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"We’re not a scrap yard, we’re a vehicle dismantlers"

Skan 4x4 Ltd stores
Planned growth and careful cost analysis have been key to Skan 4x4's success.

Atf Pro met up with the guys at Skan 4x4 Ltd to take a look at their great setup.

Nestled amongst the hills of South Shropshire is vehicle dismantlers Skan 4x4 Ltd. Owned by Warwick Skan and co-run with his longtime colleague Colin MacColl and their team of five, Skan 4x4 Ltd has gone from strength to strength.

Warwick and his father previously ran a transport company but 9 years ago Warwick, with an investment of £3000, and Colin decided to set up a vehicle dismantlers, Skan 4x4 Ltd. Back then they specialised in Land Rover Discovery 1s then expanded to other 4x4s. Since then they have tried various vehicles within niche markets and discovered several to be most profitable. They now boast a £1.2 million turnover.

Due to the friendly team working ethic and an approachable boss, it allows the workforce to discuss and decide which vehicles are most suitable for them to dismantle.

The setup at Skan 4x4 is great. And it’s come a long way since they started; owning only half of the workshop building with a large pit (where lying on their backs was essential) to writing out postal labels by hand. Skan 4x4’s workshop is now double the size with room for racking to store broken down vehicles (all of which is highly organised), a large packing room (originally a fireplace showroom) with further storage on the second floor above and the whole site sits on approximately 2 acres.
Warwick Skanier and Colin MacColl
Skan 4x4 Ltd's Warwick Skan (left) and Colin MacColl.

With 7 staff in all, whose roles within the company are clear, they run a highly efficient operation. Vehicles arrive with the help of a neighbouring recovery vehicle company. A full diagnostic is made by Richard and his co-worker on the vehicle and time is spent ensuring the engine is running. They use ‘Automotech’ 4000kg lifts, of which they have 2 (Warwick pointed out how Automotech have been most helpful). ‘Autodrain’ equipment is used (also good for advice). Cages are set up ready for parts to be shelved or photographed in the photo booth ready for auction. The whole process, we were informed, takes 48 hours from arrival to packaging.

An example of a recent vehicle, a Honda Civic, according to Colin, “We go to great lengths to make sure that we can test the component before we sell them. In order to get it running, we had to remove the bumper, cut out the metalwork behind the bumper, we then managed to cobble together some pipework and make a radiator out of a pickup truck fit (held in with cable ties!).

Only then we could we fully run and drive the vehicle and test all its components properly, all in all probably about 2 hours’ worth of workshop time just to be able to test the vehicle fully.”

Whilst Warwick oversees the whole operation, he lets everyone do their jobs without interference. They use the program ‘Breaker Pro’ to keep watch on the stock, of which Colin is the main user. He said it is a “highly cost effective program”. Stock is added by team member Al, to racks (one vehicle per shelf) and all labelled clearly so there’s always a back up to knowing where an item is!

As for the future, they’re in the process of creating a new, more secure entrance and to extend the land space to store new vehicles that come in. They own the complete site and are often priased by the EA on their annual inspections. Also a possible rebrand is in the pipeline, due to their ever expanding fondness for trying out niche markets other than 4x4s. This can only make the company bigger and better!

If you would like to find out more from Warwick and his team at Skan 4x4 Ltd, you can email them or call 01952 727298 or check out their website.

July 2017

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