Maple Celebrates 50 Years in Business!

How It All Began…

2024 Marks a significant milestone in the company’s history, as Maple celebrate 50 years in business!

The company was established in 1974 by Jim Maple, under the name ‘J Maple & Son’, offering a range of vehicle security solutions. Jim had previously worked as a Sales Engineer for a company providing burglar-alarms and fire-detection systems. He had established a new vehicle security division but despite finding success and building a strong customer base the company was forced to make redundancies and Jim found himself out of work.

Faced with an uncertain job market, Jim’s wife Margret, a feisty and stubborn northerner was adamant that Jim should set up his own business. Despite his initial reluctance Jim was eventually convinced to take his wife’s advice and in December 1974 began trading as J.Maple & Son.

It was a time when cargo crime was on the rise, with commercial vehicles lacking in even basic security features and demand for the company’s services quickly grew. Having become disillusioned with the level of sophistication in the products offered by manufacturers and the pace of development, Jim decided that he must take matters into his own hands, so set about developing the company’s own solutions.

It proved to be a wise decision with both Jim and the company earning a reputation for providing industry leading commercial vehicle safety and security products. We are proud of this rich design heritage which has seen the company lead the way with ground-breaking design, achieving a number of significant ‘firsts’ within the industry.

This has included products such as:

  • FreightLock – a pneumatic door locking solution, patented in the early 1980s and built specifically for commercial vehicle operators. FreightLock has evolved over four decades to meet the demands of modern fleet operators but remains as popular as ever.
  • Key Operated Slamlocks – for panel vans, now widely adopted throughout the transport industry. Maple is proud to have led the way!
  • RFID Platform IQ – a revolutionary solution combining high security locking capabilities, with sophisticated electronic sealing and access control technology.
  • DriveLock – innovative driver recognition system, protecting unattended or idling vehicles, while the driver is engaged with other activity,
  • SafeConnect – award winning safe trailer coupling device.

A Family Business…

Jim soon welcomed his son Alan Maple into the fold, who’s passion for innovative design continued to drive the business forward. Ian Lennard, Alan’s brother-in-law also joined the company and in 1990 both were formally appointed directors of the business. As the company continued to expand, they welcomed Terry Orton to the board of directors. Terry had overseen the development of the company’s installation network and aftersales division at Hinckley.

Today, Maple employs more than fifty people right across the UK, with distributors across the world. The company may have increased in size but we are proud to have remained a family business, passed down through three generations, with head offices still rooted in Stockport.

Following their own retirement from Maple, Alan, Ian and Terry were delighted to be able to leave the company in the very capable hands of their own children, Christina Maple-Connor, Andrew Lennard & Dayle Lusty, who had already gained many years of experience and knowledge working in their families business.

During the last 50 years, the industry in which we operate has made many positive and notable changes. Security of commercial vehicles is unrecognisable compared to the 1970’s, whilst vehicle and passenger safety has happily made huge strides. Despite these positive changes, cargo crime remains a major issue for the road transport industry and we will continue in our mission to bring new, innovate solutions to meet the needs of today’s fleet operators.

Commenting on the 50 year anniversary Christina Maple-Connor said “As Maple looks back with pride and forward with anticipation, the 50th-anniversary celebrations serve as a poignant reminder of the company’s enduring commitment to excellence, innovation and making a positive difference to the road transport industry and our local communities.”

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