Europe’s top trailer firm has appointed a new distributor in Stirlingshire in a move that’s creating 10 jobs.
H & R Gray Ltd will start selling the market-leading products from North Wales-based Ifor Williams Trailers in June, taking their total workforce to 80 people.
They are taking over from the highly respected McKenzie Trailers who are relinquishing the distributorship because of the retirements of key individuals.
The company are investing in purpose-built premises, Stirling Trailer Centre, at the Bandeath Industrial Estate at Throsk, on the outskirts of Stirling to showcase the Ifor Williams Trailers range.
It’s an exciting development according to Robin Gray, the managing director of the H & R Gray, who sees the distributorship as the “perfect match” for the expanding family-run firm.
H & R Gray started out as a haulage firm – which grew out of the family farm – and now has a fleet of 30 lorries.
The company has now also diversified to include a commercial workshop and an authorised vehicle testing facility on the Bandeath Industrial Estate.
New premises are being built there to house the new trailer centre.
Robin said: “We started 25 years ago and the company was incorporated in 1999 so this so this is a huge year for H & R Gray.
“Before that we were farmers going back to 1947 to my father’s time.
“We now have over 20 staff involved in the commercial workshop, servicing local companies and hauliers and it’s now a big part of the business.
“We also provide storage for local companies and in addition we’re a member of the Palletline network, so we’ve got a lot of things going on.
“The opportunity to become a distributor for Ifor Williams Trailers was really too good to miss. We believe we’re the perfect match – we’re very keen and passionate.
“As a farming family, we’ve used the Ifor Williams product for the last 35 years so we know what we’re getting into. We know the product. We know the people well.
“We’ve a big customer base in Stirling and the business is growing. We’ve doubled the size of the business in the last two years.
“We’ve gone from a small haulage business employing 34 staff. We’ve now 70 staff and with the Ifor Williams dealership we’re going to add another 10 staff, so it’s good.
“We knew McKenzie’s were retiring and we wanted to keep continuity of service for the customers because all the customers that come through the workshop on the commercial side are customers at McKenzie’s as well.
“The company is still very much a family concern and my wife, Jayne, is the backbone of the business. We have two teenage sons so hopefully it’ll keep it all going for another generation.
“We’ve very much built a business on great service and we look after our customers so we have a very similar ethos to Ifor Williams Trailers.”
The move also marks the end of an era for McKenzie Trailers in Bridge of Allan in Stirling which began when the company was founded by Peter McKenzie in 1968.
According to Mr McKenzie’s daughter, Tricia Chillas, they were sad the company was closing after a successful half century in business.
She said: “We would genuinely like to thank our customers for their loyalty and we have been humbled by the cards and best wishes we have received.
“Our successor is also a family firm, based very much on the principles of McKenzie Trailers, and we wish them all the best for the future.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thanks the staff past and present at Ifor Williams Trailers. They are still the leading trailer manufacturer in the UK and we have been fortunate to be a distributor.”
Peter Nesbitt, the Business Development Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, paid tribute to the “fantastic contribution of McKenzie Trailers over many years.”
He said: “While we’re very sad to be losing McKenzie Trailers, we’re delighted to welcome Robin and his team, who are running a very successful company, to take on board the distributorship of Ifor Williams Trailers.
“They’re a successful family firm too. They’re dynamic so I feel certain they’re going to fit in well.
“I’m certain they’ll continue the excellent work that McKenzie’s have done. With their energy and drive, and with their additional resources, our current and future customers in the Central Belt of Scotland, will be very well served.”