Growing Go Plant sweeping ahead with plans for expansion
Go Plant Fleet Services has expanded its nationwide network to establish itself as one of the leading providers of solutions for specialist commercial vehicles in the UK
Go Plant Fleet Services has made significant investments, including a string of targeted acquisitions, in recent years to ensure its comprehensive range of HGVs and LCVs is backed by a full fleet management programme. With a fleet of around 4700 road sweepers, pedestrian sweepers, refuse collection vehicles and specialist service vehicles, it delivers safe, compliant and cost-effective services to a national customer base that includes a growing number of private and public sector organisations.
“Our business is split into three very distinct divisions – Operated hire, Short-term hire (also known as Spot hire) and Contract hire,” says Go Plant Fleet Services’ Commercial Director, Mark Gallimore. “Nearly 500 sweepers are being utilised by the Operated hire division, and we use a fair amount of these for our Spot hire division, too, although it predominantly deploys refuse collection vehicles, as it focuses mainly on supplying flexible solutions to the municipal sector.
“The Contract hire division deals with over 40 local authorities, providing funding and maintenance solutions. It is also capable of delivering fleet management and maintenance services on a fully outsourced basis, to ensure the right vehicles are available at the right time, and the service is flexible, safe and fully compliant.”
The house building and highways markets have traditionally been strongholds for the company, which is now getting ready to enter the aviation sector with its sweeper hire proposition. “We are also seeing growth in the events industry. For example, we have supported Notting Hill Carnival, the Great North Run and the London Marathon. We also sweep at various festivals throughout the year,” added Mark.
Go Plant Fleet Services is continuously looking to expand its fleet in order to strengthen its offering. The latest example of strategic investment in new machines is the purchase of 26 vehicles from Harprule, together with its operational depot at Sandy Hill Business Park in Matlock, Derbyshire.
Mark comments on the operation: “The fleet consists predominantly of refuse collection vehicles, and its acquisition will help us develop our Short-term hire division. In fact, we have effectively doubled our refuse collection fleet overnight. We are presently in the process of ordering another 30 new vehicles which, when added to the sweepers that we already have, will take our owned fleet to 300 vehicles by the beginning of next year.
“All of a sudden, we will have a national scale and a fleet to help the growth of our Spot hire division, which we regard as a key opportunity to simultaneously support the development of the Contract hire division, too. We have found out that a lot of customers who use our contract hire services also have short-term rental requirements. It is a challenge for us to have a big enough short-term hire fleet to address these requirements, but we are taking the necessary steps to prepare ourselves.”
To guarantee its vehicles are fully compliant to all health and safety aspects of the industry, Go Plant Fleet Services intends to turn the Matlock depot into a refurbishment centre, initially only for its owned fleet.
Mark added: “In the coming months, we will open the centre for third-party customers too, to drive additional revenue to our business and ensure we make the most of the expertise we inherited when we acquired the depot.”
The company has also invested £1 million in five new ‘back to black’ Beam sweepers that doubled its fleet of Beams. Having gone through their final checks before officially joining the fleet, the vehicles have been fully operational since early September, complementing Go Plant Fleet Services’ comprehensive fleet.
In just over a year, the organisation completed three company acquisitions with the clear vision to extend its geographical footprint within the UK. ID Sweepers (East Anglia), SM Sweepers (South Midlands), and Smallwoods (North Yorkshire) all joined the business, helping it become a true national provider.
Mark commented: “These targeted acquisitions enabled us to position ourselves in areas where we did not have a particularly big presence before. Moreover, we benefited from the fact that all the three companies had a strong and loyal customer base, which we have been able to retain. What is more important, though, is that we have directed considerable investment into these locations, to allow ourselves to grow the business there.
“Acquisition has always been on the agenda for the company and will definitely continue to be a key focus area for us. We cannot rule out any further acquisitions in the next 12-18 months if we feel they make sense commercially and will help us get where we want to be.” Keen to enhance customer experience and streamline its internal operations, Go Plant Fleet Services has just embarked on a major investment programme to overhaul its IT systems and processes across all business divisions within the next 12 months.
Mark added: “It is aimed at improving the overall customer experience, because we will be able to offer the clients a lot of fleet-related information, which they do not have access to, right now. This will add extra value to our service package and move us closer to realising our ambition to be the country’s leading one-stop fleet provider.”
Making Go Plant Fleet Services a recognisable name is one of the company’s core objectives for the next three to five years and Mark sees attracting new customers, performing reasonable strategic acquisitions, and maximising the potential of the business’ chosen sectors as the key factors that will determine the success of Go Plant Fleet Services’ intentions.
He said: “From a service maintenance point of view, we should look to self-deliver as much as we can, which means we will need to have workshops in all key locations in the UK to support the development of all of our business divisions in the long run.”
Go Plant Fleet Services
Services: Specialist sweeper services