Tanker firm aiming for further growth

Jack Ropercarries out final measurements inside a 25,000 litre LPG tank being made at RTN's Barnsley headquarters
Jack Ropercarries out final measurements inside a 25,000 litre LPG tank being made at RTN's Barnsley headquarters
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Road Tankers Northern is targeting further growth after opening a second factory in Barnsley.

The company is planning to recruit up to 20 staff after increasing its workforce from 88 to 126 over the past two years.

Hoyland-based RTN builds tankers for the bulk haulage industry and reckons to have up to 90 per cent of the UK market for semi-trailers carrying petrol. Customers include Shell, DHL, Tesco, ASDA and Morrisons.

Operations director Don McKelvie says: “Foreign competition has dramatically reduced due to our expanding production which is very positive news for UK manufacturing.

“We’re now supplying most of the fuel distribution companies and we supply all four major supermarkets.”

Expansion at RTN’s Platts Common Industrial Estate headquarters and the development of a new specialist manufacturing facility at nearby Birdwell means RTN can now build tankers for the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, dairy and brewing industries, in addition to developing bespoke equipment.

The company also recently recruited a number of apprentices who are learning the specialist trades required in tanker manufacturing and servicing and repair.

“The apprentices have a terrific work ethic and we plan to recruit some more,” says Mr McKelvie.

RTN’s growth has been supported by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre – BBIC - Barnsley Development Agency and Barnsley Council.

BBIC’s business team has provided advice on lean manufacturing while the Development Agency has provided access to finance from the Regional Growth Fund and Barnsley Council has provided assistance with funding.

“The growth of RTN has been exceptional in the past two years and we owe a debt of gratitude to Enterprising Barnsley and BBIC who have been pillars of support, particularly with regards to lean manufacturing and expansion,” says Don McKelvie.

BBIC, business development manager Kevin Steel added: “RTN is successfully expanding and is at the forefront of UK tanker manufacture.”