P. Harper & Sons Limited operate a clean and well maintained fleet, dedicated to the agricultural industry and focus 100% on the needs of our customers. Harpers is a family business with Nigel and Jonathan Harper actively managing the company.
Founded in 1962 by their father Peter Harper from the family farm and today's operating centre with one lorry he bought from his former employer.
Peter decided to go it alone and, with the Austin he purchased, hauling wheat in 2cwt sacks to London and animal feed back to local farms. The haulage rate then, Peter said, was £1 ton down and £1 ton back with a tank of 250 gallons of diesel costing him £80 which would last him almost a month.
In 1964, Peter bought his first new lorry - a new BMC reg number 654 LEW for £2000.
This vehicle had an engine designed at 45 degrees in the chassis to make more room in the cab, but it proved to be a disaster. The engines only lasted about 6 months due to metal fatigue and as Peter had to pay for them, he went through very testing times.
In 1965, Peter started to haul farm produce to the wholesale markets which was the start of the potato movement which is the mainstay of the business today.
In 1980, Peter's eldest son, Nigel joined the firm after completing a five year apprenticeship with a local ERF dealer Sellers and Batty. With Nigel's arrival, the fleet expanded to two vehicles with the arrival of their second ERF. In 1982 Peter's youngest son Jonathan left school
to go to agricultural college to concentrate on the farming side of the business. In the same year, the company started trading as P. Harper & Sons.
In 1984 with the need for produce to be transported in tautliners, a Volvo six-wheeler curtainsider entered the fleet.
In 1987, Jonathan passed his HGV as an artic was needed to transport larger loads of potatoes to South Wales.
Heading towards the 90's with the wholesale markets diminishing and the supermarkets getting more share of the produce the company shifted it's focus, Harpers moved into hauling potatoes in boxes and bulkers from temperature controlled stores on farms to potato packers. This diversion continues to this day.
Wanting to celebrate their 40th year of service in the transport industry, a limited Edition Scania topliner was added to the fleet.
Nowadays assisting in the day to day running of the company is the third generation of Harpers - Nigel's 2 sons Matthew who helps in the office but turns his hand to driving most days and Adam. All the traffic comes through the firms transport office where you will find Nigel a lot of the time assisted by his wife, Lesley - who concentrates on the administration side of the business.
Harpers take great pride in their fleet and all the hard work paid off when the firm took FIRST PLACE in the BEST KEPT FLEET at the Truckfest in Peterborough in 2003, followed by another FIRST IN 2005.
With the turn of the millennium Harpers invested in more trailers and lorries to build up what is today a thriving business. With temperature controlled produce distribution being a massive factor today, Harpers have built up their fridge box and insuliner trailer fleet to what their customers require. Harpers took delivery of their first Iveco tractor unit in 2006 and now run 4 of them along side 7 Scanias and 1 Volvo. With a dedicated and hard working team P.Harper & Sons Ltd make sure they are always looking towards the future and excited about what it brings.