Company Information

The Richard Read Story

The Richard Read story began in 1946, when Mr. Richard Read Snr., made two decisions that were to affect him for the rest of his life. The first one was to marry Amelia, and the second was to start his own business.

Richard had been influenced by the success of his father who had been hauling since 1913, and on his return from wartime service with the Royal Navy, he gave up his driving job with his brother's firm to build up a stake to launch his own transport business. Richard went in for sinking wells - not for oil but water. There was no sophisticated drilling rig to use; all that he had was a spade and the bend in his back. His first lorry cost him £350.00 and in the first month of operation, he remembers handling 1,350 tons of stone to help build the Gloucester Ring Road. Extra contracts soon followed and additional lorries were bought and shortly afterwards Richard bought his first new vehicle, a Bedford four-wheeler, registration number KFH 8.

It wasn't until 1959 that the relationship between the ERF Company and Richard Read came into being, a long association in which Richard took great pride.

At that time Richard purchased his first ERF, registration TDG 689 and it was the first Articulated Tractor Unit in the fleet. During the 1960's, Richard and Amelia ran a fleet of 87 vehicles, an all-time high for the company and meanwhile the ERF Distributorship, Richard Read (Commercials) Ltd was starting to sell new ERF vehicles throughout the United Kingdom.

ERF Ltd was ultimately purchased by MAN Truck & Bus UK who took over responsibilities for all vehicle sales during 2003.  At that time Richard Read (Transport) Ltd became an MAN Truck Centre. The franchise was held up until the end of March 2017 at which point the company left the MAN Dealer Network and became an independent Truck Centre which it remains today.

Those who knew Richard will tell you he was never afraid of making an investment in a new venture, and it was at the end of the 1970's that he built his first warehouse on his 6 acre site at Longhope. Whether or not he knew it at the time, his decision effectively changed the course of direction for his companies in their future years.

During the 1980's a further warehouse was built and additional space was rented.

In 1995 Richard, at last, was able to buy land at Cinderford. A 4.5 acre site was purchased and a 71,000 sq. ft. warehouse erected.

The new warehouse had fully mobile racking installed to one third of the floor space and is capable of holding a total of nearly 20,000 pallets at any time.  At the beginning of 1997, a second warehouse of 21,000 sq. ft. was added to the Cinderford site.

Sadly during 2014, Richard’s wife Amelia passed away followed shortly afterwards by Richard himself.  The company however, and the strong heritage that he left continue to be managed by the family, with his son Richard taking control as Managing Director, supported by Directors Mrs. Kay Read and Mrs. Brenda Herring.