October 30 2014 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Norfolk land drainage firm William Morfoot is looking to diversify following a £250,000 investment in two machines.
The Shipdham-based family firm, which was set up in 1950 by the late Alexander William ‘Billie’ Morfoot has added a tracked gravel cart and trackway recycling machinery to its fleet in a part-financing deal which will be used primarily with the firm’s agricultural clients.
The state-of-the-art tracked gravel cart, which can carry up to 15 tonnes of gravel in a single load, will be used on land drainage projects.
The cart will ‘follow’ the trenching machines, rather than travel beside them, minimising crop damage particularly when undertaking drainage operations ‘in crop’. Its low ground pressure status means that it can access soils which are typically unfit for wheeled equipment.
The firm said the trackway recycling machine has been acquired to help support the firm’s trackways projects, enabling farm roads and tracks to be ripped up, pulverised and recycled then relayed leaving a consistent and even surface for vehicular traffic.
An adjustable, three-way hydraulic blade enables roadways to be shaped creating a camber at surface level so water can run off the surface as necessary, minimising pothole creation.
The firm, which employs 16 full-time staff and had a turnover last year of £2.2m, said benefits of using the trackway recycling process include utilising existing hardcore already contained within the roadway, therefore minimising the need to import large quantities of hardcore. The specialist nature of the machinery means that considerable daily outputs are possible ensuring that the many miles of tracks that are present across the farms are restored efficiently.
As well as draining land in the UK, the company also works overseas. Clients include Shropshires, British Sugar, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and Bidwells.
William Morfoot is chairman of the business, while his son Justin is technical director.
Tim Sisson, managing director, said: “Investing a quarter of a million pounds in state-of-the-art equipment is a fundamental part of producing our high quality craftsmanship and with these new machines within our fleet we’re able to manage an even wider range of integrated operations in-house.”
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