Against the economic odds, Motorvation in Chilham has enjoyed a fantastic year. And the Olympics played a vital part in its success.
Managing director Steve Marshall looks back on 2012 with a happy smile – “one of the busiest years in our history”, he says. “We were fortunate to be given the contract to provide back-up services for the Olympic torch tour. What a fantastic opportunity, but total madness. Sixty-six events in 68 days. Madness!
“We lost a lot of sleep planning for the tour – especially when we had so little time to prepare. We had put in a quote about six months before, not knowing exactly what the job was, because of the tight security around the whole Olympic schedule. We were only confirmed as the successful applicants two months before the torch run started.”
Motorvation specialises in providing gleaming, purpose-fitted trucks for specialist activities. Car launches, conferences and road shows are the regular venues for the company’s eight staff and 10 vehicles, ranging from 7,500 to 38,000kg maximum weight.
The company was formed in 1987 by Steve and two colleagues, who left their former jobs to set up the specialist haulage business. The two partners have since been bought out and Steve now operates alone.
Motorvation is a market leader in transporting lighting, scenery, sound and audio visual systems for the promotional world. Steve is particularly proud of the work he does with IBM, taking the latest computer equipment round to IT shows across Europe.
The equipment travels in a superb multi-purpose truck with a trailer fitted with sections, which fold out on hydraulic arms – a process reminiscent of the sci-fi Transformer toys which were so popular with boys in the 1980s.
Steve said: “The IBM truck is so busy it spends virtually the whole year touring Europe, with its two permanent drivers. It’s a huge honour to work with the company.”
With the help of Stour Valley Estates, Motorvation moved to its present site in Chilham in August – immediately after the hectic Olympic tour – from its former home in Lenham. The company needed a more-secure home, within reasonable reach of motorways and the coast. Chilham provided just that.
Steve said: “We are a niche company, providing a high-class service for our customers. We rely on our reputation and find we get new contracts mainly from word of mouth. It’s a great job and a great feeling.
“With our broad range of vehicles, we are able to handle anything from the smaller personalised event in a 7.5-tonne rigid, through to the much larger shows with any number of artic trailers. Our fleet is modern and reaches European exhaust emission standards that are required to not only travel to all countries, but also to enter most European cities.
“Our drivers are a major part of the success of the company. Most of them have been with the company for several years and are well known to our clients for their reliability, politeness, sense of humour and hard work on site. If anyone needs working drivers we have some of the best workers on site who will become part of the crew to make any event a success.”