Denny-based haulage firm celebrates reaching 100 years in business

Employees of a haulage company celebrating its 100th anniversary are as driven as ever to continue striving for success.

By Jonathon Reilly
Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 3:04 pm
From left: Conor Smith, Russell Smith, Andrew Smith and Jordan Smith, of James Smith (Denny) Ltd
From left: Conor Smith, Russell Smith, Andrew Smith and Jordan Smith, of James Smith (Denny) Ltd

James Smith (Denny) Ltd has racked up a centenary of service in the distribution industry and staff at the family firm couldn’t be prouder.

Although the exact date the business was founded is unknown, the fact it was set up in 1919 is cause enough for celebration for everyone involved with the Denny-based company.

To mark the milestone, James Smith (Denny) workers decided to build their own stand at this year’s Truckfest event at the Royal Highland Showground in Ingleston to showcase a 1948 Leyland Steer the firm had specially renovated for the occasion.

As further part of the centenary year, drivers’ uniforms have been updated, as has all of the firm’s branded paperwork. Bosses have also announced new trucks will be taking to the roads.

Directors Andrew (54) and Russell Smith (57) are the third generation of Smiths to take charge of the haulier, following in the footsteps of their grandfather, James — a former station master at Denny railway yard — and their father, Robert, known as Roy, who died in 1988.

Andrew said: “The anniversary is something we’ve seen coming for a while but it crept up on us and just happened!

“It’s a great achievement. My brother and I, we’ve been part of the business as employees since we were teenagers but really part of it since we were toddlers.

“I never knew my grandfather but my father took over from his father and he ran it for a long time.

“It wasn’t really as much the intention for us to get involved, it was more the unseen obvious. We weren’t pressured to do that but my father took unwell and we just had to get on with it.”

While distribution methods may have changed over the decades, the company’s values have never altered.

Carrying on the traditions of the past into the future has been at the heart of what the Smith brothers have tried to do from the outset, from when they started off hand-loading freights into vehicles up until their present day roles.

So much so, the lineage of Smiths who have worked for the firm has extended to include Andrew’s son Jordan, who runs the workshop, and Russell’s children Conor and Forress, who work in distribution and human resources respectively.

Andrew explained: “It’s a family firm and it’s very much a family atmosphere — that’s one of the strongest attributes of it.

“Everybody here gets involved with everything. We have 48 staff and 25 trucks on the road at the moment.

“In general, we do have long-standing employees. One of our longest-standing employees is William Hamilton who’s 87 and been here for more than 60 years.

“We’ve got several drivers who have been here for 30-plus years. We have fathers and sons, uncles and nephews and brothers and cousins outwith the Smith family.

“And we still work for local firms; Carron Bathrooms and Nathan’s Wastesavers are two big customers.”

Bosses regard moving to their current headquarters in Winchester Avenue in 2010 as one of their biggest achievements, yet bigger still has been James Smith (Denny)’s ability to constantly attract a committed workforce.

Andrew added: “I’d like to thank the past, present and any future employees because it’s the effort of the people who work here that makes it.”