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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Mon 01 Jul 2013

Strickland’s aim to supply buckets, any time, any place, anywhere!

The Digger Man Blog was kindly invited to take a look around the Strickland Direct bucket manufacturing facility in Pershore, Worcestershire, last week, in what was a real eye opener into the day to day running of a highly successful manufacturing & distribution business.

Strickland’s aim to supply buckets, any time, any place, anywhere!
Strickland is a well-known name in the construction plant and earthmoving industries, especially in the track repair and ground engaging wear parts sector. The company started out as N Strickland Ltd, a privately owned business that has been operating from the same site in central England since 1945. In 2002 the company re-invented itself with the sale of its well-known Berco undercarriage distributorship. Two new companies then emerged and they became Strickland Direct Ltd and Strickland Tracks Ltd. With Strickland Direct Ltd concentrating on buckets and attachments for the earthmoving sector, its sister company developed a new market place manufacturing track systems for mobile crushers and screeners. After 4 steady years of growth for both companies, in August 2006 there was a change of leadership. The new leadership came in the guise of the O’Neill Manufacturing group. The O’Neill family were well versed in both the excavator attachments and the crushing and screening industries, with Pat O’Neill being the founder of Powerscreen. Talking to the Digger Man Blog, Strickland Direct Director of operations Ian Wooltorton said, “Quality, value for money and availability are the key factors influencing our business success. OEM’s OED’s and UK plant hire are some of the most competitive and demanding sectors to trade within” Mr Wooltorton continued, “The start of the recession was a worrying time for the whole construction industry, however Strickland Direct has seen this as a reason for its continued growth. With over 25% growth year on year, the staff put this success down to its strategic production planning, and aggressive stocking levels, with an eye on long term goals”.  Recent changes to the business have included a new manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland to help the increased demand. New products have also recently been added to the product portfolio, like quick hitches and hydraulic thumbs. The company also has the ability to react quickly when a customer needs a particular specification build, like this bucket that is being constructed for a customer with a 45 ton machine in the USA. During our tour of the manufacturing plant, we also witnessed customer adaptations being performed. On these two 600mm buckets, the welder is putting on the popular cutting edge adaptation, which facilitates clean cutting of trenches when digging footings, and for working in close proximity of underground services. Those of us who operate machines for a living know only too well that the “gummy” bucket, as they are affectionately known, can be a life saver when working close to services! Out in the extensive yard area, we found a New Holland E215C excavator, which had been brought in on loan from CNH, to demonstrate the company’s latest fully automatic hydraulic quick hitch. The machine was also fitted with a large 60" bulk digging bucket. Amongst the rows and rows of buckets, I spotted a nice ensemble of grading/ditch cleaning buckets. As an operator, I have to say, the grader is my favourite bucket of all. Nothing else compares for finishing and tidying up work on site. The thing I like about the Strickland version is that it always sits nicely on the ground when disconnected from the hitch, unlike some makes that roll backwards when un-hitched Also include in the product portfolio, are telehandler buckets, which are tapered at the rear to enable the buckets to be stacked neatly and in a more compact fashion during transport and storage. Strickland Direct is one of the largest stockists of buckets and attachments in the UK, with in excess of £3 million of finished product available for immediate shipment at any time. The company offer buckets on a next day delivery style basis, which minimises downtime on site, and allows customers to reduce their own stock inventory. The Strickland range is designed using the latest 3D CAD technology, to produce bucket and attachments that will last in even the most arduous applications. The company’s own trained engineers work hand in hand with the very experienced sales team, who take note of customer feedback to constantly increase the range of products in the range. I was invited to take to the controls of the New Holland E215C excavator, to test out the hydraulic quick hitch and for members of staff to take some shots of a machine in action sporting the Strickland branded products. One thing that really struck me during my visit was the fantastic team spirit and camaraderie which appeared to exude from every member of staff I met. It was a really nice gesture when all the staff on duty that day, were invited out into the yard for a photo shoot around the machine. Our visit ended with a photo shoot of two of the driving forces behind the Strickland Direct operation at Pershore; Aneta, (on the left in this shot), who is heavily involved on the marketing and social media side of the business and Nicola, (on the right), who is the main saleswoman, and has been with the company for over 9 years. What Nicola doesn’t know about buckets and attachments, simply isn’t worth knowing! We would like to thank the whole team at Strickland Direct for the warm hospitality shown to us during our visit, and look forward to seeing you all again one day.        

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