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old_picA.J.Maiden & Son Ltd was founded by Arthur Maiden in 1931, operating from a farm near the rural hamlet of Allscott, and in close proximity to the British Sugar factory that was erected in 1927.  In its infancy the company’s activities centred on the local agricultural industry, hauling goods in and out of farms. It is fair to say that this was arduous work as we see it now, without the benefit of pallets; goods were either transported in bulk, or loaded and offloaded manually onto flat-bed vehicles, then roped down and sheeted. The company established a relationship with British Sugar that survived right up until the demise of the Allscott factory in 2007, and to this day, the transport of fertiliser for major manufacturers still makes up a proportion of our work.

By 1970 the A.J.Maiden & Son Ltd fleet numbered some 25 vehicles, Arthur retired in May of that year and his son, also called Arthur, took over the reins of the company. Arthur's first move was to reduce the size of the fleet to 6 vehicles, and at the same time, he commenced a clearing house operation, sub-contracting much of the work to third party hauliers. During this period, the transport of fertiliser became a much larger proportion of the company’s business, handling the commodity from a local rail head as well as hauling it into store or to farm by road. Arthur could always be found in the goods yard at Wellington “hand-balling” hundredweight bags of fertiliser out of railway wagons onto trailers for transportation into store. At it’s height in the mid seventies, working under contract for ICI, the company held 22,000 tonnes of fertiliser in three locations, the introduction of ½ and ¾ ton tote bags reduced the handling effort considerably! A.J.Maiden & Son Ltd offered a 24/7 operation even in the ‘70s, an attitude that secured much of its business for years to come.

In May 1987, Arthur retired from the day to day operations of the company, and John Maiden, the current MD, who had worked in the business since leaving school, took over a fleet of 9 vehicles and 12 trailers. One of John’s first moves was to assess the way the business operated, and coming to the conclusion that agricultural work alone resulted in peaks and troughs due to the seasonal nature of the work involved, John investigated new avenues for Maidens to follow. A new livery was applied to the vehicles, and potential customers were approached as part of a programme to even out the seasonal fluctuations, and get the best utilisation out of the fleet.

Over the ensuing years, John approached new customers operating in new (to Maidens) markets, the inherent flexibility of A.J.Maiden & Son Ltd saw it cope easily with the many changes demanded of its operation, the commitment to service levels and the adaptability of it’s staff saw the business reach 20 vehicles and 30 trailers by the mid nineties, many bearing the livery of our clients. John puts the success of the company down to hard work and the good fortune of meeting the right people at the right time, and the relentless hard work and commitment of all it’s staff.

Consistent growth, both by the acquisition of new clients and the inevitable growth of our own established customers has resulted in the fleet reaching its current size of some 73 vehicles and 130 trailers, seriously outgrowing its home in Allscott. John looked at the idea of moving to a new base with the theory of actually saving money. Consequently, a £2million pound investment saw the opening of our new purpose built yard and warehouses in Donnington Wood in the spring of 2010. This has actually removed some 20,000 miles per annum from the fleets total.

The new home saw the business enter a new and exciting era of its history, in November 2010 A.J.Maiden & Son Ltd became a  member of the renowned Palletforce network. The pallet distribution operation is managed by John’s son, AJ, also a director, and the fourth generation of Maiden to join the company. Our membership of Palletforce has facilitated the option to offer premium service deliveries of small consignments, and allowed us to tender for complete distribution packages, providing something of a one stop shop in this respect. The resultant growth in business attributed to our membership of Palletforce has led to the addition of extra vehicles, and the recruitment of additional administrative staff and drivers. The latter joining a team where the longest serving member of staff has completed 32 years of service, and that after being told in 1979 by Arthur Maiden that he didn’t think he’d last the course! The company still revolves around the core values of quality and care, the family ethos is as strong as ever.

2011 was a milestone year for A.J.Maiden & Son Ltd, celebrating its 80th year, and although John Maiden recognises that this is a momentous occasion, his thoughts are fixed firmly on the future, the retention of loyal customers and staff, and the acquisition of more business clients with a need for a quality transport service.

If you don’t know us, then please give us a call and we will give you an uncompromising level of service with total commitment to quality, as we have given our many customers for the last 80 years, and promise to do so well into the future!!

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