A family-run firm from Lancashire is celebrating after reaching a major milestone in the history of the business.
It’s 20 years since Barlow Trailers, in Leyland, first hooked up with Europe’s biggest trailer maker, Ifor Williams Trailers.
According to the founder, John Barlow, it’s been a highly successful partnership for both companies.
Mr Barlow, 74, recalled: "We started in 1970 and at that time I just had a little farm selling potatoes and eggs and things like that at the farm gate.
"Eventually, I made myself a trailer and everyone in the village seemed to want to borrow it – so I thought there must be a market for them.
"We put a sign up and made about four more trailers and that’s how it all started. It grew from there."
"Then 20 years ago we managed to get the local distributorship Ifor Williams Trailers and we haven’t looked back since.
"I always knew they were best trailers on the market and they were one of the first to start galvanising which helps matters.
"Over the past two decades, the two companies have grown and developed – we’ve done very well together.
"But I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the fantastic help and support I’ve had from my wife, Kathleen."
Peter Nesbitt, the Business Development Manager of Ifor Williams Trailers, came to help the Barlows celebrate the anniversary.
He said: "We have a very high regard for the Barlows – they are extremely professional and very hard working.
"They have invested heavily in their facilities and they keep a great range of stock which their customers appreciate.
"On occasion customers will even write to us to say how pleased they are with the service they’ve had from Barlow Trailers so they are excellent ambassadors for our trailers.
"They deserve the success that they’ve had to date and I am convinced that we’ll be doing a 50 year celebration with them in due course."
John Barlow Jnr, 44, added: "We have a lot of space which means we can carry a lot of stock – and that gives us a big advantage because customers don’t have to wait for their new trailer.
"We have always tried to improve what we do with new workshops and stockyards – we’ve always re-invested. The secret is not to standstill and to try to provide as good a service as possible."
Fellow director and brother Graeme, 43, has no doubt why the trailers are so popular.
He said: "They’re not expensive when they’re new and their re-sale value is absolutely fantastic compared to anybody else.
"We run quite an extensive hire fleet so the trailers are tried and tested to the max. They’re just brilliant.
"One of their strengths is that Ifor Williams Trailers never want to rest on their laurels, they want to keep improving the trailers all the time.
"Our partnership has been a real success story – and long may it continue."
News » Firm hits major milestone on the road to success