Now these same names of shire horses that once pulled carts have been chosen by Smethwick based haulier FSW Storage & Distribution to grace the fleet livery design of its new Mercedes-Benz lorries.
The fourth-generation family business is proud of its long history and decided to name the new Actros tractor units after three of the horses used by founder Thomas George Fuller to pull coal carts during the 1920s.
It is the first time that FSW has named any of its trucks, or equipped them with features such as chrome light bars.
Following successful trial runs and long experience the operators decided to order the three new trucks which come fitted with sliding fifth wheels and camera systems.
Parent company Fuller & Sons set up its 16-vehicle FSW brand in 2005 to serve the United Pallet Network of which it is a shareholder member. Two of the new tractor units have replaced older vehicles to reflect increasing business demand.
Each tractor unit operates two shifts making collections and deliveries in Birmingham and the Black Country during the day and then transporting at night to the network's hub in Lichfield, in Staffordshire.
“They’ll start work early on a Monday and won’t go cold again until Saturday morning,” explained director Stuart Fuller, a great-grandson of Thomas George Fuller.
“FSW has been pretty much an all-Mercedes-Benz operation since we set it up 17 years ago. The Actros suit us perfectly. It’s proved to be highly reliable while the servicing costs are also competitive.”
The vehicles are serviced at weekends at dealership sites based Smethwick and Wolverhampton.
“We’ve pushed the boat out with these latest Actros, and made a bit of a feature of them to create a good impression so that customers can see how the company is progressing.
“Also, of course, they should help us to retain drivers and attract new ones. The feedback so far has been entirely positive – the guys love the trucks, and particularly the new dashboard.”
Stuart Fuller’s father Graham retired in 2013, but continues to take an active interest in the business along with his brother Keith, who still carried out the occasional driving shift if needed. While Stuart’s cousin Paul Fuller is also a director and driver.