Keeping it in the Shires Family

This article first appeared on Shires Removals Group website

One of the plentiful upsides to a family business! At Shires Removals, we have a core of inherent HGV drivers to keep business on track and customer moves fulfilled.


Where it all began…

It’s a family affair. For over 46 years, the Sweeting family has been the backbone for Shires Removals, having started as P. Sweeting Removals and Storage which was established in 1974 by Paul Sweeting.

Shires Removals was the coming together of the parent company of P. Sweeting Removals and Storage – a family run business, and the joining with other companies. This enabled Shires Removals to cover all of the shire counties including Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

But moving people and business premises didn’t stop at the counties.  Shires moves to all corners of the UK, across the channel and into Europe, and internationally around the world.

Storage is a big part of the process of moving too. And Shires Removals has over 1.5 million square foot of secure storage right in the heart of Yorkshire. This is being put to good use by domestic customers and commercial business clients alike.


From father to son… to son…

Paul’s son, Chris, is also a co-director in the business and is a fully qualified HGV driver. Having learnt the trade from his father, Chris’s son is now in the process of doing the same. In the recent summer holidays, he accompanied his father across the channel for a delivery trip to Europe. Crossing on the ferry with a full load to drop off in France was very exciting for the young next generation of Sweeting!


Paul’s daughter, Lesley, is also a key part of the operations and holds the position of co-director alongside the close team. And another family member is also an HGV driver too – thank goodness, in this time of driver shortage!

All go a long way in keeping us moving our customers!




100,000 short

Current estimates put the shortage of HGV drivers at over 100,000 – that’s a big shortfall. There are moves to try and close this gap at government and industry level but, as with everything, this takes time.


What does it take to be an HGV driver?

According to the Road Haulage Association, to drive an HGV you will initially need a car licence Category B.

Then you can take a Category C test to drive rigid HGVs over 3.5kg’s and to drive an articulated HGV you will need to pass a category C+E test.

Currently, you will have to pass all three category tests which includes a theory test as well to allow you to drive an articulated vehicle.

In January 2022 the law will change to be able to take the C+E test as soon as you have a Category B licence, and you are of the age of 18 or over.

Every five years you will need to have undertaken 35 hours of driver certificate of professional competence (DCPC) training to retain your vocational entitlement to drive.


Why are HGV drivers important?

With 98% of goods being transported by road within the UK, HGV drivers play a hugely important role to the smooth functioning of the whole of our society – with ‘just in time’ supply chains, the delivering of fuel, food (as we are currently experiencing a shortage of) amongst others, and with ensuring the economy keeps moving too. They are often the driving force behind business.

We are already experiencing first-hand what happens when there aren’t enough HGV drivers and systems soon fall apart – quite dramatically.

With the continual training requirements it also makes them some of the most safety-conscious and advanced drivers on the roads.


Not just family, but dedicated team too…

We are fortunate to have a wonderful team. And one of our drivers has been with Shires for over 25 years, and is a part of the greater sense of family. Another aspect of being assured that we have drivers on hand for long haul and short haul trips.

Rooted in Yorkshire, moving around the corner and around the world

Shires Removals is a proudly Yorkshire business, with its foundations firmly invested and rooted in this remarkable county.

At the same time, our moving and storage business reaches to the far corners of the country, and the globe.

Behind each move is a person or business who has particular needs and reasons for moving. And at Shires you’ll find a hearty northern welcome from the start, and all the way through your move. From our esteemed customers, to our highly valued team, our in-house team of drivers and porters move you in the best possible way.


“We had to move to London very last minute, and this company gave us brilliant service from start to finish. No damage at the other end. Thank you for all your hard work.”


“The team of four that came were the same on both days and I have never met more hardworking people, friendly, polite and kept their sense of humour despite the heat and challenges! 100 percent would never use any other company in the future.”


What we give to you

Everything about your move matters to us at Shires Removals.

  • We offer expedited and efficient relocation home and business moving services and storage
  • The moving experience we offer you is stress-free
  • The moving rates we offer are competitive and negotiable
  • Your personal property and information is safe with us
  • We can include organised packing and unpacking services
  • With our full-service moving, all your needs will be met


Home Moves. Office Moves. Business Moves.

Whether you are moving house or office, nationally or internationally, our friendly and helpful staff aim to make the move as easy and stress free as possible.

Our head office is located in Kinsley, near Pontefract and Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK but we cater for moves all over the country whether you are moving a few miles or a few hundred miles. Our representatives can visit you at your home to discuss your moving requirements, with no charge and with no obligation to use us.


We provide Local, National and International Removals, Packing, and Storage services to Domestic and Commercial customers.

You find a place, and we’ll take you there!