UK Truck & Plant Group has come a long way from its humble beginnings and is now well-settled into its vast seven-acre home in Bedfordshire. Its ambitious owners, Ashley and Sarah Weller, sought MAHA UK after deciding to develop their business even further by delving into the MOT market.
Ashley explained that once UK Truck & Plant moved into its new facilities in February 2020 it was only a “matter of time” before bringing MOTs in-house: “We were spending a lot of money on subcontracting MOTs, not to mention losing members of staff hours at a time and the cost of fuel and maintenance, so once the foundations were laid and decision was taken, we set about the task of finding the right supplier – and with MAHA UK, we couldn’t have been happier.”
Admittedly, the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent MOT suspension did cause some initial disruption and generated discussions about whether to forge ahead or wait to assess the situation; however, the decision was taken to move forward regardless.
Ashley picks up the story: “As a consequence of the MOT ban, we anticipated there would be a surge in bookings once restrictions were lifted; therefore, the team from MAHA UK’s sub-contractor, Premier Pits, worked at an incredible pace and the test lane was installed approximately six weeks into the first lockdown.”
Manufactured and installed by one of Premier Pits’ experienced installation teams, the build itself involved cutting and breaking out the existing floor, excavating and fitting the pit. Following the installation of MAHA UK’s MBT 7250 EUROSYSTEM, as well as the MLT 1000 headlight tester and LMS 20/2 axle play detector, the pit was ready for use.
Premier Pits Sales Director, Dave Sylvester, said: “We were extremely pleased that Ashley and his team were happy with the finished product – they were a pleasure to work with.”
Getting down to business
From the 1st August, when the MOT ban was lifted, UK Truck & Plant was ready to receive classes 4, 5L and 7. The lane could also cater heavy goods vehicles, trailers, buses and coaches; however, at the time of installation, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) was continuing to block applications. Encouragingly, though, it was announced in June this year that the DVSA was now allowing prospective authorised testing facility (ATF) providers to apply for new ATFs – if certain conditions are met.
The ability to bring MOTs in-house, as well as facilitate preventative maintenance inspections with the pit being multi-purposed, will allow UK Truck & Plant to be more profitable and efficient, not to mention the potential for winning large tenders.
Sarah said: “To have all the facilities and equipment on-site is what large organisations require. Norfolk Council, for example, we look after all its damaged vehicles over seven-and-a-half tonnes. We’ve been granted an ambulance contract, which is one we’re particularly delighted with, as we’ve always wanted to immerse ourselves in that sector.”
UK Truck & Plant’s significant investment in MAHA UK equipment is already reaping the rewards, with Premier Pits already summoned to potentially install another pit next year if the business continues to grow exponentially.
‘Fantastic service from start-to-finish’
Ashley reserved special praise for Nick Austin, MAHA UK’s sales manager, who he said was the right person to lead the project:
“We clicked straight away; Nick guided us through the process, acting like a contract manager on our behalf and was only a phone call away. There were a lot of unknowns for us, but if we ever had a query last thing at night, he would be straight over the following morning – that’s the definition of customer service.
“Even during the digging, MAHA UK didn’t need to be anywhere near us, yet Nick came down twice during lockdown to ensure we were satisfied with the progress being made. After working with Nick, I’ll openly promote MAHA UK and Premier Pits products.”