Family haulage firm Eric Vick from Gloucester to close after nearly 70 years

A Gloucestershire haulage company is to close almost 70 years after farmer’s son Eric Vick bought his first trailer to transport livestock around Gloucestershire. From small beginnings the family-owned business grew into an international haulage firm with trucks across the Middle East. But times have changed and Eric Vick Transport Ltd is no longer viable in the 21 st century says his son.

It will close at the end of April with the loss of around a dozen jobs.

His son and director Rob Vick issued a statement which said: “Whilst pleased to have kept the business going for five years after the death of its founder and driving force, Eric Vick, the family are unable to see a profitable future that would provide secure employment. “As with so many haulage businesses, a less than thriving economy, increasing legislation and the continued decline of UK manufacturing mean the business is not viable in the longer term.”

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The former haulage boss who built up the business over nearly seven decades is survived by his widow Anne who is approaching her 90 th birthday, son Rob and daughters Lesley and Katie. Before he died he was a leading light in the Road Haulage Association and very friendly with Richard Read who had a haulage company in the Forest of Dean which also closed down last year.

Family haulage firm Eric Vick from Gloucester to close after nearly 70 years

“It’s sad because the business is older than I am,” said Rob.

“My father only lived a few hundred yards away from the yard and used to go into work nearly every day until his 80s, but none of us are involved in the day to day running of the business. ” It’s very tough out there and I think even he would understand that the time is right.” He says the switch from manufacturing to service economy in the UK has reduced demand for haulage services and family want to close the business while they can do it voluntarily rather than be forced to sell off assets to pay debts.

And the family say the time is right because a shortage of HGV drivers means they are confident that staff will all find other jobs. The business says it has survived so long because of exceptional customer service, including excellent communications, reliability and punctuality. The 11 tractor units and 25 trailers with the distinctive mullbery livery will be sold off but no decisions have been made about the yard at Stank Lane, Hardwicke.

Family haulage firm Eric Vick from Gloucester to close after nearly 70 years

Operations manager Chris Jefferies, 66, has worked for the company for 45 years and said many general haulage companies are struggling to survive.

“In the current climate it’s very difficult to make any money unless you are in a niche market,” he said. “It’s tough to get decent rates and it’s so quiet it actually feels as if we are in the middle of a recession. “There’s lots of new legislation coming in for things like emissions so and that would mean investing a lot of money into new vehicles.

You can’t do that unless you know you will get it back so it’s better to close.

“It’s sad but I’m sure everybody will get other jobs.”

The company have thanked all past and present staff, customers and suppliers.

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