Logistics Site Services have over 40 years’ experience in the construction industry, maintaining and repairing internal and external concrete slabs and offering a nationwide service for everyone from logistics sites and factories to airports and MOD bases. Along with concrete repair and joint sealing services, Logistics Site Services carry out general floor maintenance and also provide commercial resin flooring systems, non-slip coatings and line markings. But what makes Logistics Site Services unique in the flooring services field is that they have also recently developed the highly innovative DOCPADS, an inlaid pad system made of bespoke resin blends which give a flush fitting, non-slip dock leveller plate and save money in cases where damage has already occurred to the concrete.
DOCPADS offer a unique alternative to trailer plates, the traditional means of preventing trailer ‘creep’ and costly floor damage in goods yards. So far LSS have supplied these to such companies as Booker Wholesale and a major UK crisp manufacturer, who has installed them in one of their factories and one of their distribution centres, and now intends to have them at all their sites. Michael Moore, Managing Director of Logistics Site Services, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
Warehouse & Logistics News – When did Logistics Site Services, as it now is, begin business?
My father, Derek Moore, has been doing concrete repairs for about 40 years. I’ve been carrying out concrete repairs and maintenance with Derek for the last 15 years.
WLN – When did you start calling yourselves Logistics Site Services? Where did the Logistics Site Services name come from?
We changed the name in September 2010 from our old name, Concrete Repair Solutions. We chose the name ‘logistics’ for the simple reason that logistics sites are some of our biggest customers and we want to concentrate on them, while continuing to work for customers in other sectors, including airfields.
WLN – What does your role as MD involve day to day?
WLN – Where are you based?
We’re based in Lancashire, just outside Chorley, but work nationwide from Scotland to Cornwall.
WLN – How are you organised in terms of field teams and so on? How many field teams do you have?
We’ve got someone in Anglesey who covers Wales and the Midlands, and specialises in sealants. I work from Lancashire: we also have a base in Sussex. We can have teams working in Scotland, the West and Central England simultaneously.
WLN – Do you have any customers outside the UK?
We don’t have any regular overseas customers as yet, but we’re looking to develop them. DOCPADS have a worldwide appeal: we have had enquiries from overseas, and priced repairs from as far away as the Caribbean. We have also had enquiries from the Falklands regarding work at their RAF base.
WLN – Can you talk us through what DOCPADS are and how they work?
As a general rule, if you want one of our DOCPADS, you’ve got problems! When trailers are backed up and the artic leaves the trailer on the dock leveller, the forklifts that unload it cause wear and tear on the dock floor, which must be repaired. No-one else does what we do: rather than repair the concrete and bolt down plates, which wear loose, curl up and cause a trip hazard, we cut out a re-bed. This involves digging a hole 25-30mm deep, and filling it with a mix of a resin which is exclusive to us and a blend of aggregates. The repair hardens and is ready for use in 12 hours. The strength is in the resin. We’re also looking at using recycled glass to replace some of the aggregate, and planning trials using up to 75% recycled material.
WLN – What size are DOCPADS?
They can be made in any size the job requires. We have quoted for a major food manufacturer who wanted them one metre wide by three metres long. Because we make the plates on site with a blend of resin and aggregate, there’s no maximum or minimum size, and no problems with shrinkage when they’re in place.
WLN – How do DOCPADS differ from conventional trailer plates?
Unlike conventional trailer pads, our DOCPADS don’t curl up or work loose during use. They are flush fitting and have a non slip topping so there are no slips, trips or falls, creating a safer working environment all round.
WLN – How did you come to develop them?
Over the years I have experimented with various different materials for floor repairs using recycled car tyres, which led to the material we use for DOCPADS. I’ve also looked at our past repairs and analysed them. When I came up with this material, I put down on paper our view of the underlying causes of problems with concrete problems, which ultimately come down to the innate strength of the material and the effects of water ingress. With existing dock leveller plates, water gets in and rusts, or freezes and cracks the bolts. Our material and our processes tick every box: once the material is in place, it adheres strongly, working like a damp proof course.
WLN – When did you start offering DOCPADS to customers?
We first offered them in April 2010.
WLN – Where do you make your DOCPADS?
We frame our DOCPADS on site at the job, and produce them individually for that application.
WLN – How long do your DOCPADS last for compared to conventional trailer plates?
We recently revisited a pair of DOCPADS that we installed over 12 months ago, at the same time as a set of old style plastic plates that were fitted to the next bay. Both plates have endured wear: the old style trailer plates were already missing some bolts and curling up enough to cause a trip hazard, whereas the DOCPADS were showing no signs of deterioration at all – in fact, with a quick wash down they would look like they had just been installed.
WLN – I’d better ask: were these trailer plates we’re talking about fitted by you, or someone else? Do you also offer old style plastic trailer plates, for anyone who insists on them?
We fitted our resin DOCPADS, however, the trailer plates in question were fitted by another company specialising in this work. We can make them as well, but we’d rather not!
WLN – What proportion of your business now is DOCPADS?
DOCPADS now represent about half our business. We’ve waited until we know they work before actively selling them to the marketplace.
WLN – How much capacity do you have to supply DOCPADS to more customers, as demand grows? Do you plan to offer them outside the UK?
WLN – What specific concrete repair solutions do you offer to logistics sites?
We offer crack repairs and internal and external concrete repairs, which are permanent works. We use a combination of off the shelf material and our own material based on recycled car tyres, as I mentioned before. We initially used these materials for DOCPADS to provide a semi-flexible concrete repair system, now we’re using them on our other repairs: they’re very effective in reducing the need to dig the full depth of concrete in the course a repair. We also carry out floor repairs in freezer stores using material that cures at sub zero temperatures.
WLN – What do you do if you find there’s a recurrent problem in terms of damage to concrete being caused by how the client is working on that site?
If we see there’s a clear problem arising from how that yard is used, we can suggest ways of protecting the concrete slab and minimising damage.
WLN – What kinds of logistics operations do you work for? Can you name any of your customers in this area?
Of those customers I can name, we currently work for Wincanton and Bookers. I’ve worked as a subcontractor in my own right for Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda’s stores and distribution centres.
WLN – Within the warehouse industry, do you service and repair super-flat floors for narrow aisle and VNA truck operations?
Superflat has been a key part of our business since we set up, and we do quite a bit of floor grinding. We can fill joints with our resins and make them smooth, while enabling movement. We do a lot of work for Twintech Industrial Floors, and help with their after sales. We also do all the after sales for Prestige Concrete Floors. We’ve also been involved with Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s stadium: when another company had put in a concrete slab there, it got rain damage. We diamond ground the rough parts and coated the stand to cover the stain.
WLN – Do your repair teams work 24/7? How much notice do people need to give to have a floor repair?
We work day and night, weekends and bank holidays. We can provide emergency repair cover and can get someone down there within 24 hours to do temporary repairs with resin, to keep the warehouse going until the full repair can be carried out.
WLN – I gather you use tailor-made mortars and resins in your floor repairs. Can you tell us about these?
Tailor-made materials are an important feature of our work. We look at the customer’s needs, talk to our chemist and recommend resins that call for less material than other solutions and reduce the impact on the warehouse in terms of disruption. We can generally do a less invasive repair, causing less dust, and work in several areas simultaneously, so we’re finished quicker.
WLN – On your internal floor repairs, do you provide solutions for dust-free environments?
Yes we do. Using our specialist methods we can carry out internal concrete repair and maintenance without creating dust, which can contaminate stock. Our approach and the fast curing materials we use also allow our clients to carry on with their work with minimal disruption.
WLN – Can you tell us about your dust-free internal floor repairs?
We have rebuilt our system to extract dust using a cyclone filter like a domestic Dyson cleaner, and two more filters. This system is now available to all customers who require it. So far we have put in place 4,500 square metres of floor for a crisp manufacturer, with virtually no dust. We’ve worked in other food and drink factories too, and we’re about to work for a computer company. We’re also targeting pharmaceuticals and hospitals as the next step.
WLN – What fast curing products do you offer for use in external concrete repairs?
WLN – Who are your customers for the fast curing products?
We’ve used these materials on airport runways up and down the UK, and last year carried out a big joint repair for a major catalogue company.
WLN – What different industrial floor coatings do you offer, in terms of non-slip coatings for metal steps and walkways, and internal and external line markings?
We offer a wide range of non-slip floor coatings and have material designed to adhere to stainless steel. On external line markings, we offer design and application of lines and have a list of subcontractors we work with.
WLN – What industry standards do you work for? Do you have any links to industry bodies such as the UK Warehouse Association (UKWA)?
We’re Constructionline-accredited and are currently applying for SAFEcontractor approval and CHAS, the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme. We’re looking at links with warehousing and logistics industry bodies.
WLN – How has the recession affected demand for your solutions?
We’ve kept busy during the downturn looking after our airport customers and other existing business, and have seen an increase since September 2010 in terms of people getting floors repaired. We have a lot of work in the pipeline, and in many cases are waiting for people’s financial years to start before we go ahead.
WLN – Finally, where do you see Logistics Site Services going from here?
I’d like to see everyone in the warehouse and logistics sector going for our DOCPADS in their loading bays. I’d also like us to do more overseas work and continue our steady growth. Best of all, I’d like to get out there and repair some floors, and do some memorable work.
Logistics Site Services Ltd
Tel: 07732 424937