MORETON C CULLIMORE IS ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING HAULAGE AND AGGREGATE BUSINESSES, AND ITS TWO-TONE GREEN TIPPERS HAVE BEEN SERVING THE SOUTH WEST AND THE MIDLANDS FOR MORE THAN 90 YEARS. BULK & TIPPER HAS BEEN TO MEET MORETON’S GRANDSON, MORETON F CULLIMORE, WHO AT 39, IS NOW THE GROUP’S MANAGING DIRECTOR, ALTHOUGH HIS JOURNEY INTO THE FAMILY BUSINESS NEARLY STALLED.
There can’t be many transport operators who can boast the skull of a woolly mammoth in their reception area, but that’s what greets you as you walk into the offices of Moreton C Cullimore in Whitminster, Gloucestershire. The massive fossil was discovered at one of its sand and gravel extraction sites nearby, where it’s believed to have lain undiscovered for about 10,000 years.
The company hasn’t been around quite that long, but they’re one of the few operators to have celebrated a 90th anniversary. It was back in 1927 that Moreton Charles Cullimore, a Gloucestershire farmer, bought a second-hand Model T Ford truck with a hand-cranked tipper body as a way of getting his produce and livestock to and from local markets. The motor vehicle took just a few hours to do what used to take a day and a half when using a horse-drawn cart. Local farmers started to ask him to move their produce, so he decided to set up an official haulage operation. Within a few years he had a fleet of 10 wagons on the road.
AT A RECENT DAF PRESS EVENT IN SOUTHERN SPAIN, BULK & TIPPER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF SOME OF THE COMPANY’S LATEST MODELS. LOCATED IN A WORKING QUARRY ABOUT 50KMS NORTH OF MALAGA, HE WAS ABLE TO TEST RIGID TIPPERS ON AN OFF-ROAD COURSE WITH SOME CHALLENGING TERRAIN.
DAF has enjoyed a commanding position at the top of the British truck market for many years along with a very strong market share in many other European countries. The Dutch manufacturer has enjoyed continued success at virtually every level of the truck market over 7.5 tonnes. Its products are a unique mixture of advanced engineering and conservative product development. It’s a master at keeping the product range up to date, while still retaining much of the basic design. Its cab range is one of the oldest on the market, but the big tractor units in particular are still highly rated by operators and drivers, the rigid range is also very popular in many sectors of the market. But DAF still sees room to increase its market share and the tipper and construction sector is seen as an area where it can grow the business.
PURFLEET-BASED BROCKS HAULAGE HAS UPDATED ITS FLEET TO MEET THE NEW ULTRA-LOW EMISSIONS REGULATIONS IN LONDON. BULK & TIPPER GETS THE LOW-DOWN ON THE COMPANY’S NEW VEHICLES.
London’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which only allows Euro 6-powered goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes free admission to large parts of Greater London, may eventually cover most areas within the M25. Operators which regularly enter this area have either had to invest heavily in new equipment, find a way to charge the extra daily cost back to their customers, or stop operating in this part of the country.
For most tipper operators it’s been a matter of either the first or the last option, because very few customers are willing, or able, to pay the extra £100 per day to let the operator continue to run its older, non-compliant vehicles. While this might at first only seem to be of concern to tipper operators in the South East, other authorities in a number of other major towns are considering similar schemes.
It’s all too easy for observers to say that operators affected by this legislation should plan ahead and schedule vehicle replacements well before the introduction of the new limits, but there are many conflicting pressures to deal with when running a business.
HAVING MOVED INTO A NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY, MARSHALLS TRUCK BODIES IS LOOKING TO TAKE THE STRONG REPUTATION IT HAS BUILT IN THE TRUCK BODY SERVICING AND MANUFACTURING SECTOR ACROSS THE NORTHWEST TO THE NATIONWIDE STAGE. BULK & TIPPER REPORTS.
After a meeting at A1 Services (Manchester) to discuss three trucks Rob Marshall finally found what he’d been looking for. Opposite the waste removal and recycling company on the Agecroft Commerce Park, on the edge of Pendlebury and north of Salford, sat two acres of prime brownfield land. Ideal for a new purpose-built manufacturing and servicing facility for his company, Marshalls Truck Bodies.
A stake in the ground had a telephone number; Marshall called it straightaway. Buying land in the northwest is a major challenge because large plots rarely pop up. Once the fence was up he was offered double what he’d paid for it. As tempting as it was, it had taken more than five years to find something that ticked all the boxes: location, location, and location.
It sits on the Agecroft Colliery, a coal mine on the Manchester coalfield that opened in 1844 and operated until 1932. It reopened in 1960 and was finally closed in March 1991 and demolition began later that year.
IN THE IRISH MIDLANDS, OPERATOR DOWLING QUARRIES, HAS BEEN RUNNING ITS FIRST CHINESE-BUILT SINOTRUK, AN A7 8X4 MIXER, FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS NOW – BULK & TIPPER FINDS OUT HOW IT HAS PERFORMED. WE ALSO VISITS THE DUBLIN BASED HARRIS GROUP, THE UK AND IRELAND IMPORTER AND DISTRIBUTOR FOR SINOTRUK, WHERE WE GET BEHIND THE WHEEL.
Dowling Quarries is a second-generation family business, with the third generation following close behind. Founded by Humphrey Dowling Senior it’s now run by Michael Dowling and Humphrey Dowling (Junior). Humphrey’s wife Maureen is also a key part of the management team.
Once inside the gate there is an instant sense of order indicating a well-run and efficient business. Everything is neat and tidy, with graded products and materials neatly piled allowing space for loading shovels and other vehicles to work efficiently and safely. Dowling Senior began working locally delivering sand and gravel with a Volvo F7, and then graduated to what Dowling Junior describes as one of his Father’s favourite trucks the Mercedes-Benz 2421. In the mid to late ‘90s Dowling Quarries began supplying its own product to a number of large Civil Engineering projects and the company quickly expanded.
ACROSS FIVE DECADES THE FAMILY-RUN MCGUINNESS FEEDS BUSINESS HAS EVOLVED FROM BUYING AND SELLING ARABLE CROPS TO CONCENTRATING ON TRADING AND MOVING HUSK FROM FLOUR MILLS TO ANIMAL FEED PRODUCERS WITH A SMALL DEDICATED FLEET OF TRUCKS. BULK & TIPPER TALKS WITH BROTHERS AND BUSINESS PARTNERS ANTHONY AND BARRY MCGUINNESS.
Buying and selling grain in Europe dates back more than 9,000 years. Underpinning the transition from nomads who hunted and gathered their food was agriculture. As more people began to settle they began to grow arable crops and tend livestock and use the surplus as bargaining tools. The move to wide-scale agriculture is the Neolithic revolution. In England and Wales, the arrival of the Romans in 43AD drove arable farming from family-based subsistence to mass production for shipment to Rome. When the empire collapsed in the 5th century mass production was replaced by feudalism. Farmers were reduced back to a subsistence level, producing only enough to fulfil their obligation to their landlord and the church, with little for themselves and even less for trade. Feudalism ended in the 17th century and farmers began to trade grain at local fairs that grew into established marketplaces in provincial towns.
MERCEDES BENZ LAUNCHED ITS REVISED ACTROS HEAVY TRUCK RANGE AT THE IAA SHOW IN HANOVER LAST SEPTEMBER. AN EXTENSIVE RIDE AND DRIVE EVENT WAS THEN HELD IN SPAIN, WHERE BULK & TIPPER WAS GIVEN A CHANCE TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL AND TRY OUT THE NEW TRUCKS’ SPACE-AGE TECHNOLOGY.
While the basic layout of the truck appeared similar to the existing Actros range, the most visible change is the absence of conventional rear-view mirrors. These are now replaced by twin cameras that are mounted high up on the cab roof above either door. The images are relayed to 15 inch in-cab screens, attached to the front door pillars above the grab handles.
This innovation has attracted a huge amount of interest and it has to be said that more than a few observers voiced concerns about the concept of using camera systems in place of a conventional set of mirrors. The ‘Mirror Cams’, as Mercedes refers to its new system, is just one of a number of innovations introduced with the new Actros. There are a number of radical changes to the cab interior, chassis and drivetrain. Some of these developments have the potential to change, not only the way trucks are operated, but also drivers’ working lives. Furthermore, it’s likely that other manufacturers might well follow this lead when they introduce new and updated models.
LANCASHIRE-BASED OWNER DRIVER PETER HORNBY HAS BEEN RUNNING HIS SCANIA R143 FOR 19 YEARS, AND IT WAS OVER 10 YEARS OLD WHEN HE BOUGHT IT. IT’S NOW NOTCHED-UP NEARLY 1,860,000 MILES AND IS STILL GOING STRONG. BULK & TIPPER GETS A RIDE.
Modern transport thinking has it that the ideal time to replace a heavy goods vehicle is between three and five years’ frontline service, if starting with a new vehicle in the first place. Other operators might take a longer-term view and run a truck for up to ten years if the operation is not too arduous to begin with or the owner has factored in the likely cost of a driveline rebuild in the projected working life of the vehicle.
There is a third way of doing this, which to some is a bit of a compromise and that’s buy a used vehicle, initially saving a fair bit of money on the purchase price and budgeting for some additional expenditure on maintenance and basically taking a bit of a risk on the likely working life of the vehicle. Lancashire-based Peter Hornby, an owner driver specialising in the movement of scrap metal, has followed this route since he started out in the early ‘90s.
KANE GROUP IS A SUCCESSFUL AND WELL-RESPECTED HERTS-BASED BULK EARTH MOVING, DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR AND PLANT HIRE FIRM. OVER THE PAST FOUR DECADES IT HAS CARVED OUT A THRIVING AND PROFITABLE BUSINESS THROUGH SHREWD ACQUISITIONS AND AN EXTRAORDINARY EYE FOR DETAIL – AS WELL AS RELENTLESS CONTROL OVER ITS ASSETS. BULK & TIPPER MEETS MANAGING DIRECTOR ANDY KANE TO FIND OUT WHAT DRIVES HIM.
One way to run a successful company is to retain control over as many factors that affect your bottom line as possible. Kane Group is an excellent example of what can be achieved if you don’t lose your grip on the details. In the words of the group’s managing director Andy Kane: “We are regimental to a degree that we are like an army here. We don’t take a lot of prisoners.”
A major civils and demolition contractor, Kane Group sets itself apart from many others in the contracting field by understanding how to run a large fleet of lorries while wringing out every last drop of profitability from the assets. The benefits of running your own fleet are obvious: “On our own earthworks and demolition work, we have a perceived advantage,” explains Kane. “We can guarantee clients certain outputs. A lot of companies hire in and they’ll say that they will send in 10 lorries, but then only two turn up. We are much more in control.
THE ANNUAL TIP-EX AND TANK-EX SHOW, HELD IN THE HARROGATE, NORTH YORKSHIRE, IS WHERE MANY OF THE MAINSTREAM VEHICLE, TRAILER, BODY AND EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS SHOW-OFF THEIR LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AS WELL AS THEIR WELL-ESTABLISHED PRODUCTS. BULK & TIPPER WENT ALONG TO FIND OUT HOW THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY CAN GENUINELY HELP HARD-PRESSED OPERATORS BOTH REDUCE COSTS AND IMPROVE PROFITABILITY.
As much as the shiny new trucks, trailers, bodies and equipment attract attention, the event is also a great place to meet operators, drivers, workshop staff and friends from within the industry over a coffee or maybe something a little bit stronger. For many long-established operators, a couple of days socialising in North Yorkshire and talking about tippers and bulk haulage, is a substantial part of their annual holidays.
For decades, experts have told us that the small to medium size family haulier will disappear and only the mega-size operators will prevail in the long-term. It has to be said that this has to a certain extent, come about in other sectors, but the bulk and tipper market continues to defy this trend. There has been some consolidation, but by far the greatest number of operators in this sector run between one and 30 trucks, generally family businesses, often with multiple generations actively involved in the operation.