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About Econ

Customers are at the heart of our business

Econ Engineering is a market leading, 2nd generation engineering manufacturer, we build a range of vehicles each year that have been specifically designed to meet the needs of the winter and highway maintenance sector. Our range of gritters, road mending, multipurpose and swap body (demountable) vehicles can be seen at work on many highways across the UK, throughout the year.

Company background

Our expertise

With extensive knowledge of the UK highways market, Econ are renowned for our innovation, tailor made products and a customer service culture that is 2nd to none.  Being able to adapt our products to accommodate customer requirements requires a level of flexibility that not all businesses can achieve.  But as Econ design and build all of our components from the chassis up using flat metal which is cut and crafted into each finished vehicle, we are able to tailor make and adapt products ‘on demand’.

Our centres

This extends beyond the factory through every aspect of the Econ business.  From our Sales Team who partner customers to spec and choose the right combination of features to best serve their particular tasks; our Design Engineers who ‘figure out’ how to meet these requirements; the Support Team who ‘manage’ the scheduled or ad hoc service requests for either the hire fleet, contract maintenance or customers own fleet and the Mobile or Service Hub Engineers who undertake’ these tasks;  customers continue to commend us on our can ‘do approach’ to getting the ‘job done well’.

"Our customer first approach is at the cornerstone of every business decision"Andrew Lupton, Sales Director
Econ 50th anniversary 'Goldie the Gritter' coming out of a shed

Goldie the Gritter

Our vision and proposition

Our customer first approach is at the cornerstone of every business decision, and over the years we have adapted to market conditions to innovate our service and product range with you in mind. Starting with the diversification into the highways market, with our first gritter built in the early 70’s on the desire to improve the efficiency of road clearing after Britain suffered a series of bad winters. And the introduction of a hire division that was born out of a need for customers to continue to clear their growing road networks with less money after a budget freeze back in the late 90’s and the subsequent introduction of “on lease“ payment terms that reflect customer budget phasing for winter vehicles.

This flexible, adaptive and innovative customer first approach to business has served us well for the last 50 years and hopefully will do so for many years to come, with the support of our staff and the 3rd generation of Lupton’s becoming part of our business.

Our management team

Econ's Operations Director Jonathan Lupton

Jonathan Lupton

Managing Director, Operations & Hire Fleet Director

Jonathan started in the factory in 1985 power-washing muck spreaders and worked his way around the business learning the trade. In 1998 he became a Board Director and as Operations Director and joint Managing Director, is responsible for the Hire & Service Divisions which includes the Mobile Service Engineers and the Service Hubs in Alloa, Ripon and Cardiff (opened 2020).

 

Econ's Sales Director Andrew Lupton

Andrew Lupton

Managing Director, Sales Director

After taking a Business Studies Degree at Leicester Polytechnic, Andrew joined IBM in Sales. He joined the Econ family business as a Sales Manager in 1989. Andrew became a Board Director in 1998 and as Sales Director and joint Managing Director, is responsible for the Sales Teams and Management of the business.

Econ's Finance Director Beverley Shepherd

Beverley Shepherd

Finance & HR Director

Bev graduated in 2003 with a BA (Hons) in Accounting. In 2008 she qualified as a Chartered Accountant after a training contract with an accountancy firm. Bev joined Econ Engineering in 2014 as a Finance Manager and was appointed as Finance & HR Director in 2017.  In 2018 Bev became the ‘Northern Finance Director of the Year of a Limited Company £25m to £100m’ and has just been invited onto the Bank of England Decision Makers Panel.

 

Econ's Factory Manager Colin Trewhitt

Colin Trewhitt

Factory Manager

Colin joined Econ in 1987 straight from school on the then popular YTS (Youth Training Scheme) in the Technical Office. Colin is now Factory Manager responsible for its entire operation from ‘Metal Prep’ to Vehicle Fitting producing over 350 gritters and hot boxes each year.

 

Donnie Kerr - Econ

Donnie Kerr

Service Manager – Scotland

Donnie joined Econ in 2020 as the service manager for Scotland based at the company’s flagship Alloa service hub. Donnie brings a lifetime of experience gained from working in the winter mainenance industry and is a well know and respected figure in the sector.

Econ's Service and Resales Manager Paul Wigby

Paul Wigby

Service & Resales Manager

Paul joined Econ 1985 after 3 years training in a small local engineering company. Working on the shop floor building spreaders and agricultural equipment and travelling the country servicing vehicles. After 3 years working on heavy plant for quarries, he returned in 1992, introducing chassis shortening to the business, which led to the start of the hire fleet. Paul now manages the Service/Hire Department at Ripon. Keeping the 800 strong hire fleet serviced and repaired throughout the winter season as well as maintenance and ad-hoc repairs for any Econ vehicles.

Econ's Mechanical Design Manager Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn

Mechanical Design Manager

Returned in 2004 after working in Production as part of his Mechanical Engineering degree. Became Technical Manager in 2010. Manages Design team responsible for the development of new products in line with customer or market needs. As well as a continual programme of improvements for existing product and the bill of materials to create them.

Econ Sales Manager Steve Sinnott

Steve Sinnott

Key Account Manager; South East & Southern Sales Manager

Steve joined Econ in 2013 and now has over 35 years in the Commercial Vehicle Industry, 15 of which were in the specialist body building sector. Currently supporting Private and Public sector, Winter and Highway Maintenance Operations and Key Account management.

Econ Sales Manager David Carswell

David Carswell

North of England, Scotland & North Ireland Sales Manager

David joined Econ in 2017 and has been working in Winter & Road Industry for over 13 years. He provides bespoke solutions and account management to the public and private sectors

Econ Sales Manager Kevin Yale

Kevin Yale

Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Midlands, Wales & South West Sales Manager

Kevin joined Econ in 2018 and has 35 years’ experience in the Commercial Vehicle Industry.

He provides bespoke solutions and account management to the Private and Public sector in the Winter and Highway Maintenance market.

Econ Hire and Sales Office Manager Claire Hope

Claire Hope

Hire & Sales Office Manager

Claire joined Econ in 2012 to support the supply, service and maintenance of our Hire Fleet. Claire has grown with the business and assisted taking it from 200 vehicles to 800 at this time, she now Manages this busy department. Her previous role as Firearms & Explosives Enquiry Officer for North Yorkshire Police, has given her the skills to remain calm under the pressure and deal with the daily demands our busy winter months bring.

 

Bruce Barrett

Service Centre Administrator

Bruce joined the firm virtually straight form school on September 8th 1986, starting as a wages clerk in accounts. He has also worked in other departments such as parts, sales and service before taking up his current role.

Sustainability

Econ staff at the Ripon factory with solar panels

Econ Mission

Our company’s foundation is built on our values, which distinguish us and guide our actions. We conduct our business in a socially responsible and ethical manner. We respect the law, support universal human rights, protect the environment and benefit the communities where we work

Business Strategy

ECON put customers at the heart of our business. Our customers continually strive to create more sustainable operations, and we seek to enable this through the products that we provide.

As an ethical company, who manufacture motorised vehicles for the winter
market, we are extremely aware of the impact of global warming on the
environment. We have had to modify our business to develop more multi
functioning vehicles as the winters have become less harsh and customers
managing certain geographical areas or urban environments have less demand for stand alone gritters. We take our impact on the environment seriously which is evidenced by our continual investment in sustainable measures to offset and reduce this.

Sustainability is therefore a business imperative for Econ. Whilst we are working with partners to develop a viable sustainable vehicle for this sector – we focus our efforts on making our manufacturing as sustainable as possible, helping our customers to make smarter choices with regards to donor vehicles that meet or exceed the future Government directives for carbon emissions.

Econ Sustainability Approach

ECON strive towards carbon neutrality in the manufacture and development of sustainable highway maintenance vehicles.

As a manufacturing business, Econ have unavoidably high levels of power consumption and are continually reviewing our carbon footprint as part of an over-arching Environmental policy.
This policy is in line with the UK Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 and the Renewable Energy Directive target of generating 15% of UK energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

Our Power & Carbon Achievements

We take our environmental credentials very seriously and are committed to ensuring we work in the most environmentally way possible.
We have invested over £4M in sustainable measures and infrastructure development since 2015, to reduce carbon and energy consumption where possible.
In the last financial year, we have reduced our carbon footprint by 1587 tonnes in power reductions and 274 tonnes with localised service centres.
As a result of ‘material optimisation’, upto 83% of waste materials have been re-used and landfill reduced by 18%.

800 solar panels on our factory roof, will generate 15% of our power from renewable sources and offsets 62.5 tonnes of carbon.

Our third laser cutting machine promises 600% greater yield for 51% less electricity, saving approximately 41.41 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere.

2 strategically placed service hubs, reduced distance travelled for maintenance, saving 154 tonnes of carbon pa.

A bespoke lighter ‘on demand’ vehicle operation system developed with DAF, makes the vehicle 5% more efficient in fuel and carbon emissions, saving 10 tonnes of carbon pa.

Movement sensing lower energy lights save 109 tonnes of carbon pa and provide a far brighter and safer work environment.
Our strategy is paying off. During the last 3 years, whilst outputs have increased by 19%, for only an 8% increase in electricity, we have burned 15% less carbon and provided 15% of energy from renewable source.
We are proud of our efforts so far, but we realise there is still more work to be done.

We are committed to using any savings created in a continuous program of
sustainable development, to further reduce our consumption or carbon
output and have a long term vision for sustainability.

We are forming collaborations to develop more sustainable winter maintenance vehicles in the future. In the meantime, the most effective way to reduce our environmental impact is to:

Invest in the ongoing development of energy saving measures within the manufacturing processes
Reduce carbon outputs through the supply chain
Convert to low or no emission vehicles wherever possible
Optimise salt distribution for winter clearing to reduce erosion

We work within the 3 core pillars of the sustainability framework, to Regenerate, Restore, Reduce. You can read more about the work that we have undertaken so far here.

Legislation

We currently work within ISO 9001 and are working towards ISO 14000
We anticipate and contribute to the development of new legislation and standards, specifically around the type and application of de-icers to reduce unnecessary erosion.

Land Use

Take account of environment issues in its approach to the control in respect of land use on these premises and adjacent local habitat.

Water Use

Introduce water management systems whenever practicable, taking full account of ground water protection and discharge.

Apprenticeships

Econ actively seek to invest in the future by employing the youth of today. Econ offers a diverse range of career paths for individuals with modern apprentice placements

Future Sustainability

As a 2nd generation family run business with 3rd generation in training. We are committed to the ongoing development of our products to meet the changing and growing needs of our customers, and as such we have a recurring investment in product development to help keep ahead of changes in legislation and operating practice.

We are systematically changing to more carbon neutral, environmentally friendly products, by designing new salt and brine distribution systems and working with partners who can help us to develop viable alternative fuel sourced vehicles. In the meantime, we are working with the same partners to improve the efficiencies of the existing systems.

We have just launched a new pedestrian and cycle path sprayer, which will help our customers/councils to meet their obligations to protect and increase the number of non motorised commutes over the next 5 years.

We plan to upgrade our renewable energy sources when we achieve payback on the solar panels, and we will continue to replace equipment with more energy efficient versions as they become due for renewal.
With a strong leadership team, who are committed to our business aims for
customer first, sustainable and ethical practice, we are confident that we will continue to improve our sustainable credentials in the future.

People being shown around the Econ factory in Ripon

Local community

Local groups

Econ Engineering supports community groups such as Young Farmers Clubs, colleges and clubs with visits to our factory site in Ripon.  The factory visit explains the history of Econ, a visit to our museum containing historical equipment manufactured over the years by Econ and a tour of the existing site with live demonstrations of the modern technology that has been introduced such as our laser cutter.  These visits are led by members of the existing Econ team who provide information on the career opportunities that exist in an organization of our type.

Local employment opportunities

Econ Engineering has a long standing and loyal workforce with many employees, including the owners, working their way up through the business who now form part of the senior management team.  Of course, natural wastage such as retirement means we are always seeking candidates to fill various posts and offer a diverse range of opportunities for both skilled and unskilled.

Supporting local events

Econ Engineering have a long history of supporting local charitable causes that are important to our staff, such as the Thirsk Harriers, supporting YMCA fundraising events and are a business funder for St Michael’s Hospice

We continue to support Ripon Council with their local engagement events. We also supported the Yorkshire Tourist board, during the recent Tour De Yorkshire by painting 100’s of bikes the “Yorkshire Yellow” to be used throughout the routes.

We have recently created some nostalgic silhouettes of soldiers, to raise awareness for the British Legion, during the first world war centenary commemorative activities.  As well as the Army College with cut outs for their Roundabout sponsorship in Harrogate.

Econ also encourages local projects and community events to apply for support with local initiatives that benefit the community such as football teams and youth schemes.

 

An Econ yellow bicycle created for Le Grand Depart

Le Grand Depart Econ yellow bicycle

Want to join our community

There is a vibrant energy at Econ. We are always looking for good people who want to lead, advance and enhance our business.  Check out the latest vacancies or job roles that we typically recruit into, here at Econ in our Careers section.

Apply online for any that you feel fit your skills and experience. We look forward to hearing from you.

Econ Extra

Products

Econ offer a wide range of winter and highway maintenance vehicles that are designed and built to suit your specific needs at our factory in Ripon.

Learn More

Contract Hire

Some customers prefer to hire their winter maintenance vehicles from Econ. One fixed fee gives you complete peace of mind as we take care of everything from scheduled maintenance to 24-hour breakdown and repair.

Learn More

Service & Spares

Our skilled service engineers can repair or service your Econ vehicles on site, or at one of our regional service hubs in Ripon, Alloa or Cardiff.

Learn More

Get in touch

Rather give us a call? +44 01765 605321


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