Combine safety, technical capability, ongoing service/support and cost, and you’re onto a winner!

Thompsons Plant Hire (TPH) is a family business based in Flimby on the Cumbrian coast. Founded in 1994 by Kevin Thompson, the business has grown from small beginnings with just a couple of wagons and plant to a multi-million-pound business, employing over 90 staff with over 100 vehicles, serving several blue-chip companies.

The business covers a wide area, from the forests of the north of Scotland where they have shredding equipment processing biomass, to North Wales where they have artics with walking floor trailers delivering biofuel to power plants.

Plant Hire continues to sit at the core of the company although in recent years the business has diversified to include green waste recycling and biomass production, creating biofuel for the renewable energy industry.

Since the early days TPH have invested heavily in new plant and machinery with several different manufacturers and suppliers, assessing each new machine in four key areas: safety, technical capability, ongoing service/support and cost.

Kevin Thompson, Managing Director explains: “When you’re investing a significant amount of money you must be confident in the suppliers you are dealing with. We always try to establish long standing relationships, preferably locally, where a mutual trust is established, and you can work together for the benefit of both parties.”

Kevin continued: “Our clients demand the very highest of safety standards and will not tolerate disruption to supply chains. All our supplying partners must demonstrate to us they can deliver in these four key areas. This can take a little time, however, the benefits of such a relationship when established are massive and can make the difference in the service you offer to your existing customers as well as winning new business.”

One such supplier arrangement Kevin is particularly proud of, is the relationship built over many years with Taylor & Braithwaite, a family owned construction equipment specialist based at Appleby in Cumbria.

“For over ten years Taylor and Braithwaite have provided a level of service that not only gives us confidence but demonstrates first-hand to our customers that we can deliver 24/7, 52 weeks of the year. This confidence in the support we receive has helped us grow our reputation and win additional business – service/support being one of the key areas we consider when purchasing,” added Kevin.

“We purchased our first Hyundai loading shovel from Taylor & Braithwaite back in 2009; 10 years later we are just taking delivery of our 10th Hyundai loading shovel (HL975). Also, during this same period, we have purchased many Hyundai excavators of various sizes. Combined, these machines have operated in excess of 160,000 hours, proving very reliable with minimal down time.”

“The latest machines from Hyundai offer exclusive safety features that our customer now demand on site. Hyundai’s new camera system informs you when people or dangerous objects are detected. The camera system (AAVM) comprises two major features: AVM – Around View Monitoring system which gives the operator a full 360 degree in cab vision of machine surroundings filmed by 4 cameras at each side of the machine: and IMOD – Intelligent Moving Object Detection, indicates all movements around the machine, should anything or more importantly any person encroach within a certain radius of the operating machine, an alarm is activated in the operator cab –safety being one of the key areas we consider when purchasing .”

“The technical capability of Hyundai excavators and wheeled loaders has improved immeasurably over the years,” Kevin advises. “Just like the automotive industry, manufacturers from Asia have caught up with leading brands and in some cases moved ahead of rival companies. They have managed to achieve this by operating with modern manufacture techniques which makes their machines extremely competitive and reliable. I have personally witnessed this with a visit to Hyundai’s manufacturing facility in Korea – technical capability being one of the key areas we consider when purchasing.”

Ian Burton, sales director at Taylor & Braithwaite explained: “We have always believed passionately in our Hyundai product range; however, this is only part of the story.
“What is at the absolute core of our business is the service and support we offer throughout the lifetime of the machines our customers purchase from us, whether that be taking an emergency break down call out in the middle of the night to providing bespoke machine modifications above the base manufacturer offering. This in turn, gives customers like TPH a level of service and support they need to respond quickly to their customers’ requirements so they in turn can be successful within the markets they operate.”

The relationship between the two companies has grown so strong that when Taylor and Braithwaite expanded their product range to include mobile crushing, screening and recycling equipment, TPH had no hesitation in purchasing Pronar Trommel machines which has helped them expand in the biofuel market, and Maximus screeners which has helped TPH improve their service to quarrying customers.

Pictured below, at one of TPH’s customer sites in May this year, is a Rubble Master 120GO crusher, on a trial before you buy scheme, supplied by Taylor & Braithwaite, to ensure this machine is absolutely the right one for both TPH and their customer.

So, the story continues . . .