Ernest Cooper celebrate centenary in style
Bespoke Volvo truck marks 100 years in business while raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support
TO mark 100 years in business, Wakefield-based Ernest Cooper Ltd have invested in a bespoke Volvo FH16 750 gold-coloured tractor unit that will help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support over the next 12 months.
Supplied by Crossroads Truck and Bus Ltd, no expense has been spared on the flagship FH16, which is powered by a Volvo D16K engine that boasts 750hp and 3,550Nm of torque, and is coupled to a 12-speed I-Shift gearbox.
Other highlights include Volvo Dynamic Steering, two large stainless-steel vertical exhausts from TruckMax and unique side skirts from S&B Components. The truck runs with a Wilcox trailer, which – like the tractor unit – has also been painted gold.
The company was founded in 1919 when Ernest Cooper and his brother George started hauling axle units for trains from Leeds to London. They soon got into the tipper market, but the two brothers split in 1965 and Ernest went alone with his sons to carry on what is now Ernest Cooper Ltd.
The business now has the fourth generation of the family on the books and runs 60 of its own vehicles (all Volvos) and around 60 tractor units for permanent sub-contractors.
Lee Cooper, director and grandson of Ernest Cooper, felt it was important to recognize 100 years as a transport operator with a special vehicle. ‘It’s not the type of occasion that comes around every day, so we wanted to make sure the truck had everything on it that it could have,’ he said.
‘It’s been airbrushed with a picture of my mother, who passed away from cancer eight years ago. We have also gone into partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and there are graphics from the charity on the truck too.’
The graphics represent a wider collaboration between Ernest Cooper and the charity, as the truck will be raising money while it works.
‘Whatever the FH16 earns during the year, we’re donating to the charity,’ explained Mr Cooper. ‘It is being used in exactly the same way as any of the other vehicles, going to all the same quarries and customers, but any profit from the gold FH16 goes straight to Macmillan.’
The truck officially entered service on 16 June, having been formally unveiled to the business at a party in April.
‘Only a few people in the company knew about it – I wanted it to be a surprise,’ Mr Cooper revealed. ‘I was driving it around at night to make sure no one saw me. We’re very pleased with the outcome and look forward to raising lots of money for charity over the coming year.’