Earlier this week we received a visitor post on Facebook from a young haulage company owner, sharing a picture of their new Euro 6 DAF XF. Matt from M & L Strange Haulage Ltd. shared the story about how he ended up with Imperial Derby’s ex-demo vehicle, and his trusty Foden was being retired. The amount of support from other Facebook users was heartening, congratulating Matt on his new truck and wishing M & L Haulage the best for the future.
We wanted to delve a bit further into M&L Haulage’s history, so got in touch with Matt and his reply was the compelling story below. Originally I wanted to pick parts from the story to write this article, but after reading it through decided to post Matt’s inspiring story in full.
“Hi, I'm Matt and along with my wife, Lucy we run and own M & L Strange Haulage Ltd.
We both come from haulage families, my grandad ran lorries and vans moving stuff around that he bought and sold, the biggest lorry he owned was a 1987 Foden 4000 series with 400bhp cat double drive that my dad drove. Lucy's parents run A & J Hare Haulage Contractors and have ran their business since taking it over from Aden's father, they have got history all the way back to horse and cart.
Lucy and I set up our business, M & L Strange Haulage Ltd. in July 2015 and started trading in October of that year. Our first lorry is named "Little Evie" after our daughter and is a Foden Alpha series 2 with a 450 bhp CAT, we started off pulling a bulk tipper and then moved to bulk powder tanks.
As it is with all old lorries we have had more than our fair share of problems and started to become un reliable. Although our contractor has given us the benefit of the doubt on numerous occasions, there are only so any times you can keep making the dreaded phone call where you have to hand back your work again before something needs to be changed.
On the 2nd time of having my gearbox removed I'd had enough. My contractor on several occasions had sang the praises of Imperial DAF in Derby so I decided to have a look for myself. From the moment I walked through the door to collection and after there has been nothing short of superb service. On my initial visit we specked a new lorry and sent it off to Paccar for a price.
During this time I'd told them of my problems, so Joe took me outside and showed me their demo. It turned out it was available and he told me I could have it for a few days to keep me working, I told him my lorry would be off the road for about a week so he extended his offer without even a second thought.
"I expected it to be better on fuel than my lorry but as the week went on I was amazed to see how much better. When I got home I asked Lucy to check the figures. My Foden does 7-7.5mpg. I'd finished the week with the DAF on 8.7, what a saving over 1000-1200L a week, that's massive. When I took the lorry back Joe informed me it was for sale and gave me their advertised price. Flipping heck I thought, that's cheap. I've got some thinking to do. Go new or buy a second hand bargain with a very tempting R&M package.
After a lot of thought, number crunching and more conversations than I think Lucy wanted over meal times we decided we would take the chance and buy the demo. We never envisioned buying a lorry on finance but it was clear if we wanted to be reliable this was the best option. Again DAF showed their service, due to our busy schedule Joe paid us a visit on a Sunday night to hash out the deal. Now I'd of expected DAFs very generous hospitality to end there, not a chance. On collection of the lorry there were DAF soft toys for my children, a pair of jackets for myself and Lucy and an invite for the whole family in their hospitality tent at Convoy in the Park at Donington the following weekend.
These guys know how to get another sale and they will be doing in the future. The demo is now at work and has been called ‘Lucy Jane’, and ‘Little Evie’ has been retired and getting ready to be a show lorry.
Thanks again to all at DAF Imperial, especially Joe for all the phone calls and questions.”
A massive thank you to Matt from M & L Strange Haulage Ltd. for sending this in, it’s inspiring to hear about new haulage companies finding success with DAF, as a manufacturer it couldn’t make us prouder.
You can find out more about Matt, Lucy and M & L Strange Haulage Ltd. on their Facebook page here or on 07858 200235.