Luke Roberts shortlisted for TTJ Award

Luke RobertsWe are proud to announce that Luke Roberts has been shortlisted for a TTJ Award in the Career Development category.

The Career Development Award recognises achievement in training, qualifications and skills development of individual employees in the timber industry. Luke, a Business Development Director based at our Ilkeston branch, has worked in the industry for over 18 years. He joined DTE in 2008 and has advanced through the business, much in thanks to his hard work and commitment to personal development, including obtaining a post-graduate Diploma in Applied Management from Warwick Business School.

Now in their 21st year, the annual TTJ Awards showcase the timber sector as a major, modern and forward-looking industry and recognise its achievements in areas that are vital to business success.

The winners will be announced on 29 September at a ceremony in London. Well done, Luke – and good luck!

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DTE appoints new GM in Andover

Sean AnnellsWe have appointed Sean Annells as general manager of our Andover branch.

Sean joined DTE in 2015 as a design technician and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He first joined Gang-Nail Systems in 1996 as a trainee design engineer and worked his way up through the design team before taking a role as a technical support representative. Following 16 years with Gang-Nail, Sean took positions at Consultec Timber Frame and Scandia Hus.

Jonathan Fellingham, Managing Director of DTE, said: “With hands–on experience of product design, combined with roles involving client support, Sean has a proven ability to understand the needs of our customers and ensure that we provide solutions to support their projects efficiently and cost effectively.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sean said: “This is a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to leading the team at Andover. Over the least two decades, I feel like I’ve picked up many of the best practices for customer service and operational management and I can’t wait to make a start at building on the already terrific work we do at Andover, and across all of DTE’s branches.”

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DTE’s Cramlington Branch Celebrates 25 Years

Scott Cairns, Jonathan Fellingham, Andrew Donaldson and Andrew Lee present long-serving staff with anniversary awards and certificatesWe are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Cramlington, Northumberland branch.

DTE Cramlington, which supplies customers in the north east with trusses, spandrel panels, I-joists, and open web joists, was our first branch outside Scotland. In that time, the branch has gone from strength to strength and now has a turnover of £3.9m per annum.

Seven of the 30 current employees at Cramlington are also marking their quarter-century with DTE, including Keith Peart, who was general manager for 20 years before side-stepping into a technical sales role in 2012.

Commenting on the milestone, Jonathan Fellingham, managing director of DTE, said: “This is a terrific achievement for DTE and the Cramlington branch, with 25 years of operation confirming our position in the north east construction industry. Several members of the team have been with the branch since day one – and many customers have too – and we’re incredibly proud of this accomplishment.”

Andrew Lee took over from Peart as general manager five years ago. Commenting on the business, he said: “DTE is a family business and this ethos cascades down through all of the branches. We’ve got a solid team in Cramlington and the fact Keith and six other employees have been here for all 25 years really shows their loyalty and investment in the company. The local knowledge and expertise in the branch is unbeatable.”

The occasion was marked by a staff event at the branch, where Fellingham and Group managing director of James Donaldson & Sons, Scott Cairns, presented long-serving staff with anniversary awards and certificates.

DTE was established in Scotland in 1985 and has eight branches across the UK.

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DTE appoints new GM in Warrington

Richard RuseWe have appointed Richard Ruse as general manager of our Warrington branch.

Richard has been in the industry for 34 years, originally working for Southern Evans as a trainee designer. During his career he also worked as branch manager at Palgrave Brown, Widnes, and most recently he was northern regional sales manager at Pasquill.

Jonathan Fellingham, Managing Director of DTE, said: “With a proven track record in both production and team management, Richard is a welcome addition to the DTE family. He is committed to efficient, customer-focused service and has a strong sense of how to develop our presence in the North West.”

The Warrington branch, which opened in 2015, exclusively manufactures roof trusses and supplies our customers in Cumbria, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, and North Wales.

Commenting on his appointment, Richard said: “Joining DTE is an exciting new opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in; meeting our customers and working with the team. DTE is a well-respected company that does great work right across the country, and I can’t wait to see the Warrington branch continue to grow.”

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DTE appoints Business Development Director for Engineered Joist Solutions

Luke RobertsWe have appointed Luke Roberts as Business Development Director for Engineered Joist Solutions.

Luke has been promoted from his position as Ilkeston Beams General Manager, and his new role will be aimed primarily at expanding our existing engineered joist offering, and developing a more comprehensive overall package inclusive of value added products and solutions.

Well established in the timber industry, Luke has been with DTE for nine years and previously held positions at Walker Timber Group and National Hickman.

Jonathan Fellingham, Managing Director of DTE, said: “The business is going from strength to strength, and we are committed to continually expanding our product offering and investing in the evolving needs of our customers. Luke is a valuable asset to the team and we are extremely pleased to offer him this new position. We know his knowledge of the industry and dedication to our customers makes him a great fit for the role.”

Commenting on his new position, Luke said: “I’m really pleased to be taking on this role and I’m looking forward to the new challenge. We have a great opportunity to develop new and improved joist solutions, and I can’t wait to deliver results for our customers and the business.”

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DTE Steps Up its Health and Safety Offering with SafeWell



We have increased our health and safety offering with the launch of SafeWell, a new reusable and adjustable timber stairwell protection kit.

Following the success of our award-winning health and safety product, SafeStep, SafeWell was designed to remove the risk of working at height when using first and/or second floor joists as a platform during the build process.

Suitable for use on all standard house types with a straight flight of stairs, the patent-pending SafeWell is a cost effective solution providing safety for workers and added value for the builder. Unlike the disposable stairwell protection kits currently on the market, SafeWell can be used multiple times – making it less expensive per use and reducing the cost of waste disposal on site.

As the main beam and components can be used 10 times, the cost saving per development is substantial. Based on a 50 plot scheme, SafeWell saves builders more than £1,000 on materials, as well as 1.5 tonnes of waste on site.

SafeWell is created by fixing a main beam to the flooring system with hangers and extending a notched Kerto beam across the required length of the stairwell. Supporting beams are positioned within the well to line through with the flooring system beams, allowing for various covers, including chipboard, to be used. As SafeWell is installed using the same methods as existing stairwell protection kits, carpenters and builders will already know how to use the system, allowing for efficient speed of build with no need for additional training.

Jonathan Fellingham, managing director of DTE, said: “More than half of all fatal injuries in the construction industry are a result of falls from height, so over the past two years we’ve invested in working on products which can reduce the risks associated with working at height.

“Experience has proven that simple solutions are often the best, so we took a commonly used product and made it more economical using straightforward timber innovation. It has an unquestionable edge over the competition with its ease of installation and use, cost effectiveness, and waste reduction.”

We are committed to providing viable and cost-effective solutions to ensure that workers in the construction industry can avoid putting themselves in danger. In 2014, we developed SafeStep, a reusable metal cross bar designed to minimise the risk of overstretching when installing roof ridge stability bracing on trusses over 2.5m in height.

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Donaldson Timber Engineering appoints Jason McAteer as Andover GM

Jason McAteerWe have appointed Jason McAteer as general manager of our Andover, Hampshire branch.

Jason began his career 24 years ago as an operative, and joined our Ilkeston branch as an I-beam production supervisor in 2008. He progressed to I-beam production manager in 2010 and then to site production manager in 2012. At Andover, Jason will lead a team of 22 staff members in the production of roof trusses.

Jonathan Fellingham, managing director of DTE, said: “Jason has made a big impact at the Ilkeston branch over the last few years and his time as production manager has proven he can manage output, and also manage a team. We opened up this position to both internal and external candidates but Jason’s commitment to efficient service and customer needs meant he was the right person for the job.”

Commenting on his appointment, Jason said: “I’m really excited about this opportunity and the new responsibilities that come with being a GM. Not only will it involve the day-to-day running of Andover, but it also allows for input into the DTE business overall, our strategies and our focus. I’ve already learned a lot during my time here, and I’m looking forward to this next step.”

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DTE Achieves ISO 14001

ISO14001-tnDonaldson Timber Engineering has always aspired to be the best at what it does.  With this in mind, we at DTE identified the need to extend our environmental credentials beyond chain of custody, and we took the decision to install the internationally recognised Environmental Management System ISO 14001.  This standard is designed to help us remain commercially successful without overlooking environmental responsibilities and impacts. It can also help us to grow sustainably, whilst reducing the environmental impact of this growth.

So what are the benefits of achieving ISO 14001?

  • Better environmental management, which helps reduce waste and energy use
  • Improving efficiency, which helps us cut the cost of running our business
  • Allowing us to expand our business opportunities through compliance
  • Meeting legal obligations to win greater stakeholder and customer trust
  • Instilling confidence in addressing the changing business landscape

We worked closely with the IMS Team to prepare for the assessment.  This meant adapting a new approach to the environment, and specifically, we had to change how we dealt with our waste.

Although there is still a lot of work to be done, I am pleased to confirm that all the hard work paid off and we have achieved our accreditation to this standard.

However, in order to continually improve, we have set the following objectives:

  • Convert lighting on all sites to LED within 2 years
  • Replace heating systems with more environmentally appropriate heating within 2 years
  • Reduce waste to landfill by 25% within 2 years from 2015/16 levels
  • Maintain chain of custody certification
  • Improve housekeeping and measure success through monthly management walk-arounds

These meet our ISO 14001 and Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) targets and set us up for our next challenge, ISO 50001!

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New Saw in Ashford

20160314_111548_resizedWe recently invested in a new Randek SP722 single blade cut saw in our Ashford branch.

The new piece of equipment will be used to cut valley frames, gable ladders, short webs, acute angles and smaller truss jobs, and will complement our existing multi-blade MiTek cybersaw. It will replace the facility’s existing saw and provide improved cutting capacity, as well as the accuracy and reliability that Randek is renowned for.

Lee Kent, general manager at Ashford, said: “This is DTE’s fourth Randek single blade saw in the last eighteen months and so far they’ve all been well received. Not only will this investment increase our capacity and speed up turnaround, but this saw provides super precision and accuracy, ensuring the quality our customers know and expect from us.”

The saw became fully operational in March.

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Spandrel manufacturing line at Ilkeston

SpandrelIn response to customer demand, we have installed a bespoke spandrel manufacturing line at our Ilkeston branch.
Spandrel panels have long been a popular product, but we have recently seen an increase in demand as housebuilders recognise the many benefits of using them. They are installed as part of the roof package and go up with the house, so there is no need to get bricklayers back on site; they easily meet fire regulations; and crucially, they save time and money on site.

Oli James, general manager at Ilkeston, comments: “Previously we had been out-sourcing spandrel manufacture, but we identified that by bringing this service in-house, we’d be providing many more benefits to our customers. It guarantees a better quality of manufacture; enables us to be more efficient, and allows us to offer an improved price to our customers. It also means we can make panels to customer specification and Robust Details.”

A dedicated team has been put in place purely for the panels, and three new members of staff have been employed to man the line.

The machine itself was acquired from the Buckhaven branch, utilising the existing butterfly table and building a bench around it. The line is already at full capacity and is proving successful after just a few months. With the option to easily double shift the line, we hope to be able to manufacture panels for the whole DTE group from Ilkeston.

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