The salvage company has invested in around 80 new loader trucks for winter

While many businesses are struggling financially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated national lockdown, salvage firm Copart UK is instead using this time to invest in business growth – this includes the purchase of more than 80 JCB loader trucks for use in its UK storage centres.

Although the company had already ordered 42 loader trucks in readiness for the upcoming winter period, last month the business doubled its order to cater for customer demand.

Jane Pocock, managing director at Copart UK, explained that the recent lockdown and associated decline in workload has enabled the business to review its internal operations and vehicles.

She said: “Normally we work at such a fast pace that the fact that we’ve been able to go a bit slower has enabled us to review the age and replacement cycle of our trucks.”

Increasing deliveries

Furthermore, to adhere to social distancing measures, Copart UK is now delivering the vehicles it sells via its global, online auction rather than having customers collect their new purchases – the company’s yards have been closed to the public in order to protect staff from potential Covid-19 exposure.

Pocock believes these deliveries will continue post-coronavirus, driving the firm’s investment actions.

She continued: “The fact that we’re delivering more vehicles now will probably continue, so we have seriously invested in our transporters.

“We’re very much focused on future growth and expansion and we’ve already [gained] quite a bit of new business through this period because people have come to us for a different way of working for the future, so that’s good.”

Phil Briggs, Copart UK’s director of operations centres, transport and engineering, added: “Even during these unprecedented times we are focused on driving the business forward, and our vehicle fleet is key to that ambition.

“This significant investment in new JCB loaders will not only enable us to handle increasing volumes of vehicles as we head into our customers’ busy winter period, but will also support both their and our future needs as we bring online new operations centres.”

More space

Copart UK has also invested in buying land to increase its yard capacities.

“Constantly growing our land base is really important,” Pocock said. “We’ve recently bought some land [for] yard extensions and new centres, which we’re rolling out as part of our network.

“We pride ourselves on maintaining a certain level of capacity for any eventuality.”

This has been an important ethos during the coronavirus crisis, added Pocock, as insurers have been concerned about the availability of parts needed for repairs.

“What’s been good for us is if somebody does ring us up and say can we give you 5% extra work because we don’t want to put it through the bodyshops right now because we’re worried about accessibility of parts, then we’ve always got capacity,” she said.