4 April 2022
It was four years ago that Dargate Haulage Limited, a Sittingbourne, Kent-based family transport business run by husband and wife team Stefan and Olga Hristov, began investing in Scania. Finance for the company's initial acquisition – a used R 450 6x2 Highline tractor unit – was provided by Scania Financial Services. Today, Dargate and SFS enjoy a strong working relationship which is helping this fast-growing haulier continue its successful development.
"When we visited Scania Purfleet for our first truck, SFS's Business Manager Keanu Bertram introduced himself and offered assistance. I have to say that SFS's service has been excellent from the outset. Keanu provided all the information and help we needed without any hesitation or delay, and answered all our questions so we had a completely clear picture of the investment we were about to make. That gave us great confidence in taking what was for us, a small family business, a large step forward."
Following on from that initial investment, Dargate Haulage has continued to purchase Scania trucks and currently operates ten out of a total fleet of 12 vehicles. "The support we have received throughout from Scania and SFS has really helped us on our journey to the point where we have now put pen to paper and signed for our first and second new Scania trucks," says Stefan. "They will both be 500 S tractor units, and once again SFS will be providing the finance."
Despite Dargate Haulage's sustained growth, the company experienced a major bump in the road when coronavirus struck. "Like so many other businesses, the pandemic hit us hard," confirms Stefan. "But SFS were there for us throughout. Most importantly, they arranged payment holidays for us during lockdown. That gave us the flexibility we needed and we're indebted to the SFS team for the help they gave us at that difficult time."
More than eighty percent of Dargate Haulage's business involves the carriage of refrigerated goods, and in addition to its tractor units SFS has provided finance for seven refrigerated trailers.
With its assets acquired on Hire Purchase, Dargate Haulage also protects its investment in trucks with GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) and RTI (Return to Invoice) insurance cover. "That gives us peace of mind," says Stefan. "Everything is sourced via SFS and its insurance broker, which means we effectively have a one-stop shop for both our finance and insurance. SFS is a trusted partner and our Business Manager uses his knowledge and experience to offer us bespoke financial solutions. Having this kind of assistance available is really helpful for a growing haulier like us as it not only gives us confidence but also leaves us free to concentrate on serving our customers, rather than running around looking for business support services."