We love meeting the real people of the skip world and they don’t come more down-to-earth than the Wyatt family from Hampshire. Skip Hire Magazine caught up with Ben Ringwood of Ringwood and Fordingbridge Skip Hire to find out more about the most skip-mad family in Britain.
Ben Wyatt and his wife, Natalie have become the most skip-mad couple in Britain after starting their skip hire business nine years ago.
Ben says, “We started out with an old K-Reg skip lorry and five second-hand skips. Nine years later, we’re running eight lorries and have over 500 skips and a transfer station.”
Prior to starting the business, Ben and his wife never imagined they would be as skip-mad as they are. Ben was made redundant from his job as a commercial fitter and Natalie worked as a consultant.
Ben continues, “I found a skip lorry that had been smashed up by another skip company, so I bought it initially, to do it up and sell it on. I replaced the windows, painted it and put it through its MOT and said to my missus ‘Why don’t we put an advert in t the paper for skip hire and see what happens?’
“We did that, got a phone call and booked the job, but we had no skips. My wife booked two jobs in the first week, so we hired the skips from a local company called Fordingbridge Skip Hire. It made sense then that we needed to start a business doing skip hire. We went and bought five second hand skips from them and four years ago, we bought them out, hence the name Ringwood and Fordingbridge Skip Hire.”
The skip-mad family is extending. The 15 staff at Ringwood and Fordingbridge include Ben’s brother, two cousins, close family friends and people from the local area.
It doesn’t stop there. Guests to the Ringwood wedding in July were treated to a treat when the bride turned up in, yes you’ve guessed it – a skip lorry.
When planning his wedding, the skip-mad husband-to-be even got other skip companies involved. Ben continues, “We bought two skip lorries from Webb’s this year and they made the skip for the post box as a wedding gift. I would like to thank them for that. It was brilliant and all the guests commented on it.”
The skip-mad couple have had three children since they stared their business, Daisy, 8, Jack, 6 and Poppy, 2, who are just as skip-mad as their parents. Ben says, “They always argue over who owns what skip and who owns what lorry. That one’s jack’s lorry and the hook loader is Daisy’s lorry etc.
“My son Jack always wants to go to the yard and drive a digger or a skip lorry. Daisy love skips and Poppy’s first word was lorry.
“We really are skip-mad. I’ve drummed it into all the family, purely because of how mad I am for skips, because nine years ago, we had nothing. Everything in our lives is all down to skips. Even my boy has little, toy skip lorries and the kid’s drink bottles have their names and skips on.”
Ben now has ten lorries is his fleet, eight in use, one spare and the original lorry from when he started the business, which he keeps for sentimental value. He says, “I will one day put it back on the road. I’m waiting until I can bring it home and park it on the front of my house.”
“We’re really passionate about our lorries. We’ve got chrome and mirror guards, air-horns – we’ve really gone the extra mile with them, we’re quite fussy and always make sure they are tip-top. They aren’t just normal skip lorries to us, they are almost part of the family too.
“When I lost my job nine years ago, we were broke. I know what that’s like. So I am determined to make sure that this works. This is what we do and this is how we do it. We’ve got a lot to be thankful to skips for.”
Ringwood and Fordingbridge Skip Hire are continually looking on ways to achieve zero-to-landfill. Ben says, “I would like to thank each member of my staff for helping us to build our skip hire and recycling company and achieve our targets as a business.”