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25 years in business for DJ who set up £5m truck empire from council flat

PUBLISHED: 14:44 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:44 19 July 2018

Truck tycoon Adam Hopcroft with sales and marketing director Mark Steel at the opening of PPL's new branch in west London. Picture: PPL

Truck tycoon Adam Hopcroft with sales and marketing director Mark Steel at the opening of PPL's new branch in west London. Picture: PPL

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A Willesden DJ who first hit on the idea of a delivery business over a pint is celebrating a quarter of a century as a trucking tycoon.

Part of Adam Hopcroft's PPL fleet. Picture: PPLPart of Adam Hopcroft's PPL fleet. Picture: PPL

While working at the decks, Adam Hopcroft was chatting to a friend who let slip he had spent £600 on taxis for deliveries.

“I said I work at night so I could do some of that,” said Adam. “I started doing the odd job here and there with a Transit van. It grew quickly, particularly the work I was doing with Spicers Stationery, so I started adding drivers.”

His HQ? His bedroom in his council flat in Stonebridge.

“It sort of grew from there,” he told the Brent & Kilburn Times.

“Well, it moved into the front room.”

That was 25 years ago and now Adam’s company PPL has an annual turnover of more than £5million.

What started as a couple of people with a van has grown into a workforce of 52 and today PPL operates a fleet of 40 vehicles.

It was a bit of a bumpy ride to get here, though.

The company got into financial trouble and Adam was declared bankrupt in 2004 for historic dept.

His wife Deborah stepped in and helped steer PPL while Adam sorted out the finances.

“We got up, brushed ourselves off and carried on,” he said.

Linking up with Pall-Ex, a pallet delivery network, helped.

“We now service specific postcodes – the west of London, the north west and Harrow,” says Adam.

He’s learnt first hand that running a business and being responsible for others is no walk in the park.

“It’s hard work but if I want to do something I’ll throw myself into it,” said the entrepreneur.

“If something takes my interest then I give it 100 per cent. I wanted to be as good as I could be.”

But he couldn’t do it without Deborah, who works as PPL’s operations manager. “She’s at the coal face of the company,” said Adam.

“And I just steer it.”

So what sage advice would he give budding business people from his home town thinking about starting 
their own £5million company?

“It’s a case of not giving up,” he said.

“You will be knocked down but you’ve just got to keep on going.”

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