Creditors of Bedworth Haulage said they picked up on rumours of trouble at the company in the weeks before it entered administration.

The Warwickshire temperature-controlled haulier failed in January due to historic debt and unprofitable contracts.

Adrian Boyes, MD at AD Boyes Haulage Logistics in Peterborough, said he was given “the nod” that things weren’t right at the company and he was able to claw back most of the £4,000 it was owed before the administration.

“I stopped doing work for them,” he said. “We did mainly fridge work, bananas back up from Portsmouth.”

Boyes criticised the pre-pack deal that allowed the business to continue after the assets were sold to C4 Safety.

“How can people in this industry go bust and start up in the next couple of days?

“For someone like us, an honest, hardworking family business, we struggle to make ends meet and it gets harder when diesel goes up and people don’t want to pay for the increase.

“This industry is a nightmare!”

A spokeswoman for Callerton Haulage in County Durham said it “heard on the grapevine” that Bedworth was struggling before it received confirmation from the administrators.

“I totally understand why businesses are going up and down,” she added. “Fuel prices are going up; our fuel bill is £50,000 a month and that’s before wages and all the other overheads.”

The spokeswoman added that the company that bought Bedworth’s business for less than £17,000, C4-Safety, had not yet approached Callerton Haulage to undertake any work.

Robert Steven Thacker, who was director of the insolvent company, has been employed at C4-Safety, according to the administrator Quantuma's report.