THE SUFFOLK-BASED TRU7 GROUP RUNS A SUBSTANTIAL TIPPER FLEET AND HAS A NOVEL APPROACH TO VEHICLE ACQUISITION, OPERATION AND DISPOSAL, WHICH IS PART OF A PROVEN FORMULA. BULK & TIPPER VISITS THE COMPANY’S KESGRAVE HEADQUARTERS.
The real art of the entrepreneur is to be able to recognise an opportunity when others either fail to spot it, or just see the potential problems. Those that capitalise on the opportunity are often able to create really successful businesses that are potentially worth a lot of money. Many then reach a certain point where they sell the company as a going concern to new owners and then live on the proceeds for the rest of their days. But there are others who get back to work as soon as they are able, start up new enterprises and try to do it all over again.
Guy Nicholls, the driving force behind the TRU7 Group featured here, is just one of those type of individuals. Having built up one of the largest and most successful specialist plant hire businesses in the UK, he then sold the company to investors. Rather than take things easy, as soon as he was able, he formed a new group of companies involved in interrelated industries, including aggregate recycling and supply, plant hire, demolition, vehicle hire and sales and bulk tipper haulage. The haulage operation in particular, is central to the operation of the other group activities.
BASED NEAR FROME, SOMERSET, FAMILY-RUN COMPANY PAUL L CHARLTON, SPECIALISING IN TIPPER HAULAGE, TAKES GREAT PLEASURE IN ITS FLEET OF IMMACULATE VEHICLES AND THIS YEAR WILL BE CELEBRATING ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY. BULK & TIPPER MEETS PAUL AND HIS SON JAKE.
Family businesses have always been at the core of bulk and tipper haulage, although there have been huge changes in the transport industry in recent years, many tipper fleets are run by dedicated individuals, often related, who can turn their hand to all manner of tasks as and when required. The many take great pride in their vehicles, keep the trucks in immaculate condition, cleaning and maintaining the fleet at the weekend, so that the trucks are ready for work at the start of the new week.
The livery and presentation of the vehicles is a reflection upon the people who own and work in the business, this is often passed down to the employees who also have the same pride and passion for the job. The work ethic and general approach to life is similar to that found in farming, all concerned do the best they can for their own self-respect and nothing demonstrates these sentiments as much as an immaculate fleet of vehicles.
MANY OPERATORS HAVE REALISED THAT THE MOST RECOGNISED PART OF THEIR OPERATION IS INVARIABLY THE VEHICLES THEY OPERATE. AS A RESULT, MANY NOW TAKE TIME TO ENSURE THAT THEIR LIVERY REFLECTS THE WAY THEY WISH THE BUSINESS TO BE SEEN. BULK & TIPPER TALKS TO SOMERSET-BASED HAULIER TOM HOBBS WHO TYPIFIES THIS APPROACH.
There are plenty of smart trucks on the roads nowadays and the growth in truck shows has added to this effect, particularly with owner-drivers and smaller operators. However, some of the more substantial operators have also followed this trend and encourage drivers to look after their individual vehicles, attend shows and fly the company flag. This has proven to be an additional recruiting tool, when attracting new drivers to join their team – when individuals from outside the industry are able to get up close to a well-presented modern truck, it can be the spark to ignite their interest in the industry.
Truck customising has become an art form for some of the more dedicated owners and their drivers – the customised paintwork and bespoke artwork on some of the exhibits at truck shows is quite literally breath taking. Although some take the view that you can take things too far, their response is to take a more restrained approach with a relatively simple livery, that initially looks slightly ordinary, but the close attention to detail brings a new level of sophistication to the art of customising. The more you look at it, the better it really is.
RENAULT TRUCKS IS BUSY ROLLING OUT A CHOICE OF READY-TO-GO-TO-WORK TRUCKS WITH AN EYE TO BOOSTING SALES ACROSS ITS CONSTRUCTION RANGE. BULK & TIPPER REPORTS.
A line-up of new models, set to be rolled out over the coming months, should help Renault Trucks boost sales of its Ready for Business ready-bodied Range C 8×4 chassis.
The ready-to-go-to-work Thompsons Loadmaster steel-bodied tipper and tipper/grab variants, designed for muck-away work and already available, are set to be joined by standardised alloy-bodied aggregate models produced in conjunction with Wilcox and PPG, says Renault Trucks UK’s head of product management, Andrew Scott. The extended range will be announced at this year’s Tip-Ex show (Harrogate Convention Centre, 30 May to 1 June). “It will hopefully be quite a noisy launch,” Scott smiles.
COLLINS EARTHWORKS UTILISES THE FAIL-SAFE PRINCIPLE OF ‘IF IT’S NOT BROKE DON’T FIX IT,’ FOR SPECIFYING A FLEET OF 30 PLUS VOLVO FM AND FMX RIGIDS. BULK & TIPPER PAYS A VISIT TO THE COMPANY’S KIRKBY-IN-ASHFIELD BASE.
The first tipper trucks appeared in Collins Earthworks’ business over a decade ago in 2005. The inaugural trailblazers took the shape of two new 380hp Volvo FMs. The group used Thompsons tipper bodies with manually operated back doors and were deployed almost exclusively for the company’s own earthworks business.
Collins Earthworks’ underlying principle of investing in the latest equipment has driven remarkable but well managed growth across the group, creating a multi-faceted, 21st century service provider in a number of key civil engineering disciplines. David Collins started the business many years ago, firstly as a sole trader, then registering Collins Contractors Plant Hire in 2000. In 2006 the trading name was changed to Collins Earthworks.
THE BARTRUM GROUP IN EYE, SUFFOLK, TURNS 90 THIS YEAR AND IT IS STILL GOING STRONG AS A FAMILY-OWNED AND MANAGED ROAD HAULAGE BUSINESS. TRANSFORMED FROM ITS HUMBLE BEGINNINGS HAULING PRODUCE FROM LOCAL FARMS TO LONDON MARKETS, BULK & TIPPER MEETS ITS DIRECTORS WITH THEIR FOCUS FIRMLY ON THE FUTURE.
Most successful businesses start with a good idea. The Bartrum Group has Leonard Bartrum to thank for identifying 90 years ago that farmers and producers need a constant, reliable, hardworking carrier to transport their goods to the markets in London. It was 1929 and although the catalyst for Leonard to spend £100 on a used Morris 1-tonner is now lost to posterity, he clearly thought it was a risk worth taking to inject life into his fledgling business.
As the years passed by the business grew. At one point it expanded into furniture removals, although this work is no longer undertaken. It continued to tick along during the war but then in 1949, long-distance haulage was nationalised and the British Transport Commission took over all of Bartrum’s 22 vehicles it was operating at that point, as well as its depot, marking down the total value at £26,500.
WITH ITS ROOTS IN AGRICULTURE, THE THOMPSONS OF PRUDHOE GROUP HAS EVOLVED INTO A BUSINESS THAT DELIVERS SERVICES AND MATERIALS TO THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, DEMOLITION, LAND RECLAMATION, PROPERTY AND RECYCLING. BULK & TIPPER DISCOVERS HOW A RULING SET THE COMPANY’S DIRECTION AND WHY YOU CAN NEVER REST WHEN IT COMES TO PROCUREMENT.
Now in its 71st year, Thompsons of Prudhoe, based in the south of Northumberland, employs more than 300 people, operates from four quarries across the north of England, uses more than 100 pieces of plant and machinery, and runs more than 100 vehicles. It continues to grow with turnover for 2017/18 up 7.5 per cent to £28.2 million from the previous financial year.
It is a family owned and run business that has just welcomed the fourth generation into the fold. Considering that William Thompson bought his first truck, a Dodge, in October 1947 for £494 17s 4d and didn’t get any work for it until New Year’s Day 1948 – hauling turnips to Wales – it is quite a remarkable journey.
ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED NAMES IN THE PRODUCTION OF ALUMINIUM TIPPER BODIES IS WISBECH-BASED PPG FABRICATIONS. BULK & TIPPER TALKS TO THE COMPANY’S DIRECTOR RICK NICHOLS.
PPG Fabrications is known for beautifully finished, high-quality workmanship and has a very loyal customer base. The company began operations at Thorney, near Peterborough, but is now located in Wisbech and is part of a concentration of specialist bodybuilding concerns that has been centred in this part of East Anglia for decades. A number of companies have come and gone in this time, but PPG continues to flourish – the tradition of high-quality aluminium welding and fabrication goes on, with numerous specialists in the region.
The company was formed by three individuals in 1988, after their previous employer hit problems. The late Phil Mote, George Hunns and Pete Madison, who joined a little later on, all had learned their trade at the original Wilcox company.