William Stobart and former SDC Trailers director Mark Cuskeran form MAW Engineering

Mark Cuskeran (pictured), the former managing director of Northern Ireland-based SDC Trailers, has announced a new joint venture with William Stobart, formerly of Eddie Stobart Logistics. The new company, MAW Engineering, will based just a stone’s throw away from the SDC factory, and will specialise in the manufacture of walking floor trailers and bodies.

Cuskeran left SDC in 2017, a year after guiding the company’s sale to Shenzhen-based CIMC (China International Marine Containers). He says he has now identified a key gap in the market and has teamed up with long-time business associate William Stobart to establish the new company. 

MAW Engineering is currently constructing a 50,000 square foot factory on a 6-acre site in Creagh Industrial Estate in Toome, Co Antrim, less than five minutes away from his former employer. 

“The new company will target a gap in the market and will allow both myself and William to bring our significant experience in manufacturing, transport and logistics to the table. I believe that despite all of the uncertainty brought about by Brexit, I am still very confident about the future, and we are entering a market place that we know well”, explained Cuskeran. 

“We are building a state-of-the-art factory which is ideally situated to cover our customer base. William and I have decades of experience across the sector, and there is a highly skilled and well-educated workforce in the area, so we’re very much looking forward to taking this venture forward”.

William Stobart also stepped down from his position of chief executive of the Stobart Group in 2017 and is equally enthusiastic about the new project. 

“I have dealt with Mark for almost 20 years in this business, and I know that his experience, contacts and business style make him an ideal person to take this venture forward with. I am very pleased to be involved with MAW Engineering, and I am confident that together we can build a business which we can be proud of, and which will also provide an economic boost to the area”, remarked William Stobart.

Iveco Farnborough gets IRTE nod

Iveco Retail’s flagship Farnborough dealership, which opened in 2017 at the cost of £1.1m, has achieved IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers) Workshop Accreditation.

The company hopes that by the end of the year, all four dealerships – which comprise of the former Grays sites at Croydon, Hayes and Reading – will secure the same standard.

The IRTE Workshop Accreditation has established itself as the gold standard to independently verify the expertise, health and safety and quality of HGV workshops. Various standards must be met in terms of appearance, documentation of work carried out, health and safety practices and on-site tools and equipment. 

There are now 225 accredited workshops in the UK, and operators are able to view each site’s facility information and range of services, and even vehicle test pass rates, RIDDOR stats and HSE notices on the website. 

“We’ve enjoyed a strong start to business since opening this new site and earning this accreditation was the natural next step. Customers are increasingly asking if we have this standard when appointing a new maintenance provider, so securing this seal of approval gives them confidence we meet the IRTE’s high standards”, explained Lee Hosier, group service manager at IVECO Retail.

“The IRTE accreditation looks at the procedure when a vehicle enters our workshop, through every stage of the service until the final inspection. All actions must be correct, equipment properly maintained and our MOT pass rate – currently 95.7% –above the national average.”

The 3,000metre2 dealership includes nine workshop bays from one tonne to 44 tonnes, with the site also featuring a dedicated ATF lane, MOT facilities, rolling road brake testing capability and tachograph calibration and repair facilities. 

The other three sites were acquired in 2013 by Iveco Retail – a subsidiary of Iveco UK - after the former dealer, Grays Truck & Van, fell into administration and the manufacturer stepped in to secure regional coverage, while the Farnborough site is the first purpose-built dealership.