The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Ecogreen Plant Hire is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Ecogreen Plant Hire
1ECOGREEN PLANT HIRE |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2021
Director of Sales David Crick
A simple but effective
Sales Director David Crick tells
The Parliamentary Review
that Ecogreen is a true “microbusiness”. Founded in 2013,
the firm, David says, offers a simple product – waterless
wheel cleaning for the construction, quarrying and landfill
industries. The Ecogreen product – the DriveOn V-Tech system –
can be both bought and hired. David explains how the DriveOn
system functions and discusses the challenges he and his team
have faced with getting it to market.
The rain that makes ours a green and pleasant land also has the unfortunate effect
of turning construction sites into difficult and unpleasant bogs.
To stay within the law, construction firms must take steps to ensure mud created
by their operations isn’t carried off-site and onto surrounding roads – local
authorities have the power to shut down sites if they consider roads surrounding
site exits to be too dirty and, as such, hazardous. At the very least, constructors are
increasingly mindful of their social and environmental responsibilities to limit the
negative impacts of their operations.
There are several ways sites can deal with carry-off. The most common method is
hiring road sweepers. However, this uses excessive water and fuel, emits pollution,
causes congestion, and can often smear the mess around, making it worse.
Some sites use a “man-with-a-lance” approach – effectively a site operative jet-
washing vehicles. This is an expensive option and potentially dangerous, and the
additional water creates yet more mud.
ECOGREEN PLANT HIRE
»Director of Sales: David Crick
»Established in 2013
»Based in Northwich, Cheshire
»Services: Waterless wheel
cleaning for the construction,
quarrying and landfill industries
Ecogreen Plant Hire
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
2| ECOGREEN PLANT HIRE
Another option is wheel washes, which
vary in sophistication from simple
drive-through baths to wash, spray
or bath systems. Issues with these
vary but include excessive water use,
breakdowns, potential contamination
of water courses and, ultimately, the
creation of more mud. Wheel washes
also create a wet smear going out of
site, so road sweepers are still needed.
The more sophisticated types also
use power, which requires fuel and
So how can we tackle the issue of mud
without any of these shortcomings?
There are devices available called
rumble strips – raised grids for vehicles
to drive over – which are similar to a
long cattle grid and have angle iron
bars that use vibration, tyre flex and
centrifugal force to dislodge mud and
contaminants. However, rumble strips
can clog easily because of the way
they’re designed, and when they clog,
vehicle wheels just pick up more mud
and carry it off-site.
A revolutionary solution
Our DriveOn V-Tech system is also a
raised grid, 20 metres long and three
metres wide, but it has approximately
60 per cent less surface area than
typical rumble strips. The transverse
bars are three centimetres wide and
20 centimetres apart, and they create
more vibration and more tyre flexing
than a conventional rumble strip.
As such, more mud is removed, falling
through into the void below and
preventing the system from clogging.
Wheels aren’t recontaminated, and
much less mud is carried off-site. We can
cite many examples of road sweepers
being made redundant and sites being
allowed to continue operating because
of the deployment of our system.
Success and growth
The business has been very successful
– one recent three-year period saw
400 per cent growth in turnover, and
we have had to consistently grow our
inventory to keep pace with demand.
In 2013 we had a stock of 20 units;
today, we have 42 units.
We believe, of course, that we have the
best wheel-cleaning solution available,
and we are certain that it ticks all of the
right boxes for our customers from an
environmental viewpoint. Customers
like the simplicity and effectiveness of
the product and the subsequent savings
compared with their “traditional”
wheel-wash or road-sweeper route.
Ecogreen Plant Hire is just seven years
old, but our waterless wheel cleaning
system has already been chosen for
some mighty, high-profile projects in
recent years; Hinkley Point C nuclear
power station, the Forth Queensferry
Crossing, Norwich Northern diversionary
route, the widening of the A14, the A9
dualling, a number of HS2 preparatory
sites, the Western Link cabling project,
cable work for Hornsea One offshore
wind farm, and many more.
This mess would have
been on the road
We’ve had to
3ECOGREEN PLANT HIRE |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2021
The main challenge we’ve had is
convincing people to listen to us when
we tell them that our system works. Site
management teams have many things to
think about and plan for – much more
complex issues than wheel cleaning – so
we’re not normally high on their agenda.
Secondly, construction is a very
conservative industry, and “this is the
way we’ve always done it” is often the
prevailing mantra. Coupled with that,
if they’ve had previous experience of
rumble strips, we often get bundled into
the same mistrusted and dislikeddrawer.
Our major challenge has been to dispel
that mistrust and show them that we
really do have something different and
that we really can help them.
As a lean-running microbusiness, we’ve
also had challenges with red tape.
Within construction there have been
many legislative developments within
health and safety, modern slavery,
inclusion, and bribery. To comply
with the law, our larger customers in
particular have requested standards
and assurances of our compliance.
Many of the standards don’t apply
to businesses of our size, but even
when that is the case, dealing with
the documentation to establish that
with our customers has been very
We know what we’re good at, so
we factor out many functions to
experts – our engineers, hauliers,
accountants and solicitor are all local
businesses with whom we have great
There are currently no plans to change
anything that we do, as it’s such a
successful formula. We are asked
regularly if we offer any other products
– maybe the name gives the impression
we do – but we like being a one-trick
pony and see no need to expand into
anything else currently.
One potential change may be
increased staff numbers, particularly on
the sales and operations side, thanks
to our ongoing success.
We really do
we really can
The system is delivered
and installed by Hiab in
under an hour
Vehicles simply drive
across the grid and exit
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.