SDC appoints Sturgess

Tony Sturgess SDC

Trailer manufacturer SDC has appointed Tony Sturgess as its commercial engineering officer. He will be based at the company’s base in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

With over 40 years of experience within the commercial vehicle bodybuilding industry, Sturgess will look after SDC’s engineering department, new product development and quality improvements at its 125,000sq ft plant.

Sturgess previously worked for SDC as its chief design engineer from 1997 to 2014. Previous to this, he worked as a design engineer at GC Coachworks in Long Whatton in 1979.

Sturgess said: “I am delighted to take up the position of commercial engineering officer at SDC Trailers. They’re at the forefront of product innovation and it is fantastic to be a part of that. I look forward to working with customers, developing trailer solutions to advance their business operations.”

Customer Crushed to Death at Salvage Firm


An auto-salvage firm was fined £23,000 after a customer was trapped and fatally crushed when a lift truck he’d purchased was being loaded onto his own recovery vehicle.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how, on 15 February 2018, a lift truck purchased from Michael Douglas Autosalvage was lifted using the company’s skip lorry onto a recovery lorry at its premises in Etterby.

The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap Mr Paul Spence against the skip lorry.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure that this complex lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and that it had failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk. 

The investigation concluded that a competent person would have identified that this loading method with this equipment was fundamentally unsafe.

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and as well as the fine it was ordered to pay costs of £8,000.

HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided should the lift have been properly planned and appropriate equipment and safe working practices been employed as a result.”