Thompsons Scotland leads raft of new appointments

Wednesday, 28th October 2020


Above:David Penman

Thompsons, the UK’s market – leading tipper bodybuilder, is pleased to confirm a wide range of new appointments, the most significant of which being key staff positions at its factory at Kirkliston near Edinburgh.

David Penman is now appointed General Manager at the site, and is therefore responsible for all Thompsons’ activities north of the border. To support him directly with new tipper sales, Angus McIntosh joins the company as Sales Manager Scotland. Of particular benefit to both Thompsons and its customers, Angus is already very well known in the Scottish truck scene, having previously worked for over 27 years in various manufacturer dealerships.

Further strengthening Thompsons Scottish team is Stewart Dick, who takes on the important role of production co-ordinator to help the factory run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Further appointments have been made at the Group level. Neil Griffin is appointed Engineering Director responsible for all design, technical and engineering issues across both Thompsons and its sister company Charlton, where Andrew Gunn has also been made Sales Director. Another Group appointment is that of Megan Williams who, whilst being predominately based in Blackburn, takes on the role of Group Human Resources Manager.

In recent years the Group has directed considerable resources to fund its expansion, much of which has been focused on its Blackburn sites. Taking advantage of both a readily available pool of skilled labour already familiar with building commercial vehicles as well as a high volume local truck marketplace, Thompsons’ Blackburn operation now builds more tippers than Croydon. Significantly, Thompsons has also established a resident design and engineering facility at its Blackburn site, headed up by Mark Kirvan.

Thompsons preferred policy of ‘promotion from within’ now sees James Sanderson promoted to Production Manager at Blackburn Site 2, following the earlier elevation of Arthur Wright to the equivalent role at Site 1.

Also at Blackburn, Kevin Kelly joins the highly successful Thompsons eParts operation, whilst Matthew Shields takes on responsibility for all Site 4’s higher technology and automation processes.

Commenting on all the recent changes, Joint Managing Director Simon Shields says:

“As for all businesses in our industry, 2020 has proved to be an incredibly difficult and challenging year. However, it’s also given us the opportunity to really look at how we want to see Thompsons grow into the future and how to further strengthen our team. These recent appointments add real depth to our human resource.

In particular, we are delighted to have a strong and well – focused team in Scotland, which is sure to continue the significant advances Thompsons is already making in that marketplace.”

Above: Angus McIntosh

Above: Stewart Dick

Above: Mark Kirvan / Neil Griffin

Above: Megan Williams

Need greater versatility? Thompsons creates bespoke tar bodies for Gem Contracts’ new ’20 reg’ tippers

Tuesday, 17th March 2020


The issue: tippers doing tar work need insulated bodies to keep the load hot. Insulation adds weight, so the bodies are constructed not in steel but in lighter aluminium. However, aluminium is less durable than steel, which therefore limits the type of loads that the truck can carry, reducing its operating versatility. So what’s the solution?

Answer – turn to Thompsons.

And that’s exactly what Gary Morgan of GEM Contracts Ltd of Stirling did for his latest two ’20 reg’ Scania G500 tippers.

Gary says,

“If anyone can come up with an ideal tar body, it’s Thompsons. We bought our first body from Thompsons Scotland a couple of years ago, and it’s been absolutely fault – free with zero downtime. It’s been a perfect product for the job, but now we need to take our trucks a stage further to be similarly successful over a wider range of tasks. So we asked David Penman and his team at Thompsons Edinburgh to give us an optimum bodywork solution.”

Which they duly did, producing two carefully reconfigured bodies mounted on a pair of top – spec sleeper cabbed G500 Scania 8×4 chassis. Despite Gary’s new Tarmac – liveried trucks looking very similar to other examples of the genre, their bodies are different in one key area – the inclusion of a 3.2mm thick steel Hardox floor liner that essentially makes them a highly innovative composite design built in both alloy and steel.

Whilst the floor liner adds to the vehicle’s unladen weight, Gary has offset around 240kgs of this by fitting the Scanias with alloy wheels, as well as a lightweight Edbro CX15 front end cylinder. Empty, the trucks tip the scales at a very respectable 12,400 kgs, thereby allowing a carrying capacity of over 19.5 tonnes.

Gary adds,

“Now equally suited to carrying tar, aggregates and heavier stone products, these new Thompsons bodies significantly extend the range of what our trucks can do. What’s ultimately important to us is a tipper’s whole life costs. This latest body spec promises an increased capacity for work over a pure alloy design, but without the risk of extra maintenance costs or unplanned downtime. Residual values are important too, so we are now investing in trucks that should give us the maximum possible return when we come to sell them.

Thompsons Edinburgh really are masters of their craft, and we’ve already ordered a fifth body from them for our next vehicle due for delivery in September. At that point, all our tippers will be 100% Thompsons!”

Speaking for Thompsons Tippers Scotland, factory manager David Penman comments,

“We’re delighted to have come up with an ideal solution for Gary’s needs. These new bodies demonstrate not only how Thompsons continually evolves its products to meet changing patterns of truck operation, but also that we place particular emphasis on working closely with our customers to really understand and deliver on their requirements.”

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