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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Tue 09 Nov 2021

All Bases Covered

Taking a look back at one of my articles previously published in Earthmovers, bringing it to life on the internet with alternative photos and video.

Based in Hungerford in Berkshire, InmotionUK Ltd is the brainchild of Nick Wright (37) who founded the business, along with a partner, some 6 years ago with a vision to provide a one stop shop to their clients, including demolition, piling, groundworks and everything else in between on a nationwide basis.

All Bases Covered

Nick had worked as a self-employed plant mechanic since the age of 17, initially doing lorry repairs and gradually worked his way into heavy plant repairs and servicing, but being an entrepreneurial type of guy, he fancied a bit of a change, so having been around the plant on the maintenance side of things, he learnt how to operate them too.

This led to him taking on a demolition job for a client to take down two garages, having completed that job the client offered him a groundworks package for a series of steel frame shed buildings, which they duly took on and completed.

 

The groundworks side of things was doing well, but during a break away in Falmouth Nick had what could be described as a lightbulb moment. While sat in a bar he got thinking about the way things were going, and he felt that every man and his dog is already out there doing groundworks, but he had an ambition to do something a bit specialised, it was at that moment that he looked out of the bar window and saw some piling work being performed on the harbour wall which really raised his interest.

Nick takes up the story, “So I sat there watching this piling operation, and I thought, that looks really interesting work, so on my return home, I started doing a lot of research on piling and everything that’s involved with it, and I was convinced it was the direction I wanted to go in.

As it happened sometime later, I was in another pub one night and this developer I know came up to me and asked me if I knew anyone that does piling work, so not being one to miss an opportunity I said, yeah, I do piling, so I gave him a price for the work and won the job to install 200 piles as part of a £150k contract. To tackle the project, I employed some super experienced guys, we got the job done and that was the catalyst to what we have become today, with continued growth and expansion year on year”.

Having completed that job, Nick came up with the idea to do the whole package of works, from demolition, and site clearance, right through to foundations and all groundworks up to DPC level, with an aim to create that much talked about ‘one stop shop-start to finish’ solution.

Earthmovers caught up with InMotionUK on a tight inner-city site, at the start of a 6-month project in Bristol, for a local developer, which involved the demolition of an old 3 storey property with an adjoining warehouse on the back which is in in close proximity to some remaining buildings, crushing of hardcore for re-use on site as a piling mat, followed by the piling of around 180 piles followed by ring beam formation, drainage and all associated groundworks for what will be a new block of residential apartments.

The business employs long term loyal subcontractors so nobody is directly employed as such, but with a long continuation of work ahead of them, this situation suits all parties concerned. At the moment Nick says he has around 14 individuals working for him, and another guy works solely on a side-line hydraulic hose repair business that he also runs.

In another development Nick has recently applied for an operators licence with a view to purchasing a roll on, roll off HGV to enable them to be able to move all their plant and equipment independently, Nick said, “I hate having to pay other people to do stuff, when we are more than capable of doing it ourselves, we will see how that all goes, then eventually I will look into buying an articulated low loader unit for the larger kit, which will further allow us to move our kit, as and when we need to, no waiting or depending on others which will be so much more efficient for us as a business”.

On the machinery side of things Nick’s chosen excavators of choice are primarily from the Doosan stable, in the form of a DX140LCR and a DX80R, joined by a couple of mini diggers and a dumper, while other items like the Cat 320 High Reach on this site is hired in on a self-drive basis from Hertfordshire based Booboo Plant Hire Ltd. Operating the Cat machine is Tony, who joined the business around 4 months ago, and is affectionately known as ‘Mr High Reach’ he has many years of experience in the UK demolition industry, having previously worked for Lawson Demolition, J. Mould, and the CJ. Charlton Group to name a few.

It’s a similar scenario with the Hitachi based Italian built GEAX CFA (Continuous Flight Auger) piling rigs, which they hire in from Warminster based dealers Piling Equipment Ltd.

Talking of the piling, Nick has future plans to invest in the largest model in the GEAX range the EK 110 an example of which will have been deployed to this site in Bristol when they are ready for piling to commence. The idea will be to purchase one that can be easily swapped from a CFA piler to a pre-cast hammer piling set up to allow for more flexibility and versatility on the type of piling projects they can undertake, so exciting times ahead for the business.

Nick said, “I would love to add the piling machine to the fleet as soon as we can, but I would also like to add our own high reach excavator, however the two machines alone will cost somewhere in the region of £1 million in total, so at the moment I’m a bit wary, even though we have the work ahead of us, so for now I will continue to hire them as and when we need them, until the time is right”.

Nick continued, “The problem with the piling side of things, is that every job is different, we find every job requires a different sized piling rig, there’s no one size fits all solution and we use them all from mini rigs up to the EK 110 I mentioned earlier, so sometimes hiring suits us better”.

Nick is actively looking to add another 13/14 tonne class excavator to the fleet as he is hiring them a lot lately, and he feels that in this instance its better to have their own. The Doosan DX140LCR on this site has had a dynamic looking wrap put around the counterweight, which looks really good, and he plans to have this, or at least, something similar done on all the other machines on the fleet.

The fact that the business is offering that total package of works across the board is holding them in good stead for the future, Nick suggests that they are currently winning around 9 out of 10 contracts that they tender for, which speaks volumes for the InMotion business model as a whole.

Nick is clearly a fan of the Doosan product, especially the 14-tonner which was working on this site, Nick said, “That is such a versatile machine, its here currently working on the demolition side of things with a selector grab on, then once the building is down, it will go straight into the groundworks side of things and will probably stay on the job till the end of our works schedule here, our operator on that machine Chris, has been with us from the start and he loves the machine”.

“My plan is to look for another one exactly the same, the zero tailswing model really suits the type of jobs we undertake, where space is tight, that 140 will virtually fit in anywhere our 8-tonner will as its so compact. I like to stick with Doosan, as from my plant fitting background, I understand them and they have generally been very reliable machines for us, obviously all machines breakdown from time to time, but we know what faults there can be with these, for instance, we have had a couple of AdBlue issues, but I know how to deal with them, so we will stick with the brand going forward”.

Nick continued, “That 8-tonne Doosan of ours has been brilliant, in the 5 years we’ve had since we purchased it of Promac, who were the dealers at the time, it’s given us hardly any trouble at all, except for a couple of blown hoses, which of course, we have been able to sort ourselves through our hose repair business, I just can’t fault it in anyway”.

The company, although still a young concern, is getting to a stage now where there is not much they can’t do internally with the skilled staff they are employing and the resources at their disposal.

Nick is also one of those forward-thinking guys who sees the massive benefits of a social media presence, and with the help of his business partner Tom, they are consistently working on content for their channels which display the wide range of services the business offers to not only a national but a world-wide audience too.

 

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