Ensuring high levels of machine safety and knowledge has increased the skills, confidence, and quality of work produced by operators at Hales Sawmills as it invests in the future.

Hales Sawmills, formed by Bill Parton and his son Julian Parton in 1982, specialises in bespoke and mass-produced timber furniture including gates, panels, fencing and more, and has undergone major expansion over the past four years. This has so far resulted in a 15% rise in production thanks to investment in new machinery and the development of a new mill. Julian reports that Hales is now producing approximately 1500 gates per month. 

The expansion of the company follows a rise in demand for their specialist services and quality timber products. The quest began for new machinery, servicing, and training, which led Hales to get in touch with Daltons Wadkin for advice and a tailored proposal throughout the expansion process. No stranger to Daltons Wadkin, Hales had been purchasing machinery from the company for over 20 years and knew it was in safe hands.

Finalising Hales requirements resulted in the purchase of two Stenner ST100R resaws, a Kuper planer moulder, Wadkin CST planer thicknesser, and numerous Graule crosscutting machines. Following this, it also increased the size of its workforce, and with new machinery and new operators comes the need to ensure safety and machine knowledge is up to date. 

“We want people to come here to work and be safe, so we get the professionals in to take care of that and to service all the machines as well, to make sure everything is kept up to a high standard,” says Julian Parton, director at Hales Sawmills. 

Daltons Wadkin was able to supply, install, re-commission, and service machinery for Hales. Following this, Daltons Wadkin sent in a member of its red team of operator trainers to deliver on-site certificated training. The most recent training has been on the Wadkin CST planer thicknesser. 

As with all training courses from Daltons Wadkin it was a hands-on and engaging session to be part of. Speaking to one of the operatives afterwards he commented, “It’s good to know what these machines can and can’t do. Trainer, Lee Hopkins, has been fantastic, the three of us have learnt a lot and it should make it much easier for us in the future”. 

Properly training operators on machinery ensures high levels of skill and efficient production, feeding back the best quality products to the end user. Common misconceptions and bad habits can become engrained, for example Daltons Wadkin often find that things such as noise levels of the machinery go unnoticed. For example, did you know that a noise level of over 80 decibels requires a risk assessment? If so, great. If not, perhaps a bit of refresher training could benefit your team. 

Daltons Wadkin’s approach to training is unrivalled. Training is conducted on and around the machine as much as possible, which results in a practical and engaging session where conversation is encouraged, and operators go away with enhanced knowledge and confidence.

To find out more about the range of courses available, including wood machining, abrasive wheel, portable power tools and supervisor training, contact Daltons Wadkin.

0115 986 5201