Celebrating 25 years of TJ
April will see TJ celebrate its 25th anniversary. It all started with a phone, a portacabin and a leased lorry – fast forward 25 years and TJ is one of the most well-known companies in the south, providing waste and transport services to domestic and commercial customers alike. And there aren’t many people who can’t recite their catchy radio jingle either!
The company was founded by Owner and Chairman Terry Higgins, who, after many years employed in the transport and quarrying trades, thought it might be time for a change. Terry’s wife suggested that if he was going to spend vast amounts of time at work, he might as well start his own business!
This gave Terry the nudge he needed and in April 1994, he took the first steps. TJ started off as a haulage company, sourcing suppliers and delivering construction materials and aggregates.
Terry said: “Transport companies are not always the most professional set-ups and my aim was to bring a sense of integrity and efficiency to the trade. I wanted to offer a company that would deliver what was promised, so that our clients can rely on us completely. Customer service is paramount.”
The first year was just Terry on his own, with his wife helping with the admin. Slowly the company grew, with Terry generating enquiries and building up the customer base. The number of lorries being leased increased and business was going well. By the end of the first year, two administrators had been taken on to assist with the workload.
It wasn’t long before Terry decided to diversify into waste as well. The company purchased an existing yard in Havant to start off with, before outgrowing this and moving into a site on the outskirts of Portsmouth.
Growth was organic and steady. As the years went on, the Head Office was opened in Fareham, Hampshire, with another office in the Bristol area, where TJ’s services were also highly sought after.
In 2012, the waste side of the business moved into the Tipner site, which is now home to the Pounds Yard Materials Recovery Facility. It is a place where commercial businesses can bring their waste and TJ’s team will sort, recycle and dispose of it.
In 2014, the Northwood Farm facility in Yapton was purchased, followed by the Dibles Wharf site in Southampton in 2016. Now TJ were able to offer commercial tipping services that were accessible to businesses across the whole of the southern region.
Despite this success, Terry and the company were still searching for something more; he wanted to be able to supply some of the aggregates himself and spent a long time trying to find suitable material supply pits in the Hampshire area. Finally, in 2017, TJ identified two sites that could be used for quarrying. Hythe Quarry (Forest Lodge site) and Butser Quarry in Petersfield were acquired, adding another two strings to TJ’s bow.
Butser Quarry is a chalk pit that gives TJ their supply of 6F5 rock chalk, a strong and cost-effective material used for many construction projects in the area. The TJ team have redesigned the original site to make it more usable for their needs and safe for their staff.
Hythe Quarry offers sand and gravel products that are highly sought after in the construction and agriculture industries. The sand is often used for plastering, general fill and mortar, and the gravel is ideal for onward screening/washing, bedding and drainage fill.
Terry said: “I was thrilled with the acquisition of the two quarries as I wanted to be able to supply Hampshire-based materials for Hampshire-based projects. The chalk at Butser is the hardest naturally occurring material in the county and ideal for construction use. The other advantage of locally sourced products is that our lorries aren’t travelling as far for these materials now, which can only have a positive effect on our carbon footprint.”
Terry was pleased to welcome his son Jamie Higgins and son-in-law Neil Glazebrook to the firm. Jamie joined TJ in 2001 and after holding various positions throughout the waste and transport operations, he was promoted to Director, responsible for leading the internal site operations and health & safety strategy. Neil joined the team in 2004 as a transport operator and within 10 years was promoted to Director. He’s now responsible for leading the transport operations.
Today, in addition to the premises mentioned, TJ boasts a large fleet of vehicles, a thriving skip service and a staff of around 230. The company is continuing to grow with clients all over the south and south-west regions. Terry says it’s largely down to the dedication of the staff.
He said: “I hope that all TJ employees feel valued as I truly value the quality of the people that work for TJ. We have a keen team ethos and always try to involve staff members in decision making and ensure that they are well-informed at all times. We all pull together to make it work and it’s important to me that my staff enjoy their jobs!”
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