Eddie Stobart: Trucks & Trailers

Series 3 starts Friday 2 March 2012, 8pm on Channel 5

Eddie Stobart Back on Screens For Series 3

From Friday 2 March 2012, Eddie Stobart:Trucks and Trailers returns to Channel 5 for a third series.

Eddie Stobart

Broadcast on Fridays at 8pm, the observational documentary again charts the progress of the Eddie Stobart transport and logistics business.  The hugely successful show from Princess Productions, which regularly attracts over 1.8 million viewers, gives an exclusive insight into the company and the people that have made the Stobart Superbrand one of the UK’s best loved and most successful businesses.

During the eight-part series, the team invites viewers on a behind-the-scenes look into the one of the world’s most recognisable haulage firms, and life behind the wheel of some of its 2,280 trucks on motorways and roads the length and breadth of the UK and beyond.

Filming took place over ten weeks during 2011 and features some 30 characters from numerous Eddie Stobart depots such as Appleton, Carlisle, Chelford, Crick, Newark and Warrington, as well as the business’s ports, airports and other interests.

Series 3 highlights include the first ever Stobart Fest – Eddie Stobart’s very own festival in celebration of the company, its trucks, its people and a 20,000 strong fan club.  The inaugural event attracted nearly 7,000 fans to the Rockingham Race Circuit in Northamptonshire.

In Series 3 the cameras also document the progress of 150 new logistics apprentices being trained to acquire their HGV licences at the Eddie Stobart Training Academy in Widnes, opened in March last year.

Awaiting the many youngsters coming through the Academy is an intensive six-month Logistics Apprenticeship, during which they will spend a minimum six-weeks alongside experienced drivers gaining invaluable on-the-road experience. Only then, upon successful completion of the programme, will they be brought into the business and introduced to life as an Eddie Stobart driver. Find out who makes the grade through the course of Series 3.

The UK’s favourite lady trucker, Fiona Soltysiak, returns to prove for a third series that truck driving isn’t just a job for the boys.

Series 3 will also bare witness to the latest generation of the famous Stobart trucking family taking to the road. Twenty-year-old Edward Stobart, son of Stobart Group Chief Operating Officer William Stobart, takes his HGV test for the first time, and hopes to demonstrate that he is a natural even with the added pressures of the camera crew and the reputation of the family name at stake.

Outside of the trucking business, Series 3 takes viewers behind the scenes at one of Stobart Group’s newest and biggest developments, London Southend Airport.

Once the third busiest UK airport (trailing only Heathrow and Manchester in the 1960s), and with the world’s busiest air route (Southend – Ostend), Stobart Group, by investing over £80 million, is working to bring some of the former glory and busyness back to Southend.  With a new air traffic control tower, railway station, runway extension, terminal and hotel all now complete, the airport is truly ready for take-off with easyJet commencing 70 flights a week from April 2012 to Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Ibiza, Jersey, Malaga and Mallorca.

All this, together with continued daily flights to Waterford in Ireland, and the new Southend Airport railway station (just one hundred paces from the terminal door) whisking passengers into central London in 53 minutes and to Stratford (site of the 2012 Olympic park) in 44 minutes – make 2012 a very promising year for Stobart’s latest transport venture.

Keep up to date with all these stories and much more by tuning in to Channel 5 on Fridays at 8pm from 2 March, for eight weeks of the latest deliveries from Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers.

William Stobart, Chief Operating Officer, Stobart Group:

“Series three continues to give the UK public an insight into Eddie Stobart and the daily challenges our drivers face in the fast-paced logistics industry.

Viewers will get behind the scenes, following some of the well-known drivers, as they make deliveries around the clock. There’s some fantastic stories including our first-ever Stobart Fest, our first young apprentices taking to the road and my son Edd joining the company and making his first delivery for Eddie Stobart.

The cameras will also give the public an insight into other areas of the Stobart Group business including Biomass, Railand the new developments at our London Southend Airport.”

Eddie Stobart In Numbers

  • The Eddie Stobart fleet covers the distance equivalent to 24 laps of the earth every day.
  • 1.8 million viewers of Trucks and Trailers each week.
  • Every Eddie Stobart truck has a unique girl’s names and the names are chosen by Fan Club Members.
  • There is a waiting list of over 2 years to name a truck.
  • There are over 20,000 members of the Fan Club.
  • The company has 37,000 tyres in use as any one time.
  • Stobart Group employs more than 5,000 people.
  • There are 40 Stobart sites across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
  • Stobart operates over 6 million sq ft of warehousing space.
  • Staff work around the clock to make a delivery every 4.6 seconds.
  • Eddie Stobart Ltd celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010.
  • A delivery is made somewhere in Europe every 20 seconds.
  • The fleet uses 97 million litres of diesel every year.
  • You pass a Stobart truck every 4.5 minutes on major UK roads.

Cast Profiles

Name: Fiona Soltysiak

Age: 28 Years as HGV Driver: 4 years Depot: Newark Division: Stobart Chilled Cargo: Refrigerated food products Best known for: “There could be a big creamy mess in the back.”
Name: Mark Dixon

Age: 32 Years as HGV Driver: 10 years Truck Name: Phoebe Grace Depot: Crick Division: Eddie Stobart Cargo: Soft drinks and general goods Best known for: “Ding, dang, doo.”

Name: Tim Fox

Age: 43 Years as HGV Driver: 25 years Truck Name: Sarah Gabriella Depot: Appleton Division: Stobart Biomass Cargo: Woodchip, biomass fuel and salt. Best known for: “I’m sweating like a glass blowers arse.”

Company History

1960s: Founder, Eddie Stobart, goes into business as an agricultural contractor in the isolated Lake District village of Hesket Newmarket/Caldbeck.

1970: The business incorporates, becoming Eddie Stobart Limited, on 23 November.

1970s: Eddie Stobart’s son, Edward, drives the Company’s transition from an agricultural contracting business into road transport and warehousing, building a solid reputation across northwest England.

80s/90s: The business expands significantly, opening depots across the UK. This consistent, rapid growth helped make Eddie Stobart one of the UK’s best-known brands.

2001: William leaves Eddie Stobart Limited to become a shareholding Director in Andrew Tinkler’s rail-based infrastructure engineering business, WA Developments.

2004: WA Developments International, a holding company that is jointly owned by Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart, acquires Eddie Stobart Limited. William and Andrew implement significant changes that re-focus the business on core values and profitability, improving environmental awareness and introducing a revolutionary new costing model.

2005: Large investment is made in IT infrastructure in conjunction with the development of a key management team and the introduction of a striking new livery for the fleet.

2006: The first Stobart Rail freight service is launched.

2007: The LSE-listed Stobart Group Limited is formed through  reverse merger with Westbury Property Fund Limited.

2007: Stobart Group acquires the O’Connor Ports business, including Widnes railhead and container handling facility.

2008: The successful rail infrastructure engineering business, WA Developments, is acquired by the Group.

2008: The acquisition of James Irlam Logistics further extends Stobart Group’s transport and warehouse offering.

2008: Innovate’s chilled business is acquired from administration, heralding a strategic move for the Group into fresh and chilled food transport.

2008: The Group acquires London Southend Airport.

2009: Stobart Group enters the FTSE 250 category of leading businesses.

2009: Carlisle Lake District Airport is acquired, with the aim of providing a new northern base for the business and extending Group interests in airport service.

2009: Stobart Rail launches its first international rail freight service operating between Valencia, Spain, and the UK.

2010: Stobart Group plc takes an interest in a joint venture with A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products, ‘Stobart Biomass Products Limited’, to source and process sustainable Biomass Fuels for the low-carbon power generation industry.

2010: Eddie Stobart celebrates its 40th Anniversary on 23 November 2010.

2011: Stobart Group takes control of Stobart Biomass.

2011: Edward Stobart, driving force behind the early expansion of the company and key player in the development of the UK transport industry passes away, aged 56 on 31 March.

2011: Stobart’s Envirotrailer proposal gets the go ahead by the Government on October 11, heralding substantial potential reductions in traffic, congestion and pollution through increased LGV load volumes.

Additional Information

Stobart Members Club

The Stobart Members Club has seen its ranks swell over the last two years as the TV series has helped to drive interest in Eddie Stobart truck spotting across the UK. Since its inception, when Edward Stobart first started naming his trucks back in the 1970s, the club has been famous for its ‘Eddie Spotters’ who record every sighting of an Eddie Stobart truck.

The club now boasts over 20,000 members and each member gets the opportunity to name their own Eddie Stobart truck – there’s currently over a two-year waiting list for the privilege.

The Stobart Shop retails a huge range of merchandise to fans and the public and allows shoppers to purchase unique limited edition model trucks.

Stobart Fest

The inaugural Stobart Fest was held in September 2011 and the event attracted nearly 7,000 fans, members and Eddie Stobart supporters. Held at Rockingham Speedway, the company exhibited 16 trucks and the event gave the public a unique opportunity to meet the star drivers and vehicles and purchase the full range of Stobart merchandise.

Business Superbrand (Information under strict embargo until Monday 27th February 2012)

Eddie Stobart has entered the top-15 of the Business Superbrand list for the first ever time. Moving up from position 27 in 2011 to 15 this year, the brand has benefited from business diversification, sports sponsorship, TV exposure and enhanced interest in the Members Club. It continues to head its business category and is listed higher than global brands such as O2, Vodafone, BP and Mastercard.

London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport is well on the way to becoming afully functioning international gateway during 2012. A new Control Tower is operational, as is a new airport railway station providing fast and frequent train services direct to Stratford and to central London’s Liverpool Street Station. London Southend Airport’s new passenger terminal is now complete, as is its runway extension. In March 2011, Aer Arann started operating daily return flights from Southend to Waterford, and easyJet will commence 70 departures each week to Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Ibiza, Jersey, Malaga and Mallorca from April 2012. The airport is predicting passenger growth to 2 million passengers per year by 2020.