JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE MOVING SCRAP METAL DOESN’T MEAN YOUR WAGONS HAVE TO LOOK SCRAPPY! BULK & TIPPER HAS BEEN TO VISIT A COMPANY IN THE NORTH WEST WHOSE TRUCKS TURN HEADS WHEREVER THEY GO!
When a Hollywood A-lister tells you your trucks look good, you know you must be doing something right! The celebrity concerned is James Bond actor Daniel Craig, and the truck owner is J Davidson, a scrap metal processor from Altrincham. Its airbrushed vehicles have been attracting attention at truck shows up and down the country for several years, but when they’re not on display, they have to earn their keep in the far-from-glamorous world of scrap metal.
The company was established 50 years ago, in 1970, when Jack Davidson set up a skip hire and waste management company, operating a couple of Seddon-Atkinson eight-wheelers. Jack’s son, Jamie, joined the company a few years later, and then, sadly, found himself at the helm at the age of just 26 when his father died unexpectedly. Although he’s the managing director, he’s very hands on, and spends most of his day at the controls of one of three scrap-handlers in the yard. His son, Lee, works with his father in the yard, and Lee’s brother Luke, along with his sister, Jaimee-Lee, works in the office.
EVESHAM-BASED, JET PLANT HIRE STRIVES TO SET THE STANDARDS BY WHICH OTHER ROAD PLANING OPERATIONS ARE JUDGED. BULK & TIPPER REPORTS.
Sean Witheford, managing director at Jet Plant Hire understands his business only gets one chance to make a first impression. “We spend a small fortune on branded PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] and our teams must look professional every time they turn up on a job. There’s also a lot of time and effort goes into ensuring our vehicles and plant are well presented and maintained to high standards,” he declares.
Jet Plant Hire was formed in 1989 and is now one of the UK’s largest road planing operations. Company founder, Stuart Witheford previously worked with another road planing company before starting his own business.
ALLIED PLANT IS A FIRM THAT PRIDES ITSELF ON ALWAYS DELIVERING, WHETHER THE JOB IS EXCAVATION, BULK HAULAGE, RECYCLING OR AGGREGATES SUPPLY. BULK & TIPPER REPORTS.
Taking the plunge and starting up your own business is never easy – especially when you’re leaving behind the security of a well-paid job at a leading public limited company. But that’s exactly what John Hourigan, MD of Yorkshire-based Allied Plant, did back in 1999, when after 20 years working for waste services and quarry products firm Drinkwater Sabey, he decided to set up his own plant hire, excavation, aggregates and bulk haulage business.
“It was a fantastic 20 years,” says Hourigan of his previous life. “I got involved when Drinkwater made an acquisition in Yorkshire and from that, I become one of their youngest regional managers on record, looking after 19 sites in the UK.”
THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW MAN TRUCK RANGE WAS HELD IN BILBOA, NORTHERN SPAIN. BULK & TIPPER WENT ALONG TO SURVEY THE NEW VEHICLES AND GIVE ONE A TEST DRIVE.
This is a very important time for the German manufacturer, the new models replace the existing range from 7.5 to 250-tonne gross and it represents a determined push to raise the profile of its products and re-position the brand in certain key markets. The large-scale launch event is an opportunity to showcase the new products to customers, manufacturer and dealer staff, as well as the transport press.
MAN has worked hard to regain both market share and customer confidence in the UK in recent years, after issues with Euro 5 EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) engines. To be fair, the company dealt with these problems in a very professional manner and substantially modified its Euro 6 versions of the 12.4-litre D26 engine. The latest ones seem to be pretty much trouble-free and increasing numbers are in service with fleets of all sizes.
R ADAMS AND SONS HAS A SPACIOUS OPERATING CENTRE JUST OUTSIDE HENLEY-IN-ARDEN, RIGHT NEXT TO THE M42. IT’S AN IDEAL LOCATION FOR A TIPPER OPERATOR, ON THE EDGE OF THE WEST MIDLANDS CONURBATION AND THE MIDPOINT FOR MANY LONG-DISTANCE JOURNEYS. BULK & TIPPER MEETS DIRECTORS MARK AND ANDY ADAMS.
Running a substantial fleet of rigid and artic tippers on a wide range of operations is not for the faint hearted. Mixing and matching different customer requirements, keeping the fleet loaded and earning requires first rate traffic office skills. In this environment anything and everything can change in a moment and any amount of carefully made plans for the next day’s work can be thrown into confusion. Operators used to the steady predictability on contracted work with balanced traffic flows, where customers tell them well in advance what they have to shift, are best advised to steer well clear of the bulk haulage market unless they are looking to raise their stress levels.
But it’s a different story for those who have grown up in this environment – dealing with the unexpected, coping with the peaks and troughs of demand and being at the mercy of many different factors that are beyond your control are just part of the job.
HARSH UK IS A FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS THAT MANUFACTURES, SUPPLIES, INSTALLS AND SERVICES PRECISION HYDRAULIC EQUIPMENT AND TRUCK COMPONENTS FOR THE HAULAGE, WASTE AND AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIES. BULK & TIPPER FINDS OUT HOW IT ATTRACTS DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE MARKET.
Expanding the product range offered to customers, in a very competitive market, is one of the very best ways that a company ensures long-term success and a growing customer base. Also, offering a wider range of products and services, particularly if many of these are complimentary too each other, gives both new and existing customers more reasons to deal with the supplier on a regular basis. The most difficult part of this process, for any company, is to find the right mix of products that attract different sections of the market but still appeals to both potential new customers and existing long-term users of its products and services.
WITH AN ANNUAL PRODUCTION OF BETWEEN 130-140 ALUMINIUM TIPPER BODIES PER YEAR, ALIWELD MIGHT BE ONE OF THE SMALLER PLAYERS IN THE MARKET, BUT IT HAS LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS WITH CUSTOMERS SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE UK. BULK & TIPPER TALKS TO ITS FOUNDERS.
High quality aluminium welding is somewhere between a skill and an art form when it’s executed to a really high standard. Toby Welch and Trevor Marshall, the founders and totally hands-on directors of the Newcastle upon Tyne-based Aliweld, are great exponents of this discipline. They reckon that they can tell if a welder is doing a really good job just by the sound of the process as one of their welders is fabricating one of their high-quality aluminium bodies.
Get the balance of electric current, gas and wire feed wrong and it sounds off key, they can detect it straight away when they open their office door, which looks straight out into the fabrication bays at their bustling Ryton workshops. The two bosses run a lean but very effective operation, taking personal responsibility for design, marketing, sales and material purchasing. They also get physically involved in building bodies – hence the strict quality control when it comes to the finished product.
LAST YEAR LINCOLN-BASED, LEN KIRK PLANT HIRE MARKED ITS 50TH YEAR IN BUSINESS. BULK & TIPPER VISITS A BUSINESS THAT PREFERS TO WORK WITHIN SIGHT OF ITS LOCAL CATHEDRAL.
Between the years 1311 and 1548 Lincoln Cathedral, or Lincoln Minster as it’s also known, was the world’s tallest building. The central spire collapsed in 1548, but nowadays the building’s three main towers can be seen from a vast area around this historic city. That flat landscape is where you’re mostly likely to find another landmark presence in Lincolnshire, the tipper fleet of Len Kirk Plant Hire. Based in Whisby Road, near the A46 western bypass, this company has established itself as a key part of its local economy and business community for the past half century.
Len Kirk founded the concern in 1969, with a single bulldozer and heaps of ambition. The new company was a logical progression for him, as with a background in farming, he’d accumulated a wealth of experience ploughing with horses and then driving tractors…
KEY SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERS FOR SCOTTISH INDUSTRY, BLACKS HAULAGE SOLUTIONS, HAS RECENTLY PUT ITS FIRST BULK ARTIC TIPPER VEHICLES INTO SERVICE. BULK & TIPPER VISITED THE UK’S LARGEST TROUT AND FISH FOOD DELIVERY FIRM, WHICH IS PRODUCING PLENTY OF NET GAINS.
Bathgate-based, Blacks Haulage Solutions is a business that breaks some stereotypes in the road transport industry. Figures suggest that the average age of a UK truck driver is 54 years, while transport managers and business owners make up a large proportion of the same age group. Refreshingly, this Bathgate-based operation is run by a dynamic team of younger individuals, who can still tap into the expertise available from senior family members or long serving staff, when required. Owners Stuart and Shelli Black, supported by operations director Adrian Pullar and transport manager, Jakki Loudon make an impressive group, who are all hungry for progress and success.
During the past five years Blacks Haulage Solutions has launched several new businesses that complement its operation and increase the company’s industry presence. In mid 2015, CBB Commercials hit the ground running, providing maintenance and repair facilities for the Black Haulage Solutions fleet and third party customers, all from a stand-alone site near to the firm’s existing base.
SEVERE WINTER WEATHER NORMALLY BRINGS MOST OF THE UK TRANSPORT NETWORK TO A SHUDDERING AND OFTEN SHIVERING HALT. THE LACK OF PREPAREDNESS AND SHEER INABILITY OF MANY ROAD USERS DEFIES BELIEF. SO BULK & TIPPER TOOK A TRIP TO NORWAY TO SEE HOW THEY COPE WITH THE SNOW, ICE AND COLD WEATHER THAT CAN LAST FOR MONTHS IN PARTS OF SCANDINAVIA.
In Norway they they operate extra-large drawbars and multi-trailer articulated outfits at gross weights as high as 60 tonnes, in a country that has many very steep climbs that go on forever on many routes. Also, many operators choose 6×2 tag axle rigids and tractor units in preference to tandem drive axles for many applications. For many UK operators a 6×4 would be the minimum requirement for working in these conditions at high gross weights. But they do things differently in this part of the world, even if they do specify double drive bogies, they often employ weight transfer systems to get more weight onto the first driven axle. Logic says that it must all work, otherwise the entire country would have to go into hibernation for about five months every year.