MSB Contracting Ltd
“Hiab’s equipment is very good. It is mainly the back-up service that we need. If we do get a problem, which is very rarely, we just call the center up and they are there within hours, no problem at all! They fix it and away it goes.”
- Steve Bushell
The yard at MSB Contracting Ltd is dry, dusty, and bathed in sunlight. It is hot. Although the yard is surrounded by lush fields of rape, the yard itself resembles a desert with piles of sand and fine gravel evenly distributed throughout the site. It is not a desolate place, far from it, as trucks with bins full of debris collected from various work sites in the area around Wisbech constantly arrive to unload their contents and pick up sand and gravel for delivery. The dust swirls constantly around the machinery loading, unloading, and processing material throughout the day.
Steve Bushell, the owner and director of MSB Contracting Ltd, greets us with a large smile and a firm handshake. This is his business, and it is not hard to tell that he loves what he does and that he is passionate about making his business grow.
Steve is not afraid of a challenge; rather it seems he is seeking them out. MSB Contracting Ltd was founded only two and a half years ago. Before that, he was the owner of SB Components, which he sold in 2016. “I built SB Components up from nothing to a 16 million pound turnover and 148 employees,” he tells us. The company was running smoothly and steadily growing into a big business, and it has now even expanded into other European markets.
When Steve decided to sell and move on, it was a combination of seeking something that was more demanding and at the same time being more true to his values. “I just felt it was time to move on and move into something that was more challenging. I like a challenge, and that’s why I decided to come into the recycling business,” he explains, and so he took on the task of improving the environment at the same time. Steve has always been passionate about recycling, which perhaps comes from his childhood upbringing. “I actually came from a farming background years ago, and I loved diggers and big machinery and looking after the environment. It is very important that everybody looks after the environment for the sake of the future of the children and everything, and this is a big part of my life now.”
Taking care for the coming generations has perhaps become even more important to Steve as he now has a family of his own. He is a dedicated and devoted father, supporting his son James Bushell. With his father’s help, James has become Britain’s “Jet Ski Superstar”, with 10 world titles and 28 national titles, and is considered to be one of the most dominant sportsmen in the world. And Steve is there, helping, and traveling with him to competitions all over the world. Steve has also engaged himself with the cause of Child Cancer. For his 40th birthday, his wish was a contribution to the Child Cancer fund instead of a present, and he managed to rise 3,500 pounds for the cause.
MSR Contracting Ltd offers “muck away” services, but there is a big difference in the traditional muck away services in comparison to what MSR Contracting Ltd offers. They offer their customers recycling of the debris from the building sites where it is dug up so that the material can be returned to the construction sites and be used again.
As the material is dug up and transported back to MSR Contracting’s yard, it is sorted, crushed, and mixed with SMR powder. When mixed, the blend can be put back in the ground in a 15 cm layer and compressed using a vibro roller or any other vibrating compacting machine. This initiates the curing process. The material draws moisture from the surroundings for the curing, and after 24 hours, it is hard. The curing process goes on for another 3 months and becomes as hard and durable as concrete, upon which you can put other surface materials such as tarmac.
The benefits are both economical and ecological. Steve’s customers don’t have to pay for the disposal of debris coming from their building sites, which is quite costly, and because the materials can be reused there are savings to be had because this reduces the amount of new building material needed. An additional gain is the reduced CO2 emissions due to less transport of materials. The trucks always carry a load, whether it is bringing debris from the building site to the yard for recycling or taking new recycled materials back to the building site.
MSR Contracting Ltd just recently invested in a new truck, and Steve reckons he has built a multi-purpose vehicle. “We have just invested in a MULTILIFT hook loader with a JONSERED crane on it. This is the first one with this combination that we have purchased. We feel this could be a very good application for our business where we can drop bins on site for customers. Loaded bins with material from our yard or empty bins that they then fill up. We pick the bins up and take them away. If our customers need us to fill the bins up, we can do that also.”
The relationship with Hiab goes back a long time. When Steve was 18, he worked as an apprentice at a company that used to fit HIAB cranes to trucks. However, it was when he started SB components, a fitting center for Hiab equipment, that he established the relationship properly. “When I set up MSB, my previous experience with them was why I chose a Hiab,” Steve states and adds “the Hiab choice was no doubt the best thing I have ever done. They provided me with my first grab lorry and crane, and that’s why we have bought another five cranes.”
Today Steve runs a business in a demanding environment. The work is tough, and they must be very flexible in their operation. He explains that all customers demand good service and that this is challenging because they operate a “day-to-day” weather-dependent business. “If it is raining all day long and the next day, then it can cause us problems,” Steve explains. Most of the time customers call the day before telling them
exactly what they want done the next day. Even though they operate on short deadlines, Steve is very focused on delivering high-quality service. “All of our customers demand good service, and they demand that we perform well. When they have a road dug up and they need the material removed or delivered, they need it there and then. And we pride ourselves on that sort of service.” Steve also gets great personal satisfaction from the work he does. “My greatest day is when you see all the lorries going out with all this product and everything and you know that it has all been recycled and that we are doing a good job for the environment!”
For all of this to work and all expectations to be fulfilled, Steve is dependent on his business partners. Such relationships are based on trust and experience, or as Steve puts it, “Hiab delivers very good equipment, however it is mainly the support service that we need. If we do have a problem, which is very rarely, we just call the Hiab center up and they are onsite within hours, no problem at all. They fix it, and away it goes.” he says. “My advice to Hiab is basically just to carry on the way they are. Good service, that is what everybody wants, and if they carry on doing that, everything will be absolutely fine.”