“As a woman in the male-dominated HGV industry, I can make the sector more accessible,” explains Laura Cardwell, the owner and Managing Director of Lymm Truckwash. “I tend to stand out, drawing attention to the important and necessary service our company provides.”
Laura has been Director of the 52-year-old family firm since 2014, and she bought the business in 2018 when her parents retired.
Laura advanced the business in 2015, taking charge of finding a new site, getting planning permission, and overseeing the build of a new headquarters. Without this input, the business would have been forced to close in December this year, when the lease for the old site expires.
The 40-year-old Director has taken the reins at a key turning point in the company’s history, as it invests £2.3 million in relocating to a new, purpose-built site, just 100 metres from its current base at Lymm Services, near Warrington.
Lymm Truckwash – situated just off Junction 20 of the M6 and Junction 9 of the M56 – will move to its new site on the opposite side of the A50 in autumn this year.
Laura says: “This is an exciting move for our company. We’re investing £2.3 million into the development of the new site to make sure we continue to provide the best possible service for our customers, who expect excellence.”
Founded in 1967, Lymm Truckwash washes more than 60,000 trucks a year for customers throughout the UK and across Europe. They boast a diverse clientele, ranging from owner-drivers to major fleet operators such as BP, DHL, and AW Jenkinson.
Laura stated: “When you look at the figures and see how many vehicles we wash, and the calibre and quantities of businesses who use us, it’s obvious we’re a crucial service. It is also a legal requirement for HGV’s to be clean, lights and number plates especially.
“Companies have to keep their trucks clean, not only because they are mobile advertisements for themselves, but if they are not kept clean then the DVSA are more likely to pull a wagon over – if they are not keeping the vehicle clean, then what else are they not doing to ensure it is safe?”
Started by Laura’s parents, John and Anne Cardwell, the firm has a dedicated team of staff who have been with the company for many years.
Laura explained: “Being a woman in this sector has its advantages and disadvantages,
“Like any industry, you feel you have to prove yourself more, and it’s hard juggling children, home, and work. However, I think it is vital that woman work to set an example to their children and the next generation – I thrive on the challenges of the work and family life balance, it is possible, you just have to be organised!”
Anne has played a key role in the business since its inception, and both of Laura’s parents continue to have money invested in Lymm Truckwash.
“My mother has been fundamental in helping to run the company,” said Laura. “Our business is mainly figures because we send out hundreds of invoices each month, and she has continued to help me since I bought the firm last August.”
Prior to becoming Director, Laura was self-employed, working across a broad range of businesses. Knowing she is hardworking and not scared to take on new challenges, Laura’s Father approached her in 2009 to join the company.
Laura added: “I’d never expected to work in the family business. I started at the bottom and worked my way up.”
While there are no female truck washers among the firm’s staff, Laura insists women are perfectly capable of taking on the job.
“They need to be hardworking and physically fit because the job can be tough and they have to work in all weathers. They also need to be flexible with a good work ethic, attitude and be able to interact well with our customers, many of whom are always up for a chat after spending many hours in their cab.”
Lymm Truckwash has recently undergone a rebrand and launched a new website, which features regular updates on the relocation.
The relocation will offer an even better experience for drivers thanks to the installation of state-of-the-art equipment and point of sale system, at a more convenient site. It will also secure the long-term future of the company and its staff.
Laura said: “The site will be quicker and easier for our customers to access from the motorway,
“We’ll continue at our current site until we’re ready to open the new premises in the autumn, so our customers can expect a seamless transition with no shutdown of our wash facility.”
For more information: Lymm Truckwash