Competence, character and commitment – attributes that so often typify a family business and nowhere is that more evident than in road transport, where family-based hauliers still make up a huge proportion of the bedrock of the industry.
IMR Transport is a perfect example. After many years of transport experience, Ian Robertson decided to set up his own operation with the legendary one truck, one trailer and himself at the wheel. Within months, he had more business than he could cope with, so further trucks were added to the fleet along with experienced, carefully-chosen, customer-aware drivers.
That was seventeen years ago.
Today, thanks to hard work, dedication and a huge amount of commitment, the company has a mixed 50-strong fleet serving a wide portfolio of regular, recurrent customers with Ian now partnered by his wife Lynne in looking after the financial side of the business.
And things are looking ‘… very healthy. We have some 20,000 square feet of warehousing on-site, and that can be a bit up and down,’ says Ian, ‘but the transport side of the business has never been stronger thanks to loyal customers and some excellent contracts, several of which stretch back many years.’
Supporting IMR’s success is their latest addition to the fleet of six Iveco Stralis Active Space AS440S45TXP tractors from Sherwood Truck & Van. Three went on the road at the beginning of June, with the remainder due to enter service in July.
‘We’d been impressed with a Stralis Active Space we rented during a busy period last year. The driver liked it; he’d found it comfortable and easy to live with, and it gave us excellent fuel returns. We’d also had a Stralis 6×2 curtainsider, so we’re familiar with the brand and have had a positive all-round experience to date. That gave us the confidence to opt for Iveco and Stralis this time around.’
‘Most of our work is contract or general operations for customers such as Argos, so our drivers can be away and living in their cabs for up to 3 to 4 nights a week. They need to be comfortable behind the wheel and rested when they’re parked up, and the Stralis Super3 cab is well-specced to look after all their needs.’
IMR have opted for Sherwood’s 4 year ‘Peace of Mind Supreme’ Repair & Maintenance packages for all their new acquisitions. As well as covering scheduled servicing, preventive maintenance inspections, test fees and submission to the test centre, this covers all clutch and brake wear and any repairs arising from material or manufacturing defects, wear or tear, plus 24 hour emergency roadside assistance and recovery.
‘We have our own workshops,’ explains Ian, ‘but these are really only set up to look after our own 60-strong fleet of trailers, and those of some of our neighbours.’
‘It’s easier and far more cost-effective to have our trucks looked after by Sherwood. They’re local to us – and Sherwood’s ‘Peace of Mind’ R&M contracts give us the advantage of fixed costs, so planning is much easier.’
‘Like anyone with a mixed fleet, we get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the various manufacturers and their dealers very quickly. And I have to say to date, we’re happy with Iveco – and we’re delighted with the support we’ve had from Sherwood. They understand what running tractors is all about.’