Nothing stands still at Hales Sawmills! It’s a few years since Fencing & Landscaping News last profiled this family owned Shropshire business but it continues to make an impact far beyond the Midlands.
Based at Market Drayton, Hales was founded in 1982 by father and son Bill and Julian Parton and currently manufactures and stocks a diverse and growing range of timber products for the home and garden as well as offering a range ofservices including timber treatment, machining, planing and kilning.
Hales also boasts a flourishing business in all types of highway treated timber which includes post & rail, closeboard fencing, stakes and acoustic fence panels designed to reduce the noise impact of motorways and their products already adorn many miles of the UK’s motorway network.
“That is still a very key part of our operations although we are also heavily involved in the ongoing HS2 work with materials regularly supplied to their sites around the northern Home Counties,” explained Lewis Parton, a third generation Parton to be involved in the business.
“Our Noise Stop range of acoustic fence panels attracts a lot of interest from homeowners and new housing developments as well as commercial partners such as the Highways Agency.
“Within the range we have reflective and absorbent panels in a variety of sizes that conform to the B3 / A4 highways rating for noise
reduction and they are all CE Marked. “We are currently delivering two big fencing contracts for HA along the M20 and M23 motorways and these kind of projects continue to be a growing aspect of our business.
“For domestic and agricultural customers we have our popular Groovy Lite panels that are lightweight, easy to install and guaranteed for thirty years. They are complemented by our own collections of concrete posts, fixings and nails.
“We still consider ourselves a one stop shop for both retail and trade customers and our outlet continues to expand and evolve with new and innovative fencing and timber products going on sale all the time,” added Lewis.
There’s plenty of scope for growth at Hales with five acres on its 15 acre site still to be developed although planning permission has already been granted for a number of storage and outbuildings.
“We have the potential to grow and keep growing as we have endeavoured to do over the past 37 years and the extra space allows us to do that.
“Up until around 2 years ago we operated out of two sites in the area but have rationalised our operations and incorporated them all on to one site where all of our 49 strong workforce is now based.
“We have also increased our logistics capabilities in recent times by expanding our fleet of HGV lorries and pickup trucks which are all fitted with cameras and all the safety equipment that required for our FORS Silver accreditations. Getting the right products to the right
customers at the right time remains a key priority for everyone at Hales.
*It took 6 months to get the FORS bronze accreditation and three further months to achieve silver.
All of our vehicles have the latest safety features as well as 360 degree cameras.
“Our fleet includes three 44 ton artic lorries, one 6 wheeler, one 4 wheeler and a 3.5kg pick-up. We have also recently ordered a new Scania 8 wheeler,” added Lewis.
The family tradition also counts for a lot at Hales with a strong working culture that focuses on making every employee feel part of the family.
“It’s very important that we create the right working environment for our valued staff. If you get this right then everything else fits into place especially customer service,” he added.
Hales currently has three treatment tanks on site treating green and brown with chemicals supplied by Lonza.
“We have worked with Lonza for many years and they continue to provide solutions that help us to deliver a 30 year desired service life for many of our timber products. We are proud of the very good levels of retention we can deliver using their chemicals and we kiln dried all highway in ground contact timber below 28% moisture content in our onsite kiln.
“Keeping your promises when it comes to the lifespan of our fences and timber products is critical to keeping your customers. We always aim to deliver reliable products as this will only reinforce customer loyalty,” continued Lewis.
As we approach the end of 2019, Hales Sawmills appears to be in the perfect position to cope with whatever economic headwinds come their way in 2020.
“It’s been a busy year so far, one of our best to date but there’s no let up. Like all businesses we have to keep striving for growth, improving our processes and increasing our product ranges. Our customers expect nothing less,” concluded Lewis.
Whatever happens with HS2 it seems that Hales is most definitely on the right tracks for more growth.
01630 653359 www.halessawmills.co.uk