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Trucking icon dies at 56

Edward Stobart, the trucking magnate who is credited with growing his father's business into an international concern, died on 31 March aged 56.

The Stobart Group said in a statement that Edward died due to heart problems and is survived by his parents, wife and children.

Eddie Stobard Ltd was founded in the 1950s by Eddie Stobart Sr. What began as a small agri-business, grew to become a household name in UK haulage. Second-generation Edward was instrumental in expanding the UK-based group's operations to include haulage.

Stobart began his career driving tipper trucks during a motorway construction. According to the group website, he then used his father's delivery trucks and expanded the business into a haulage company. He began with eight trucks and 12 employees, and over the next 25 years transformed the company to include 1000 trucks and 2000 employees.

Stobart is known to have revolutionised the trucking business by introducing uniforms for drivers, and for naming his trucks after girls. His first green and white truck was named after the supermodel "Twiggy".

Reports say that the Eddie Stobart trucks have a big fan base and are a part of counting games during long car journeys.

The former managing director of the Stobart Group for over 30 years, Stobart sold the family business to his brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler in 2004. The business still remains family controlled; William serves as chief operating officer of the group. The company reported 2010 revenues of around $710 million.

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