Date: 06/12/2016

Suffolk-based B&B Skips has signalled its intention to go for growth by commissioning four new Mercedes-Benz trucks and launching an online booking service.

The vehicles, two 18-tonne Antos 1824 models and a pair of 15-tonne Atego 1523s, were supplied by Orwell Truck & Van, which represents the three-pointed star in East Anglia. Equipped with Hyva skip-loading gear, they are being inspected and serviced by the Dealer under seven-year Mercedes-Benz Repair and Maintenance Contracts.

B&B Skips operates from the Beccles Business Park at Ellough, Beccles. The firm’s roots go back to the 1980s but it was coasting prior to its acquisition last year by Radical Waste, a company set up in 2014 by former real estate specialist Julian Knights.

B&B Skips set up by Julian Knights

He immediately set about turning the business around, clearing it of liabilities – including stockpiles of waste – and investing in a new IT system. In May B&B purchased 100 skips and a single truck from another operator, then followed this with its first order for new vehicles, which it has acquired with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Mr Knights explained: “When I took over, every aspect of this business was stressed. “Eighteen months on, I’m really happy with what we’ve achieved. The situation has been stabilised and the foundations are now in place from which we can make sustainable progress going forwards.”

Mr Knights’ initial contact with Orwell Truck & Van came at the 2015 Norfolk Show, when he ventured onto the Dealer’s stand. “I’d also approached our established vehicle supplier but for whatever reason they didn’t seem to take me seriously,” he recalled.

“By contrast, Orwell dealt with my enquiry very professionally from the outset. They supplied an 18-tonne Antos demonstrator with a skip body for us to try and that truck ticked all the boxes – it looked great and was impressively fuel-efficient, while our driver loved it.”

He continued: “We’ve already built an excellent relationship with Orwell’s truck sales executive Josh Pilgrim and his manager Paul Simpson. They’re really nice guys and have been out to deliver our new trucks personally, so I couldn’t be happier with their service.

“The combination of Mercedes-Benz finance and R&M Contracts has allowed us to extend the period between vehicle inspections from six to 10 weeks, and means I can budget with confidence, knowing my costs are covered.”

He added: “Our smart new Mercedes-Benz trucks have transformed the B&B Skips image, and the face we present to the public. The three-pointed star speaks volumes for the quality of service we can now provide to our customers.

“They have also been very well received by the guys who drive them; one, in particular, was a real devotee of our previous truck brand, but he’s been completely won over.”

B&B offers a comprehensive choice of skip sizes which are available to customers across parts of Norfolk and Suffolk on a low-cost, daily hire basis. They are suitable for the removal of bricks, soils and concrete, as well as general household and builders’ waste, up to 95% of which is recovered and recycled.

A former pupil of Gresham’s School in Holt, Norfolk, Mr Knights studied for a degree in yacht manufacturing and surveying in Southampton before moving into a career in commercial property in the South-East and later London.

“Prior to my acquisition of B&B Skips I gained the appropriate knowledge and qualifications to operate the business, including a fleet of lorries,” he said. “I was looking for an opportunity to do something different and I’m delighted to have been able to invest in the area in which I grew up. It’s great to be back and at the helm of a locally-based company which can now look to the future with optimism.”      

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