A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Harsh's best practice article

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 Harsh is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
40 | HARSH
Adam Hargreaves, director
The Harsh stabilised underfloor
tipping gear – “the world’s
most stable tipping gear”
Harsh was founded in 1987, when its owner, Grant Faulkner,
went to America during his studies. While there, he saw an
early version of the world’s first stabilised tipping gear for
heavy goods vehicles. That company, founded by Second World
War and Pearl Harbor veteran Bud Harsh, provided a few samples
of their products, and asked for them to take the equipment
back to the UK and sell it. Despite the fact that Harsh’s British
and American incarnations share a name, and maintain a deep
relationship to this day, the relationship is strictly supply-based.
Director Adam Hargreaves has been with Harsh, based just
outside York, since 2005, and has seen it grow to a 32-employee
team without compromising its family-grounded attitude.
Though we started out by selling stabilised tipping gears and have, since then,
grown monumentally, we now offer eight different product categories, and these
are: stabilised underfloor, compact underfloor, front-end, skips and hooks, three-
way, tractor kits, sheeting systems, and, finally, hook-lift trailers. We handle the
sale of supplies, installations and service of precision hydraulic equipment and truck
components for the haulage, waste and agricultural industries.
A family-owned business
We maintain that our products are nothing without service and support, so we try
to remain as available as possible. This is something integral to our family dynamic;
Harsh staff and clients are above all else human, and we try to ensure that everyone
»Directors: Adam Hargreaves
and Carl Hinds
»Established in 1987
»Based in York
»Services: Manufacture,
supply and service of ancillary
equipment for commercial
»No. of employees: 32
»The Tarpaulin Company is
a brand owned and run by
Harsh Ltd
is treated as part of a close network.
Since the 1980s, we have placed real
emphasis on building relationships,
understanding our clients’ businesses,
and listening, looking and learning to
understand the individual in question.
Where communication can be remote,
easy and impersonal, we try to make
it easy to speak one-on-one and
streamline what we do. When you’re
selling premium, high-end products,
you need to understand what they can
do for your customer; stabilised tipping
gear is expensive, but the value over
the product’s lifespan should outweigh
that cost. We try to get clients to
look on Harsh products not simply as
purchases, but as investments.
The excellence of the products we offer
is outlined in our MAX, or maximum,
philosophy; within each product
category we provide, we define the
area of utility for that, and then try to
ensure we offer the most and, indeed,
maximum possible. For instance, within
our front-end equipment, we define
it as “payload” – and try to offer the
Expansion and the Tarpaulin
When Grant had returned from his
studies in the US, he worked alongside
his father and three members of staff.
We now employ 32 people at Harsh,
30 years on, and have diversified
massively the products we offer. Since
the 2009/10 financial year, we have
more than trebled our turnover and
become steadily more profitable.
As a result of this, we were able to
acquire a tarpaulin company in April
2018 for the purpose of providing
tailored products for industrial,
commercial or retail use, while retaining
the trademark Harsh versatility and
ease of use. This subsidiary, known as
the Tarpaulin Company, will provide
tarpaulins that work in tandem with
our other products – for instance,
covering the back of a truck to stop
materials blowing out on roads, or
ensuring greater safety.
We are trying to broaden and diversify
the Tarpaulin Company and move
from commercial vehicles into wider
usage, as well, as there are very few
tailor-made tarpaulin offerings on
the market. Between windmill covers,
pig tents, potato covers, caravans,
awnings and dividers, just to name a
few, we hope to be able to provide an
incredibly diverse range of shapes and
sizes for all kinds of functions.
This growth, both in terms of Harsh
itself and our recent acquisition, has
been thanks to an expandingclientbase. Harsh hookloaders
offer an exceptionally
productive proposition
A Harsh demountable
skiploader for Malcolm
We try to get
clients to look
on Harsh
products not
simply as
purchases, but
as investments
Highlighting best practice
42 | HARSH
We have four external sales teams,
working in London, Bristol, Sheffield
and Glasgow, and we attend
exhibitions and conferences, maintain
a constant social media presence,
and ensure we visit clients one-to-one
where required. We are proactive – but
the Harsh hallmark quality has ensured
that, for 30 years, word of mouth and
referrals still make up a great deal
Challenges in maintaining our
quality, and further evolution
European Community Whole Vehicle
Type Approval (ECWVTA) is of massive
relevance to our industry, and returned
in 2014. It requires standardisation
across a broad variety of parameters,
including legal vehicle width and
a requirement for side and rear
protection to ensure the safety of
cyclists, pedestrians and other users. As
a result, we have had to adjust all Harsh
products – compliance for type approval
is necessary before haulage can be
operational, and as such, all components
must be type approved in kind. This also
requires accurate process documentation
– thanks to our ISO 9001 accreditation,
however, we were well prepared for all
processes prior to ECWVTA’s return.
Brexit has arguably also been a
difficulty. The exchange rate has had
an impact – our two main supply links
are with America and Europe and we
have seen issues as prices naturally
have increased. The uncertainty
and volatility of the current political
climate is still a worry, but we are
nonetheless hopeful about what the
future holds. In fact, since Brexit, we
have had two record years of sales
revenue growth.
When we widen our agricultural
offering, we are planning on splitting
the company into two brands – Harsh
Truck and Harsh Agri – to allow us
to focus separately on two different
products. Over the coming years, we
anticipate that our product range
will broaden to cater equally for both
sectors. We are looking at taking on
more employees, investing heavily in
the Tarpaulin Company and exploring
other avenues; should truck sales
decline, this will allow us to cover
our backs, keep an eye out and
expand where necessary. For Harsh,
the future is all about three things:
remaining aware and continuing to
grow, while still giving customers
For Harsh, the
future is all
about three
aware and
continuing to
grow, while
still giving
Harsh ITRunner
agricultural hook-lift
Harsh FE tipping gear on a
Breedon Aggregates vehicle
discharging tarmac in Dundee


This article was sponsored by Harsh. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister