this special occasion we are celebrating by talking to customers that have supported us from the beginning.
We interviewed Tony Fowler a local milkman who carries out his Milkman duties in a Toyota Dyna. Tony Fowler has been a customer of Farmer & Carlisle Toyota since 2000, as well as buying cars Tony is now on his second Dyna that has been converted into a Milk Float. Tony starts his milk round at midnight every day and works till the early hours, he serves 25 villages and covers a distance of 115 miles, looking after 876 customers.
We asked Tony why he chose a Toyota Dyna, he said “We’ve always had Toyota cars and they were so reliable and that was the main reason for choosing a Dyna. I wanted that reliability, because my milk float is needed every day for work. The staff at the dealership were really helpful, they said you have it, try it, take it out on a drive, to see if it’s right for you and the milk round - that trust and flexibility made a big difference. In addition to the drive I was concerned that there may not be enough leg room, because of my height (I’m on the road a minimum of 12 hours a day) I wondered if I was going to be comfortable. But it is very comfortable it’s one of the most comfortable milk floats I’ve ever been in”.
When Tony was asked why he has remained loyal to Farmer & Carlisle Toyota he said “Well I’ve never had a problem! Until you have a bad experience you don’t change do you. I’ve always dealt with Keith, over the years I’ve built up a relationship with him so that we know each other’s interests, every time I call he asks about my family – you’re made to feel special at Farmer & Carlisle and nothings any trouble. They’ve always been flexible and come out to my house to resolve any queries if it meant that it was quicker and the best way to a solution for me. It’s all about being accommodating, and to me that is the difference – genuinely being interested, trying to be better and showing that you do care - that’s an art”.
Tony needs his Dyna working to its most optimum every day so that he can perform his promised duties to the 25 villages that he serves, but like every well-oiled machine the Dyna needs yearly servicing, Tony explained “I have a very difficult time element especially with the timing of the milk round, that’s why the milk floats is so important. Even with servicing they’ve always fitted it in and around my milk round; if they have ever had to keep the Dyna a little longer than normal they’ve always given me a van and that’s a complimentary added extra! They have always been very obliging, organised and understanding to make sure it’s only in the workshop for servicing the shortest time available”.
As well as delivering milk, eggs and bread Tony feels it is his duty to keep local villages safe. In the darkness of the night Tony has unaccompanied helped in the arrest of 51 criminals, Tony said “at night time people are the most vulnerable and criminals get to work! If I see something suspicious I raise the alarm”. Tony Explained “there are less police cars out and about patrolling the streets due to budget cuts; when I first started 25 years ago I would sometimes see the same car twice a night, that doesn’t happen anymore”.
Tony’s community spirit and bravery has been recognised and made him a local hero in Leicestershire. Over the years Tony has collected many awards and accolades including an MBE, Pride of Britain and many local community awards from Leicestershire police.
Tony has saved 5 lives, helped catch 51 criminals, helped someone suffering from a epileptic fit, saved animals, driven away a stolen get-away car from a break in leaving the criminals stranded, even parked his Dyna in a driveway to stop a gang of thieves escaping, he regularly offers support to his elderly customers reminding them of appointments, opening bottles jars and just being a good listener for customers that have no family around them – its no wonder he has won so many awards for his selfless acts of kindness and protection. But even with all the excitement Tony has never failed to delivery every pint of milk to his customers.