The evolution of Gumbles Amusements: a testament to DAF Trucks’ versatility

At HTC Group, we take pride in providing vehicles that meet the diverse needs of our customers. One of the most inspiring examples of this versatility can be seen in the story of Gumbles Amusements. For years, this family-run business has been a staple in the UK fun fair and entertainment industry, evolving and innovating with the times. Their journey with DAF trucks is a testament to entrepreneurial spirit and the flexibility of DAF vehicles.

From humble beginnings to official establishment

Gumbles Amusements has delighted audiences for years, but the company officially came into its own about 15 years ago. Initially relying on classic ERF and Foden trucks, which are still common sights at UK fun fairs, the team at Gumbles knew they needed to adapt to continue thriving. Their search for reliable, adaptable vehicles led them to DAF, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The first leap: A 12-tonne DAF LF

The story begins in late 2014, with Gumbles Amusements’ acquisition of a 12-tonne DAF LF, an ex-carpet delivery lorry. This purchase, made by the founder’s father, marked a pivotal moment. Over six months, the team transformed this vehicle at their base, installing a diesel generator to power the fair, adding internal racking, and shelving, and fitting side skirting and ‘belly’ boxes. The modified LF also transported inflatable bumper cars and towed a catering van, showcasing the remarkable adaptability of DAF trucks.

Growing the fleet: an 18-tonne DAF LF

Buoyed by the success of their first DAF, Gumbles Amusements expanded their fleet with a second DAF LF, this time an 18-tonne model with a larger body and crew cab combination. This vehicle underwent significant modifications to enhance its functionality and aesthetics, including a Palfinger cantilever tail lift for easier loading of heavy inflatables. Despite missing out on a matching sister lorry, the new LF proved to be an invaluable addition, reinforcing the company’s commitment to innovation and operational efficiency.

Embracing the future: the DAF XF

Looking to the future, Gumbles Amusements recently acquired a DAF XF to support their new mini coaster set to arrive in 2024. Customised to integrate seamlessly with their existing fleet, the DAF XF features a Dutch-style rear bumper, a generator mount, side skirts, and a walking floor. This truck, designed to meet show truck standards, is ready to transport new rides and uphold Gumbles’ legacy of fun and innovation.

Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship

The Gumbles Amusements story exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking we celebrate at HTC Group. Their journey with DAF trucks demonstrates how versatile these vehicles can be, adapting to a variety of needs and helping businesses thrive.

For other entrepreneurs, especially those in the entertainment and events industry, the Gumbles experience underscores the importance of thinking creatively and embracing flexibility in vehicle use. Whether converting a delivery truck into a mobile power unit for a fun fair or customising a truck for specific business needs, DAF trucks offer endless possibilities.

By sharing the Gumbles Amusements story, we hope to inspire others to see the potential in DAF trucks and explore new ways to achieve their business goals. Here’s to the road ahead and the endless possibilities it holds.