TIM Wadsworth is sales director of Hydrema UK, having initially joined the business to work with his father some 33 years ago.
Since then, he has helped establish the brand in the UK market, with the manufacturer’s machines now operating on sites up and down the country.
Tim recently told Project Plant about new products and innovations, why he thinks Hydrema dump truck are now the ‘go-to’ machines for certain applications, and the importance of playing the ball rather than the man…
Q) HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED IN THE PLANT INDUSTRY?
A) My father Clive was in the industry so I was around plant from a young age. My first job was as a trainee salesman with Brown Anglo Scan selling Moxy dump trucks and Fiat Allis equipment from their Haydock depot.
Q) HOW DID YOU END UP AT HYDREMA AND HOW HAS THE BRAND GROWN IN THE UK OVER THE YEARS?
A) My father joined Hydrema in 1985 and formed the UK company on behalf of Hydrema A/S. He struggled to find a salesman to work for him so the parent company suggested he employ me. I joined the company in 1986; the early years were quite challenging but Hydrema make a quality product and we worked hard to establish ourselves.
I think Hydrema dump trucks are now recognised as the go-to machine for certain applications and we created a niche for ourselves, particularly in wet sticky off-road jobs. We also have a reputation for safety, which ticks a lot of boxes these days.
Q) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST RECENT PRODUCT LAUNCHES AND INNOVATIONS?
A) It’s our 60th year and we celebrated by launching the 707G articulated dump truck, which was announced at bauma. This is a new machine designed around the British dump truck market requirements. It’s an all-new design from the ground up, meeting all the safety requirements such as easy cab access (one step in and out), very low centre of gravity to reduce the chances of roll over, and a superb roomy ROPS, FOPS-certified operator cab. We also launched a T5 version of our 6×6 ADT – the 922G – and an extra low ground pressure version, the 920G.
Q) HOW IMPORTANT IS THE SCOTTISH MARKET TO HYDREMA?
A) The Scottish market has been very consistent for us over the years and we have a loyal band of customers who own and operate our machines. Hydrema trucks are well suited to the Scottish climate and companies like Blackwood Plant Hire, Garriock, Celmisa, AB2000, WH Malcolm and RS Maccoll, to name a few, all run Hydrema machines.
We sell direct into Scotland and have spare parts facilities and a Hydrema service engineer based in Glasgow.
Q) CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
A) Ive had a long career with Hydrema – 33 years and counting – so I have quite a few career highlights that I could bang on about. On the whole, I am just proud to be still here with good customers and a good team of people trying to do something different, growing the customer base and the business.
Q) ANY FUNNY ANECDOTES FROM YOUR CAREER?
A) Lots – but they are better told over a beer in the pub!
Q) HYDREMA UNVEILED NEW PRODUCTS AT THIS YEAR’S BAUMA EXHIBITION IN MUNICH. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU BELIEVE THESE KIND OF TRADE SHOWS ARE FOR THE INDUSTRY?
A) I believe meeting face-to-face with your customers is very important to a company with products like ours. They give us the opportunity to learn more about the customer requirements and pick up new business leads. It’s very convenient these days to look online at equipment but I don’t think there is any substitution for actually getting face-to-face with the equipment and the people representing it.
Q) WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
A) Go for the ball…not the man!
Q) HOW DO YOU RELAX WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?
A) I`m a lifelong guitarist and still play live. I also like walking in the mountains whenever possible.
Q) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN IN THE PLANT INDUSTRY DURING YOUR CAREER?
A) The difference in attitude to the safe operational use of machinery has finally changed things for the better. It’s taken a long time but safety must remain a priority.
The growth of hire companies through acquisition and the reduction in smaller independent companies is also noticeable post-recession.
The widespread use of telemetry on machines adds a new dimension to whole fleet management.
Q) ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC FOR THE FUTURE OF THE SECTOR?
A) I am optimistic about the industry and look forward to meeting the next challenges we have to face. The industry is changing and becoming more professional and I believe the future looks good.
Q) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES AS FAR AS HYDREMA IS CONCERNED?
A) Like any manufacturer we need to invest in development and keep producing innovative machines for the future, the challenge is to find the right people to enable us to continue doing this. Our global presence is growing and the export markets will produce the biggest opportunities for us in the future.