Dave Patterson, who has spearheaded the development of our Bulk Materials Department, has announced his retirement after a long and successful career in the industry.
We’re sad to say goodbye to Dave, who has created a fantastic team and been a great colleague to work with.
As General Manager of our Bulk Materials Department, Dave has been instrumental in the successful growth of the department and establishing Starclean, Centrax and Spill-Ex products in the UK, to deliver significant conveyor improvement for our customers.
Starclean in particular, which cleans the conveyor belts by reducing and/or eliminating material carry-back, has become a respected player in the industries we serve such as quarrying, sand and gravel and recycling. Under Dave’s leadership, we have installed over 900 cleaners at sites across the UK since it was first introduced five years ago.
Dave, who began his career as a mechanical apprentice with the National Coal Board, has worked for a number of leading companies in the material handling industry over his varied career and gained an excellent reputation for his expertise in engineering and conveyors.
Although most of his working career was spent in the UK he also worked on projects in other areas of the world including India, China, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE and the USA.
Dave originally planned to retire five years ago, until a chance meeting with ProSpare Managing Director James Bullock at a Materials Handling Engineers Association (MHEA) event led to a new opportunity. ProSpare regularly received feedback from clients that conveyor belts were one of the biggest problem areas they faced. Although experienced in handling bulk raw materials, we were not active in the belt cleaning market. However, as a well-known process improver, we were challenged to do something about it.
Having found a new problem-solving conveyor product in Europe, ProSpare needed to build a team to service the UK market. Dave then joined to head up the newly formed Bulk Materials Handling Department.
Dave praised his hard-working colleagues for their commitment in ensuring the success of Starclean, Centrax, Spill-Ex and associated products.
“I’m very proud of the team,” he said. “It took a lot of hard work to set up the department and introduce the products to the market, but now we find that people want to speak to us to improve their conveyors – they’ve heard about us and we have a reputation in the industry for not only having a good product but good people too.”
“The important thing for us is that we become partners with our customers through the process of selling the product, then installing and maintaining it. It’s all about improving the performance of the conveyor over the long-term” said Dave.
Starclean, which is manufactured by the German company Schulte Strathaus – one of Europe’s most respected belt cleaner manufacturers – has an ingenious mechanism that helps it operate in a different way to traditional belt scrapers. The cleaner saves clients time and money by reducing conveyor downtime, wasted material, manual handling, clean-up time, dust emissions and health & safety concerns.
It has helped ProSpare, along with our sister company ConSpare, move into new and diverse industries and take on large capital expenditure projects for conveyors.
We are the preferred partner of some of the biggest hard rock quarries, cement works, marine wharfs, concrete producers and recycling businesses in the country.
The Bulk Materials team includes sales office co-ordinator Jane Paterson, administrator Jackie Sowter, project co-ordinator Jan Hajkowski and service engineers Alan Bryan, Wayne Dunbar and David Huntington. Dave also mentored and worked closely with Tom Bullock, who is now a continuous improvement engineer at ConSpare.
Taking over the reins as General Manager of the Bulk Materials Department is senior service engineer John Tuckley, who has been with the team since its conception. He too has spent a large part of his adult life working with conveyors both in the UK and Australia, and is well placed to lead the team.
“I believe that he will do a great job – we have similar ways of working and similar ideas,” said Dave. “We have a saying in the department – get down and dirty- which in a nutshell means get your overalls on, walk the conveyors, identify any problems and issues and look to rectify them – people respect you for it.”
Managing Director James Bullock said the company was hugely grateful to Dave for his work in establishing Starclean in the UK market and for building a successful team.
“We changed the structure of the business to build this department,” he said. “Bringing an innovative product to market can take some time and Dave and his team have worked incredibly hard to make it a success, building Starclean into a major brand and helping us to move into newer and more diverse industries,” he said.
“His are big shoes to fill as he has such an outstanding reputation in the industry, but John and the team will continue to go from strength to strength. We want to thank Dave for everything he has achieved and wish him well.”
Now Dave plans to spend more time on his various hobbies – mountain biking, walking and spending time riding his Triumph Bonneville motorbike. An avid football fan, he looks forward to watching Manchester City and the England national team.
He and his partner Linda, intend to enjoy foreign travel including visiting her sister on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The couple have five children between them and seven grandchildren, aged from 21 months to 21 years old.
“We’ll certainly keep busy,” said Dave, who will continue to provide occasional consultancy support. “I’ll miss the team – it’s a close-knit group of people and we’ll keep in touch. But the department is in safe hands.”
Starclean belt cleaners commended as a Top 5, “runner-up”, innovation at the Tarmac Innovation Challenge 2018.