The CMA Files brought to book

Earlier this week, we broadcasted the final (for now) episode of The CMA Files audio podcast. As we planned from the outset, the show will then go into stasis while the Competition and Markets Authority packages up the findings of its three-year investigation into alleged collusion within the UK demolition industry.

However, such has been the popularity of the podcast that we have now taken the script for all the episodes and turned the show into a book called – predictably – The CMA Files. And that book is on sale NOW for just £5.00.

Our patrons have already received a copy of the book FREE OF CHARGE (you can become a patron here).

Now I will warn you – The book is currently incomplete while we wait for the Competition and Markets Authority axe to fall.

When the final chapter is added (after the CMA pronouncement), all those that purchased the incomplete book will receive a new and complete version with the final chapter added.
The complete book (with the final chapter) will then go on sale at £10 to all those that did not purchase the incomplete book or who qualified for a free copy.

You can buy your copy of the incomplete book (and thereby save yourself a fiver) RIGHT HERE.

Keltbray latest to make financial provisions

Industry news portal Construction Enquirer is reporting today that Keltbray has made a provision of £6 million in its latest accounts for a “civil regulatory matter”.

It is understood the figure relates to potential fines following a three-year investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).

The Enquirer understands the level of possible penalties following the investigation into six companies were communicated to firms earlier this year.

The investigation opened in March 2019 into possible breaches of the Competition Act in relation to the supply of construction services.

Keltbray said it is “addressing a civil regulatory matter relating to historical issues which arose under a previous management team.”

It added: “The timing and outcome of this matter is uncertain however the range of potential liability is between £3.9 and £16 million.

“Having received advice a best estimate provision of £6m in relation to potential liability has been considered by the directors to be appropriate.”

Keltbray has also spent £500,000 in legal fees on the case.

Earlier this year Careys set aside £9 million for “a regulatory matter relating to historical breaches due to the behaviour of a former management team”.

The CMA says the next official update on the case will be next month.

Buy The CMA Files book by Mark Anthony here.

A Night at the Museum

The Munktell Museum in Eskilstuna, Sweden charts the development of the companies, the products and the people that together were part of the history of Volvo Construction Equipment.

DemolitionNews’ Mark Anthony was lucky enough to get a private showing.

The Break Fast Show #323

In today’s show: We have the most stunningly beautiful demolition you are ever likely to see; what does Hyundai have up its sleeve?; and that is one beefy backhoe.

PLUS there is an epic journey for a long reach LiuGong.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

The Hillhead 2022 Pre-Show Show

On Tuesday next week, the Hillhead 2022 exhibition opens its doors once again after an enforced four-year absence.

With the show marking its 40th anniversary, we took the opportunity to look through some of the hottest equipment that will be on display including several never-seen-before models.

The prize draws mentioned in the show are now closed; but don’t let that put you off.

The Break Fast Show #322

In today’s show: UK demolition equipment enthusiasts rejoice – KTEG gets a UK dealer; out with the old and in with the new, Mammoet-style; out for 38 – The Prindville Stand at The WACA falls; and Doosan deal at the double.

PLUS we will be looking ahead to a jam-packed Hillhead 2022 pre-show show that takes place at 6pm this evening.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show:

The Break Fast Show #321

In today’s show: Volvo is seeking first-mover advantage with a hydrogen-fuelled ADT; Italmek brings the demolition fire-power; we’re scraping by in Southern California; and there is mining on an epic scale from China.

PLUS we take a double look ahead to the Hillhead 2022 exhibition that starts just one week from today.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

EXCLUSIVE – Epic voyage to Eskilstuna

Volvo Construction Equipment recently hosted an event to introduce its hugely updated product line to a select group of industry influencers.

DemolitionNews’ Mark Anthony was fortunate enough to receive an invitation.

So join Mark as he takes you behind the scenes at the Volvo Construction Equipment headquarters in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

Comment – What the Hell happened to us…?

Several years ago, I was visiting a demolition site in the south of England. It was a large site; large enough to warrant a dedicated on-site canteen. After a morning touring the site, the managing director of the demolition company involved (who shall remain nameless) and I adjourned to said canteen, both of us craving what I believe to be the demolition industry’s national dish: a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea.

We queued at the counter along with the demolition workers on their lunch break. The man in front of us ordered a salad. Not a meat salad; not a cheese or egg salad. Just a salad. (It is worth noting at this point that the man in question was roughly the size of a brick out-house and looked like he specialised in eating the things that eat salad). The managing director and I exchanged a glance but said nothing.

We ordered our bacon sarnies and while the MD was putting the third or fourth spoonful of sugar into his tea, another demolition worker placed his order: “Do you have a green tea?”

As we walked to our table, the company MD turned to me and with a look that balanced disappointment, amazement and disdain said: “What the Hell happened to this industry?” (He didn’t use the word Hell, actually. He was a little more forceful than that).

Now of course, Mr Salad may have been on a diet; or he may have had a health condition. And Mr Green Tea might just like the taste of green tea.

But that brief exchange encapsulated the changing face of the UK demolition industry. What was once a rough, tough sector manned (and I use that term advisedly) by rough, tough and hairy-arsed individuals now has a softer edge. It is as if the industry as a whole held a secret meeting and agreed “en masse” to get in touch with its feminine side.

Now, before we go any further, let me be clear. I am all for progress and professionalism. And before the keyboard warriors converge, let me remind you that I am a vocal advocate for welcoming workers from ethnic minorities (why there is not an ethnic minority-led demolition company yet is a constant mystery to me). I have spoken countless times about how the industry needs to embrace those from the LGBTQ community if it is to ever achieve true equality and professionalism. And I also believe that we could largely cure the skills shortage across demolition and construction if we could all just get over the fact that half the world has boobs and ovaries.

I also accept that what I am about to say may come across as me entering my “Angry of Epsom” time of life in which I hark on constantly about how good the good ol’ days really were.

Right, having clarified all of that, let me begin. The demolition industry has, in the space of just a few decades, gone from rough and tough to mollycoddled. There are aspects of the industry today that would make the founding fathers of the sector shake their heads in disbelief or throw up their hands in astonishment.

Previous generations went to work in cloth caps, donkey jackets and everyday shoes. They smoked, drank and ate greasy (delicious) food. They worked at great heights without harnesses. They worked in the sun, the wind, the snow and the rain. The machines they drove often had no cabs and the seat within was a wooden bench. They went to work to earn money for their families, generally without complaint.

Compare that to the industry of today in all its PPE-wearing, hydration-conscious, salad-eating, sunscreen-obsessed and vanilla-vaping glory.

We have gone from a labour force that lived or (occasionally) died by its own actions to a labour force that arrives for work expecting to be greeted with bottles of water, access to sunscreen lotion; that will take two weeks off work for a grazed elbow; that treats even the slightest work-time incident as a direct threat to their mental health. (Note to the perpetually outraged and the professionally offended: I have spoken openly my own mental health issues for years now, so step away from the keyboard).

100-odd years ago, young men gave their lives for king and country at the Battle of the Somme. If that battle were repeated today, most young people would run in the opposite direction. Those that remained would complain about the mud, the noise and how all that shouting and screaming was making them feel uncomfortable.

Do I have a point with all this? Well, sort of. If concerns over hydration, sunscreen and mental health have come about because demolition firms are eager to take care of their greatest asset, then great. Hats off and more power to them.
If, however, all those factors (and countless more besides) have been put in place purely to tick a box on a client checklist, then we haven’t progressed. We have just allowed ourselves to go soft.

Right, while the founding fathers of the industry spin in their collective graves, anyone for salad and green tea?

The Break Fast Show #319

In today’s show: Stiff penalties for company bosses behind sledgehammer demolition that freed asbestos fibres; how to keep your fuel safe and secure as thefts spiral; how many Cats does it take to demolish a bridge? And we’re off to Hillhead once again, this time in the company of Bobcat.

PLUS there is a WORLD EXCLUSIVE film of a new remotely-controlled, straight boom demolition excavator from Volvo Construction Equipment.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.