RH & AJ BATEMAN IS A FAMILY-RUN BULK HAULAGE AND AGGREGATE SUPPLY BUSINESS BASED IN THE MENDIP HILLS OF SOMERSET. BULK & TIPPER HAS BEEN TO FOUROAKS FARM, NEAR BRUTON, TO MEET HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM RUSSELL AND ANDREA BATEMAN, WHO OWN THE COMPANY.
“I used to be almost in tears every morning as I walked out to my truck,” Russell Bateman recalls. It certainly wasn’t an auspicious start to his haulage business, driving a second-hand Mercedes 2421 six-wheeled tipper. “It was a beast! The engine was supposed to be 210 horsepower, but I reckon 80 of them were dead! Andrea would hear me coming from miles away and put the tea on. By the time I got home, the meal was cooked! I had to re-seal the exhaust joints every weekend.”
Running his own business certainly wasn’t living up to what Russell had been hoping for when he first decided to work for himself. “I started at Foster Yeoman when I left school and worked on their farms before moving over to the quarry. I worked in the weighbridge and control centre before moving to the transport office. I was with them for about 12 years then left and milked my father-in-law’s cows for another five years, before going back to Foster Yeoman.
THE MOLLON FAMILY’S BULKWELD BUSINESS HAS CARVED AN ENVIABLE REPUTATION FOR PRODUCT QUALITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICE IN SCOTLAND’S SPECIALIST LOGISTICS SECTOR. BULK & TIPPER HEADS FOR THE COMPANY’S CENTRAL SCOTLAND BASE AT DECHMONT.
The M8 motorway is central Scotland’s main artery, linking Edinburgh in the east with Glasgow and the Clyde coast in the west. Adhering to the well-known criteria of ‘location, location, location,’ – over the decades, many transport related industries have established bases close to this key route. BulkWeld’s Dechmont premises, less than a minute’s drive from Junction 3 at Livingston, is sited beside the old A8 trunk road. Ease of accessibility is just one of several factors that has boosted business at this renowned fabrication, repair and maintenance facility, which enjoys close and long established links to several bulk transport spheres.
The Mollon family has carved a hard won and trusted reputation in Scotland’s close-knit road transport industry. Eddy Mollon started out as a welder with the former Trunk Trailers business before moving to Wilcox.
WHEN FOX BROTHERS, THE BLACKPOOL-BASED HAULIER AND EARTHWORKS CONTRACTOR, ACQUIRED CLIVE HURT PLANT HIRE IN SEPTEMBER 2020, IT BROUGHT TOGETHER TWO OF THE NORTH WEST’S BIGGEST OPERATORS, AND CREATED A BUSINESS WITH AN ANNUAL TURNOVER OF CLOSE TO 50 MILLION POUNDS. BULK & TIPPER HAS BEEN TO MEET THE NEW GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR, PAUL FOX, AND DISCOVERED THAT THE LINKS BETWEEN THE TWO COMPANIES GO BACK A LONG WAY.
It’s nearly 90 years since Paul’s great grandfather, Jack Fox, and his brothers, bought a couple of four-wheelers for the haulage of coal around the North West. They also operated a coach when they first started out in 1932, but within a few months Jack took full ownership of the fledgling company. But it was after the Second World War that the business started to grow. Jack’s son, Harold, who was always known as ‘Barney’, or by his initials HF, had returned from service with the Merchant Navy at the same time that American forces were leaving the UK, and selling off huge quantities of military equipment. Jack and HF acquired several tippers and items of plant in 1946, and started getting into earthworks and muck shifting. One of their first big contracts was to lengthen the runways at RAF Burtonwood, near Warrington, to enable the US Air Force to fly B-29 Superfortress bombers in and out of the airfield.
WHEN STUART MCKENZIE WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD, HE SPENT HAPPY DAYS SITTING IN HIS HOME NEAR CARLISLE COUNTING WASHERS INTO PILES OF 100. BUT 50 YEARS LATER, RUNNING K&S MCKENZIE, THE MOTOR FACTOR BUSINESS SET UP BY HIS FATHER, HAS BECOME A BIT MORE COMPLEX. BULK & TIPPER HAS BEEN TO MEET HIM.
Back in 1968, K&S founder Keith McKenzie was working for his brother as a coach builder. Part of his job was sourcing parts to make vehicle bodies, but he realised he couldn’t find any locally, and had to look further afield. He suggested to his brother there was a market for selling spares for commercial vehicles because there was no one else doing it in the North West. His brother agreed with him and told him to give it a go. More than 50 years later, K&S McKenzie now operates from two purpose built premises on the outskirts of Carlisle, supplying spare parts, and a whole lot more, to customers across the whole country. Sadly, Keith died in 1996, but his wife, Sara, (the ‘S’ in K&S), is still the managing director, although the day to day running of the company is in the hands of her sons, Stuart and Alastair.
OXFORDSHIRE- BASED KEL-BERG IS ONE OF THE UK’S LEADING TRAILER AND TRUCK SUPPLIERS. BULK & TIPPER FINDS OUT ABOUT ITS EARLY HISTORY AND THE TRANSITION TO ITS MODERN-DAY OPERATION.
Speed of response is vital in modern business. Vehicle and equipment dealers have to balance the cost of holding expensive stock, against the risk of losing business to competitors. As all types of modern vehicles are now far more complex, often with a wide range of options. Lead times for new chassis are often measured in months rather than weeks. Add the time taken to get a body built and fitted, plus any additional equipment and then quite possibly a trip to a paint shop, can result in it taking well over six months if the market is buoyant and demand is strong.
When the market is booming almost every truck manufacturer, bodybuilder and specialist supplier are invariably working flat out. Material shortages, limited numbers of skilled staff etc, inevitably leads to further delays, which mean that production schedules slide and lead times increase.
THE HAULAGE INDUSTRY IS FIRMLY IN THE BLOOD AT BEN SAYER WESTMORLAND. BULK & TIPPER CATCHES UP WITH THE CUMBRIAN-BASED BUSINESS TO LEARN THE SECRETS BEHIND THE SUCCESS OF THIS CLOSELY-KNIT FIRM.
The wagons of Ben Sayer Westmorland have been a regular fixture on the roads surrounding its base in the Cumbrian village of Brough for the best part of a century. Over the course of 85 years, the family-run business has grown steadily, overcoming all challenges thrown its way – including tragedy – to establish itself as a well-known and well-respected member of the haulage industry. Started way back in 1936 as an owner-driver operation by Ben Sayer himself, the company now runs nine trucks and nine trailers, moving a wide variety of bulk goods around the UK.
“We’ve come quite a long way I suppose when you think about it,” remarks Alan Pattinson, the fourth generation of the Sayer dynasty, who now oversees the business alongside his brother Neal and their father John. “I think, overall, we’re pretty happy at the size of the business just now.