Graham Poole Road Transport celebrates 25 year anniversary
Date published: 28 September 2023
The 25th anniversary of Graham Poole Road Transport celebrations
Littleborough haulage company Graham Poole Road Transport celebrated its 25th anniversary on 9 September.
The company was founded in 1998 by Graham Poole, of Littleborough, after working for Wincanton out of the Tesco Distribution Centre in Middleton for nine years.
A celebratory event was held on 9 September to mark the anniversary; Graham said a “fantastic night” was had celebrating 25 years and he would like to thank everyone who came along to celebrate with them.
Earlier this year, Graham decided to semi-retire from his active role within the company on 3 January 2023, with then-operations manager Wayne Pilkington being promoted to the position of Managing Director.
Graham still owns the business and remains present and on hand when needed. Over the years, he has supported local charities including Springhill Hospice, Jolly Josh, Fund Polly, Reuben's Retreat, Littleborough Boxing Club, Littleborough Rugby Club. He also does the Santa truck each year handing over 1,500 selection boxes out to all the local children.
The company was initially founded after Graham sought permission from his good friend Barry Lang to use his land in Littleborough as his operating centre.
There were lots of ups and downs during the early years. One Sunday afternoon, Graham had work which would keep him away until Wednesday; Graham said to his wife, Andrea: “This is my last load - after this, I am calling it a day.”
On that very trip, Graham received a phone call from Steve Ashworth who he had known for many years. Steve was looking for someone to cover his night trunk and offered Graham weekly pay, which at the time was unheard of. That offer saw the continuation of Graham Poole Transport (GPRT) and provided a much-needed lifeline for Graham.
Shortly after starting the night trunk for Apex, Graham received another phone call from Alan Beech, someone whom he worked with for many years at Tesco.
Alan was now working as Transport Manager for TJ Morris (Home Bargains) and wanted a route covering at short notice; Graham managed to find a driver for his truck and covered the route.
This became the foundation of a long-working relationship between TJ Morris, Apex Logistics and GPRT, which has continued since 2005.
In 2006, GPRT moved to a new operating centre on Fishwick Street in Rochdale. From there, the business grew from two vehicles to over 20 vehicles over the next four or five years. This was partly due to winning the contract with Mauser UK shortly after they moved into Littleborough in 2007. It was also due to the fact that the business had expanded with both Apex Logistics and TJ Morris.
In 2009, Graham was asked to join The Pallet Network. A separate business was started with three other people, running alongside GPRT for the first 12 months.
It was then decided to give the new company a name and run it independently, giving rise to GPT Logistics in 2010, with Graham and three other people as directors and shareholders.
By 2012, GPRT had outgrown its operating centre on Fishwick Street, and in January 2013 moved onto the Klondike on Chichester Street, where the company still operates today.
GPT Logistics and Apex Logistics also both operate from the same site.
The company has the capability to transport anything from a small envelope right up to a 44t load.
However, the Klondike’s capacity was too big for what they needed – and the Rochdale LGV Driver Training was born in February 2013, which currently has three instructors, two rigid and two artic training vehicles.
Graham Poole Road Transport is run by Graham's daughter Rachel, who joined the company in 2011.
In March 2020, Graham opened a new warehouse facility at Belfield Hall Farm in Rochdale: a 44,000 square foot warehouse, with over 4,000 racked pallet spaces and 11,000 square feet of bulk stacking space. The facility also has four dock levellers giving the ability to decant and reload shipping containers.
Currently, GPRT and GPT Logistics operate over 50 vehicles and 60 trailers between them, from the Chichester Street site. Between both companies. they currently employ more than 100 people locally.
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