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Family company near Grantham looks to expand its services as it develops new technology

A family-run utilities company is looking to expand its engineering team as it develops an efficient new technology.

Harlaxton Engineering Services, founded in 1998 in a bedroom by Richard Hibbert, is hiring for experienced labourers as they develop vacuum excavators, machines designed to efficiently dig up roads, before recycling the materials.

Harlaxton Engineering’s services include installing utilities for new housing developments and industrial sites, including putting pipes and cables in to supply water, gas and electric to houses and commercial units.

Staff at Harlaxton Engineering Ltd. (51045844)
Staff at Harlaxton Engineering Ltd. (51045844)

The company moved from a family farm to a 22 acre site off Toll Bar Road, Marston, around six years ago.

Lucy Hibbert, who became managing director of the business in January 2018, explained how the move to Marston was beneficial for Harlaxton Engineering.

She said: “Historically the site was an agricultural trailer fabrication company, so when we took the unit on it had quite a lot of tools that we could use for our business, and now we’re getting to the point where we are diversifying slightly into our own engineering and fabrication.

“We’re building containerised substations for some of our larger sites. We build it all here and deliver it to site rather than it being site works and we’re now going along the lines of developing our own vacuum excavator.”

Harlaxton Engineering Ltd. (51045730)
Harlaxton Engineering Ltd. (51045730)

Lucy explained in layman’s terms how the vacuum excavator worked, describing it as a large lorry with hoovers on to dig up roads, rather than having operatives with diggers, which has health and safety benefits.

She continued: “We’re developing and building some vacuum excavators with a view to make it safer, but also more economical and efficient, because we are looking at recycling the material that we suck up.

“We’re going to look at recycling it and putting it into a concrete type mixture to pop it back in the road.”

Harlaxton Engineering are therefore recruiting experienced workers to support these developments and have positions available in their fabrication department, with the roles including fabricators, welders, wiremen and panelmen.

Since taking over as managing director, Lucy has steered the business through the difficulties of the recent pandemic.

She said: “Through Covid, it’s been very challenging. We’ve managed to keep business as usual throughout the period.

“During the initial lockdown, when the roads were all clear, we managed to get quite a lot of headway on some of our jobs.

“So we’ve done well through the pandemic and the construction industry is booming at the minute and that’s where our main focus is, so we’ve been quite successful in getting awarded small schemes, large schemes and major work schemes.

“We’ve just got a new £2 million scheme at Sleaford Enterprise Park that we’ve managed to win which is nice and local, which will then allow us to use our new digging techniques with the vacuum excavators and be able to recycle the materials.

“Our aims going forward are to continue in the manner that we’re working at the minute. Obviously, try and develop these vacuum excavators and we’d like to concentrate more on recycling inert materials, so anything we dig out we can reuse which gives us a green foot and is also economical.”

Lucy added that another aim of the company is to develop its current apprentices

She said: “It’s been difficult with people working from home and trying to get everyone feeling as though they’re part of something, rather than being stuck out there working from home, so that’s probably our next aim, to bring everyone back together again.

“Some prefer it at home, some prefer being at the office, so we’re going to try and be as flexible as we can with everybody’s requirements and desires.”

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