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Tipper manufacturing in Blackburn hailed a success

Thompsons Blackburn

Thompsons’ continuous investment in new staff and plant makes Blackburn the ‘UK’s number one tipper town’

BACK in 2000, no tippers were built in Blackburn. Today, 16 years later, it is now said to be the number one tipper manufacturing town not just in Lancashire, but in the UK.

With three factories on Blackburn’s Shadsworth Industrial Estate, Thompsons’ northern enterprise now manufactures more tipper bodies than the company’s long-established home base in Croydon.


‘The opportunity to plan our operations virtually from scratch and then back them up with continuous heavy investment has been the real key to our success,’ said Thompsons director Simon Shields. ‘This year alone, we have committed £500,000 to a new in-house shotblast and paint facility at our Blackburn 3 site, as well as taking on over a dozen new people to further boost our northern operations.’

Thompsons can now provide customers with a complete start-to-finish bodybuilding service that starts with a bare chassis being delivered into their factories before subsequently emerging 100% complete and ready for work.

Phil Sutcliffe, Blackburn production manager, said: ‘Today, customers simply want everything done by us in house. No matter how detailed or complex their specification, they want every part of the build process to be done by Thompsons. Gone are the days when a truck would go to one company to have one item fitted, then to somewhere else for any additional items and then to a third to have it painted.’

He added: ‘Managing the whole production process ourselves also helps make us as efficient as possible in coping with higher than ever demand. Our staff now have an industry-leading skill set and an overall level of professionalism that no other tipper bodybuilder can equal.’

As well as investment in new plant and equipment, the company relies on its workforce with a factory headcount steadily growing in direct proportion to the scale of the business.

The most recent appointments at Thompsons include Megan William, who has joined the Blackburn team as human resources and health and safety assistant. Phil Sutcliffe himself joined company last year and has brought his previous workplace colleague Arthur Wright as workshop foreman. There have been promotions too; earlier this year Paul Moss was promoted to production assistant at Blackburn Site 1, while Matthew Shields takes on a specific responsibility for cranes.

Another notable success for Thompsons in Blackburn has been the eParts online shopping facility, whereby some 5,000 parts lines for tippers, skiploaders and hookloaders are now directly available via

Managed by Dave Lees and supported by Shaun Thompson, the eParts segment has recently recorded its first £1 million of sales. To further build on this unique service, the eParts stockholding area at Blackburn 3 is being expanded to provide over 50% extra floor space alongside a new suite of high-tech offices.

Simon Shields concluded: ‘Thompsons Blackburn is now the UK’s leading tipper bodybuilding location. By working as a team, each and every one of our people can be proud of what they have achieved.’


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