L Lynch Plant Hire and Haulage – keeping Britain building
L Lynch Plant Hire and Haulage is one of the UK’s largest providers of plant and machinery to hire. The Hemel Hempstead based company is quite literally the engine behind many of the country’s largest infrastructure projects.
Finance Director Fabian Swampillai speaks to Hillier Hopkins about its rapid growth, the investment the business continues to make in its people and machinery, and how it is driving forward a more sustainable future.
L Lynch Plant Hire and Haulage was established in 1980 by Liam Lynch with just one machine and a driving ambition to become a leading plant and haulage provider. Today, the business has grown to over 1,600 machines and lorries operating from Hemel Hempstead, Manchester and Birmingham, with Liam and his two sons, Rob and Merrill, in the driving seat.
Its machines are building Britain, used in the construction of HS2, the Thames Tideway project, the widening of the M1 motorway, and the building of smart motorways. Whether a small mini digger to fit in a back garden or a 55-tonne excavator, L Lynch is the first port of call for many of the world’s largest construction companies.
The business employs 220 full-time staff, with a 22-strong team in the finance and accounts department helping to manage the firm’s rapid growth. More than 500 operators and drivers are employed indirectly by the business each week through the construction industry scheme or via sub-contractors.
Investment in new machines
The booming construction industry and L Lynch’s rapid growth is driving major investment in new plant every year.
Fabian believes the construction industry will continue to grow over the next decade driving further investment by the business in the latest plant and machinery that the large construction companies need and demand.
“Our headquarters are in Hemel Hempstead, with yards in Manchester, the Midlands and, more recently, in Birmingham to support the construction of HS2. We are always planning seven or eight months ahead to ensure we have the machines our clients need.”
Investing in the environment
The nature of the plant available to customers is also changing to reflect environmental and health and safety concerns.
L Lynch is the first plant hire company in the UK to offer low emission Hydrema dump trucks in a fleet that includes hybrid excavators and tipper trucks running on vegetable oil, a fully biodegradable fuel that boast 90% lower emissions than standard diesel. The company is also pioneering fully electric mini-excavators and dumpers.
Investing in people
Unusually, L Lynch provides its customers with operators alongside the machinery should they need them. It stands the company apart from the industry-standard hire only businesses.
The quality of its machinery and the investment in training and health and safety has made it an employer of choice for many looking for a career in the construction industry.
“We were expecting the worst following Brexit,” says Fabian Swampillai, “but staffing levels have held up.”
L Lynch runs an apprentice programme and has invested in its own training centres for people at all stages of their careers.
Managing a rapidly growing business can be challenging and it is a testament to L Lynch’s strong “can-do” attitude and collaborative approach. This is seen in its operators, health and safety, training, sales and marketing, and finance teams. The company is, to use a familiar analogy, a well-oiled machine.
For the past two years accountants Hillier Hopkins, led by Director Gary Wong, has been a valued part of that team, providing audit, tax and management accounting advice and support.
“I have known Gary for many years and when we outgrew our previous accountancy firm, we turned to Hillier Hopkins,” explains Fabian Swampillai. “They are now our main partners for audit and tax.”
“The firm is very good with a professional approach. Audits are well-planned in advance, with the time frame and fees agreed in advance. They do provide the certainty we need. Gary and his team are always on hand to provide the tax advice we need when it is needed.”
Hillier Hopkins has recently helped L Lynch reorganise the company’s structure, securing the necessary approvals from HMRC.
“Hillier Hopkins has helped us with the foundations on which to support future growth,” concludes Fabian.