From one engineer’s idea to over 10 million products sold worldwide – keeping wood in the frame with Postsaver and Polesaver.
Postsaver, the manufacturer of wood protection products, are now widely known throughout the industry, but back in 1992, the idea of the dual-layer barrier sleeve was only just beginning. Founded by Richard George, an engineer with an extensive knowledge in plastics development, the product has gone from strength to strength in the battle against ground line decay in fence posts, gate posts, fruit supports and utility poles.
In the summer of ’92, Richard found that his not long installed fence had rotted and broken off across most of the fence posts. As a product developer and engineer, he soon set about finding a solution to his problems. It quickly became clear that most of his timber posts had rotted at the ground line, with the top and bottom of the post remaining firmly intact. The irritation of having two halves of a perfectly good fence post let down by the ground line section spurred Richard on to try and solve the problem.
After months and testing and development, the first prototype was born, and over the years transitioned through several product variations, including liquid coating options, a fully enclosed boot and finally a sleeve style fitment. Richards son’s, who now both work for Postsaver, have early memories of samples being regularly transitioned between the workshop and the kitchen oven. Some of the earliest coating samples would often leave a distinctive smell lingering in the kitchen.
Coming from a family of family businesses, Postsaver was not the first success that Richard was part of. Brothers Richard and Jim, along with father Chris built and ran Permadoor, once the largest manufacturers of composite doors in Europe before its successful sale in the early 90’s. Richard built and ran the production lines, while brother Jim brought the product to market. It was this amongst other business and product development success that laid the foundations for Postsaver and its sister company Polesaver.
In 1994 Richard licensed the idea to British Polythene Industries, creating a successful partnership and leading to some breakthrough developments. With Richards knowledge and BPI’s resources, they quickly created a strong product and a means of mass manufacturing. Production ran for several years with successful sales into the likes of B&Q before BPI was taken over and Richard and brother Jim bought back the license as well as the machinery and set up under the Postsaver brand.
With initial successes becoming clear, the product was soon sent away for testing with the BRE with excellent results. Thanks to its excellent performance, Postsaver rot protectors are backed by a post-replacement guarantee of either 20 or 40 years depending on the product.
Although Richard had parted ways with BPI, the product development never stopped and continues to this day with Richard constantly testing and improving the product. The internal coating now contains over 20 different materials. With constant refinement and improvements, we now find ourselves with the product we have today. Featuring a dual-layer composition, rot protectors use a tough thermoplastic outer layer as well as an internal coating that penetrates the timber surface when heated at the critical ground line section keeping fungi, moisture and decay locked out, and those
In 2008 Richard and Jim spotted another gap in the market when the same issues were being seen in utility poles across the globe. Timber poles were failing at the same ground line section as fence posts. The idea for Polesaver was soon created. Featuring the same original technology but with some heavy-duty upgrades, the journey of global sales into some of the world’s biggest utility companies began.
Since then, Polesaver has gone from strength to strength, supplying utilities across Europe, Africa, the US and South America. Polesaver products can be found in some of the most hostile environments around the globe ranging from sub–Saharan Africa, to the arctic circle, as well as on untreated durable timber in highly sensitive conservation or water catchment areas.
What does the future have in store? There are some exciting times ahead for Postsaver. A series of new products are about to be launched, radio advertising campaigns are about to begin, and online presence is growing exponentially as the Postsaver range of products expands. The future is certainly bright for Postsaver and Polesaver!