So, who am I?
I formed Burton Engineering 16 years ago after leaving JCB where I was repairing and servicing the whole range of JCB machines which the company manufactured.
I left because firstly I knew I could offer a better more personalised service to customers and also by this time I was a repairing Horseboxes in my spare time.
I felt this was the time, maybe to do something about it.
After I left JCB, on very good terms may I add keeping in touch with many of the staff and managers, whilst with my now wife Katie nee Parker who Rode for her Country and being short listed for two Olympics and riding at Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky many times, being daughter of Bridget Parker, Gold Medallist from the 1972 Munich Olympics and Selector for 25 years, whilst we were at an event, I asked William Fox Pitt if he thought there would be a business worth doing if I set up a mobile workshop and travelled to the customer address to repair their horse transporters and machines rather than the vehicle being brought to a workshop hence costing the customer, time, money and diesel.
He agreed and immediately said that I could look after his lorries, so a good start so heres a little about my journey so far;
A little about how it got to start Burton Engineering.
Having serving a Four and a half year apprenticeship in Engineering resulting in gaining Three City and Guilds (Distinctions and a Credit) and repairing a massive variety of agricultural and plant machines since when I was 15, to this day a massive amount of knowledge and experience has been gained and still is!
I passed my HGV 1 licence as soon as I was old enough to do so and was repairing lorries for J.H.Rose and sons of Gillingham since when I was still at school so cycling to their workshops after my course work.
Beares Tractors of Shaftesbury saw me from school up to when they sadly closed some years later. After working in this trade which included repairing horse boxes, tractors, crawlers, diggers and all the different machinery on offer I was then asked to work for a contracting company, Harris Contracting from Manor Farm is Silton Nr Gillingham where the opportunity arose not only to repair much larger machines which by now were getting a lot more technical but to operate and drive them too in work they were designed for.
Doing this was a massive boost to understanding these different machines including plant machines where hydraulic circuits, electronics and a good eye was paramount but also learning a lot about how different machines work and how they were constructed.
Meeting different people along the way has been very helpful and many friends made and knowledgable people who could offer you advice. All this was to to give you good stead in what this great line of work had to offer.!
Eventually after the contracting company closed I worked for another great company being Gartells of Yenston, Somerset where not just plant machines were to be fixed but back to the agricultural machines including tractors, grassland machinery and combined harvesters which were being repaired, serviced, demonstrated and set up.
After a couple of years or so I made the decision to go self-employed and left Gartells.
I bought my own 3 tonne mini-digger using it in all types of work on site and also along side this I started repairing lorries too as a side line.
Some years on I was asked to work for a Shell owned company primarily in Scotland repairing big machines staying away from home at a month at a time which I did for four and a half years until after an accident, not my fault, and left this company after 9 months off work!.
I decided to cold call JCB to see if they needed a technician, although they weren’t advertising.
Three days later I was in their workshop and visiting customers repairing all their machines problems! But, after a couple years the demand for repairing horseboxes and other machines became too strong and I left JCB on very good terms to an extent I still keep in touch with the chief technical team and many of their staff!.
That was 15 years ago and my little business repairing Horse Transporters and repairing machines is being very successful with a vast customer base which includes nearly twenty Olympic riders from many countries that have based themselves here in the UK and many more top class riders too, including more Eventers , Show Jumpers and Dressage riders which all have their own means of transporting their horses about the UK and Europe.
In many cases, the customer will call the Horse Transporters builder, (be it Oakley or PRB for instance, meaning the company who converted or coach built their lorry) with a problem and these companies call me to repair the fault on their behalf!.
Many times this aids that company because it simply wouldn’t be cost effective nor quick enough to help them.
On the rare occasion I couldn’t help, either because I’m too far away or its something I cannot assist with at that time, I have made enough friends and contacts that after a couple phone calls someone would be en route to help them out.
I fully understand that any Equine related sport is very expensive and very time consuming, living on an Eventing yard and being brought up on a farm where hunters, race horses and point to pointers were brought on, trained and raced, I fully understood the costs right from an early age
Trying to save money for the customer is paramount and im shocked sometimes when I’ve been told how much ‘Jim Bloggs down the road’ has ripped off poor old Mrs Brown for fixing her lorry!
Having a mobile workshop, I have just about all I need to repair Horseboxes on site, be it a fault within the living or the horse stall or ramp, but there is always going to be a time where the vehicle has just got to come back to the workshop.
If this is the case, I will travel to the address and drive the lorry back, repair it and drive it back usually after travelling to assess the problem first.
Having this mobile workshop means that if you have a JCB digger, a 3CX for instance or a tele-handler, forklift, mini-digger, midi or 13 tonne upwards 360 degree machines, these are all repaired and serviced on site and give me about 50% of my work.
Dumpers, Quads, tractors, mowers and just about any agricultural machine are all catered for too.