Covid 19 Key Working and Pandemic Response

Like most businesses, UBU was faced with a very rapid decline in the need for its services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite many years of emergency and disaster recovery planning, nothing prepared us for the scale or the speed of the task ahead. In the space of 10 days we went from managing a fleet of over 120 truck mounted sweepers and tankers, to providing our services to around 30 key worker clients.

These clients were all critical sites which required the support of UBU in order to maintain emergency facilities or because they were responsible for key infrastructure as part of the government’s pandemic planning. Our reputation as a reliable firm with high asset investment ensured that we met the specific supply chain requirements for these crucial and often reactive works. Sites that UBU were asked to support included Manchester Airport, Christies Hospital, and the Nightingale Manchester Hospital. We also continued to provide emergency call out work for Amey Highways who are responsible for the maintenance and response services for more than 300 miles of strategic road network including some of the busiest motorways the M6, M56 and M62.

Chapter 8 back of tankerWe are fortunate that we have a great team of operatives and other integral staff which includes the Hiredesk, our accounts department, the UBU health and safety officer and the plant fitters department. We were able to draw on several external and internal resources to ensure that the highest level of protection was in place to support staff who were still working through the pandemic. We implemented high levels of training, information, and instruction to all employees to ensure that safety was the highest priority. Our risk management was reviewed, and additional control measures were implemented to support these changes.

We continue to work with our supply chain as they now seek to resume work but we embrace the new focus. We adopt their procedures and ensure that they either meet or exceed the working environment standards that we have implemented. We are fortunate that we have an extremely versatile team who are able to use their expertise to both advise and support customers through this new normal.


On a positive note, we have used this situation as a catalyst to improve our operations in several ways,  which include the following:

· The development of existing IT systems to be more resilient to environmental changes.

· The development of a bespoke dispatch system for the Hiredesk which we were able to live trial on a smaller scale due to reduced numbers.

· Better understanding of technology such as Zoom and Microsoft teams to communicate effectively whilst maintaining social distancing.

· The launch of our new website! 

· Continual asset investment through the launch of our bespoke Ultimate Blasting Unit which is our new high pressure road jetter guaranteed to bring surfaces back to black.

· The refurbishment of the Hiredesk offices to facilitate better social distancing and welfare facilities.

· The siting and instillation of a new welfare block at the depot for operatives, to meet new requirements.

· Accreditation renewals to meet SSIP standards with Pics, Safecontractor and Constructionline.

· In house reinstatement of payroll and pension support.

UBU are hopeful that over time we will grow our business back up to its full capacity and we look forward to working with customers both old and new! We appreciate that there is an element of uncertainty, but one think is for certain that the high level of service you will get when you book a UBU sweeper has not changed.

We continue to invest in the business, the people and its assets. If you need any sweeper hire please don’t hesitate to contact our Hiredesk on 0161 703 7777


UBU Whale Tanker Side