2023 marks 30 years long service for Nigel Bullivant, VolkerRail’s small plant and equipment (SP&E) asset manager. This is his story.
“My first day was on 10 May 1993, and the company was then called Grant Lyon Eagre.
I joined on a mechanical apprenticeship scheme at the age of 17. At the time, a couple of my friend’s dads were platelayers for the company, so I had heard of Grant Lyon Eagre, but I wasn’t aware of the full extent of the company, or how unique the equipment would be.
I got my job interview through the local technical college in Scunthorpe, and at the time, the companies head office was on Scotter Road in Scunthorpe, so I had a 20-minute bike ride to work.
I spent the whole of my first day steam cleaning an articulated Allis Chambers shovel loader, and by the end of the day I had muck and grease all over me. I was that filthy I wasn’t allowed in my mum’s house. I will never forget that first day. I was cold, wet, and filthy, but I absolutely loved every minute of it! Having the responsibility to work on what seemed like a massive bit of equipment at the time, even if it was only cleaning it (and more importantly, knowing I would be given the potential to learn about it and use it), was so exciting.
When I started with the company, there was two mechanics a foreman mechanic and a plant manager – a grand total of four to make us what is now called our Plant division. Today, the division has over 100 employees, which gives you a perspective on how much the company has progressed and developed.
Once I passed my driving test I travelled to various sites around the country with the other mechanics, to help service or fix the plant and equipment used on each contract. Once qualified, I began to carry out fitter cover on my own, and routine servicing.
After some time (1996) we became GrantRail (we were called GrantPlant), and the business became partly owned by our Dutch colleagues, At this point I can remember a large investment in the department, with the introduction of the Colmar T10000 Road Rail Vehicles (RRVs), possession only Beaver Tampers, and more importantly the main line Matisa Tampers.
When asked if I would be interested in becoming a maintainer operator for the possession only tampers, I jumped at the chance. I then progressed and did my 360 CITB excavator course and rail conversion, and became a maintainer operator for the RRVs (Colmar’s).
I enjoyed that role, but when the role of small plant supervisor became available, I applied, as it would be a promotion and a bit more local. When I started in this role, I did a full 360 from my career as a small plant mechanic, but I really enjoyed the extra responsibility that being a supervisor brought. I then got promoted to the role I have today - hired plant and equipment assets manager specialising in road rail MEWPS and small plant and equipment.
Throughout my career, I have been given opportunities to learn and develop. I have had some fantastic guidance and help over the years, which has allowed me to be in the position I am today.
I have never looked back since starting 30 years ago, and I cannot speak highly enough of the company. I very proud to say I work at VolkerRail. It is an awesome company, with awesome people working here.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has helped me in my career - be that help in teaching me in my apprenticeship, or giving me guidance and support, especially since becoming a manager.
Intersted in a career at VolkerRail? Visit our job portal and apply today.