|Welcome to H.C.Wilson Transport Ltd…
The business was started in the early sixties by Mr Hugh Wilson and his wife Mrs Marion Wilson. For the first few years the main activity of the business was agricultural contracting based from a farm in Haughley, Suffolk, using machinery bought using money invested by Hugh’s father Donald.
This agricultural contracting developed into hay and straw dealing, This then needed transporting to customers, mainly in Wales. The business then had a need for a truck, to transport hay and straw to its customers. Its first, a Bedford O type with a 16ft body, was bought second-hand for £60. On return trips from Wales the Bedford came laden with quarry stone.
|In 1967 the first new truck was purchased. Mr Wilson was now the proud owner of a Bedford KM which had a 25ft 6 inch body. The second of these followed one year later during 1968 which was a particularly bad season for hay and straw. During this year the company was approached by Vicon, an agricultural machinery manufacturer based in Ipswich, to transport their equipment.|
|This led to the purchase of a Guy Big J and three Bedford TK artic units being purchased in 1969. The haulage side of the business was now gaining pace with the company transporting agricultural machinery all over the British Isles for many manufacturers.|
|The same year saw the challenge of transporting the first three Fahr combine harvesters to be imported into the U.K. At 9ft 6inches wide, when secured on a standard width trailer they were OK, but getting them there wasn’t the easiest of jobs. This led to Seadyke trailers being approached in early 1970 to build a step frame trailer. It had outriggers for combines but could be adapted to carry either two 20ft containers or a single 40ft container, as at the time the company was involved in container movements from Felixstowe. At about this time the first Scania 110 was purchased (FBJ 76J).
In 1976 the company moved to new premises in Elmswell on the edge of disused ‘Great-Ashfield’ airfield. From here business was good after many profitable weeks transporting combines.
|Combines continued to grow in size and in 1977 the new 12ft wide Massey Ferguson machines needed transporting. Hugh converted a conventional stepframe by fitting wheel wells to lower the overall running height. This ensured the company a continued and profitable progression until 1981/2 when times were again hard. Combines had made up 33% of the business but the last UK manufacturer, Ransomes, had ceased combine production and Massey Fergusons were now being built in France, with Case International about to open a factory there also.|
|Case approached Mr Wilson to transport its combines direct from France. Hugh had no idea what extra challenges such a job would entail and investigated. He found that the French gave one specific route, reams of paperwork, plus many restrictions…
Perseverance paid off and the company had a contract to transport combine bodies only, at around 8 tonnes each. Hugh developed a drawbar outfit able to transport two bodies at once. This was followed in 1984 by a unique custom built Terberg 6×2 drawbar outfit, with ultra low platform height, designed for transport into Germany, where travelling height is critical. A low height Dutch built Jumbo drawbar trailer was added to complete the combination.
|Hugh moved towards heavy haulage in 1979 with the purchase of a new Scania 141 62-tonne tractor (EGV 565T) and a Broshuis three-axle 35-tonne payload semi low trailer. Between 2000 and 2005 this Scania unit was completely refurbished and has been kept for shows & special oocasions.|
|An 80-tonne Foden 6×4 followed in 1984 (A666 UFL), followed by a Nooteboom three-axle extendible power-steered low loader in 1986 for £65,000, which included £23,000 for power-steering proving money well spent as this revolutionised the transport of cranes and excavators into large city centres. Other hauliers are only now catching up with this technology. A Nooteboom five-axle extendible semi low loader followed in 1987 along with a 150-tonne 6×4 Scania 142E (E500 GRT) to replace the Foden.
Expansion into Europe continued steadily over the coming years, the company building itself a healthy reputation based around its European knowledge and high levels of service. In 1993 the company opened its Scottish depot and was now transporting Terex dumptrucks from Motherwell to various European destinations.
|The company continued to grow under Graham and Simon’s leadership over the following years. Additional modular trailer equipment was purchased to keep up with the growing demand for bigger and heavier cargo movements throughout the UK and Europe.
An 8-axle SL from Broshuis was bought in 2013 along with new Scania 8×4 150T tractor units and the company continued to replace the once innovative LPF trailers on a regular basis. The staple work horse of the fleet became the 80cm 4-axle stepframe trailer and several have been purchased both new and second hand, undergoing full restoration work within the onsite workshop facilities.
Each new tractor unit ordered was fitted with the distinctive White stripes and the modern day essential storage tower behind the cab and larger, more practical fuel tanks, all designed and manufactured onsite by Elmswell Truck Centre.
In January of 2016, Graham made the bold decision that after 28 years it was time to move on, and sold his shares in the company to Simon, who became the sole director. During this transition the fleet was reduced in size, with the very heavy tractor units and trailers being sold, so that the company could focus on the middle sector of the market, and of course what it was initially built upon; agricultural machinery to and from Europe.
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