THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD - ABOUT US
Three generations of the founding family work at the yard, warehouse and office facility on the outskirts of Leicester. If you stick a pin in a map of England, our geographical location is pretty much smack bang in the middle.
"Being right on the side of the A46 gives us quick access to the M1 and the rest of the country"
John and Christine Dexter founded the business in 1983, John being a builder and his wife Christine a hairdresser.
John had bought himself a Ford D-series tipper to move materials from job to job. The construction
market was healthy enough but their little tipper wasn't being used to its full potential.
While visiting the local brand of what was then Ellis and Everard (now Travis Perkins), John asked if they ever used other people's lorries to deliver building materials. "To my surprise, they were dead keen." The transport business was born! "It cost me more than I paid for the truck to install a tachograph!", John recalls.
As work started to increase we added two more tipper trucks in addition to providing a courier service with smaller vans and pick up trucks. In its infancy, any business is more of a passenger than a driver, often dictated to by the available work and how easy it might be to get the load on and off.
"We were moving bags of sand and gravel but also progressing towards steelwork and pumps for industry in the locality"
After taking advise the three vehicles we had were sold and we moved towards more specialised
vehicles. That was the point when the business shifted to be more in line with where it is today. "We first made the shift to lorry mounted cranes back in 1985 and looking back we were probably one of the first in the area to do so." - recalls John. The road hasn't always been smooth - there have been bumps and pot holes along the way. By 1990 the Cold War was over, but it was chilly for businesses - inflation hit 9.5%, interest rates rocketed and central banks were enacting a restrictive monetary policy. In addition, there was a massive hike in oil prices and the western world plunged into recession. The sharp economic decline may have been relatively short-lived but the consequences for many were severe.
"We moved to our new, bigger premises in 1999"
To make ends meet Christine ran the office and John went back on the road. As time passed the global economy settled and the fleet began to expand again. We moved to our new bigger premises in 1999 as more room was needed and a better position geographically helped with logistics.
Today we buy new vehicles replacing every three years or so to keep the fleet fresh, up to date and serviceable. We are as proud of our vehicles as we are of our service. They are key to our success. The fleet now stands at 15 headed up by two fully air suspended 26-tonne MAN TGX XXL.
"We park all our trucks inside, this keeps customers goods safe and warm and our drivers aren't scraping ice off windows."
A considerable amount of the firms success is down to the dedication and hard work of the family members and the driving team, many of whom have been with the company for years. Family run through and through now with three generations working each day to keep the business the success it is. The driving team also keep it in the family with a father and two son team out and about each day.
The story continues............
A to Z Transport Services
Tel: 0116 260 8550