Baldwins has done a deal with Metcalfe Farms Haulage, which enables it to continue operating heavy crane services, with the haulier transporting counterweight, boom attachments and ancillary equipment to site. Through an unreconstructed quirk of the law, mobile cranes are not subject to the same stringent regulations as lorries, so Baldwins is perfectly free to keep operating these, despite its various offences.
In a statement, the crane hire company said: “Baldwins and Metcalfe’s have had a long relationship whereby Metcalfe’s have on previous occasions assisted in providing transport services to us and they will now become our preferred transport supplier as from 5th September 2016. Metcalfe’s will take over the operation of our own heavy haulage fleet and will also use their own vehicles.”
Metcalfe Farms Haulage has its head office in Leyburn and southern operations based in Southampton.
Baldwins added that its heavy crane fleet “will continue to operate as normal and customers will not see any change in our standard of service”.
Baldwins has also set up a new subsidiary company through which it is applying for a new operating licence. Baldwins Support Services Ltd was incorporated on 9th June 2016 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Baldwins Group, with Andrew Skelton as director and Lorrain Baldwin as company secretary. They resigned on 8th August on being banned by the Traffic Commissioner from operating goods vehicles. Group founder Richard Baldwin was also disqualified for a year and his son Wayne Baldwin was disqualified for five years.
Marcus Gough was subsequently appointed director of Baldwins Support Services Ltd instead, to head up future transport operations.
Baldwins had its goods vehicle licences revoked last month by the Traffic Commissioner for falsifying records of driver hours. [See previous report here.]