Meet Lee Newton
Hydraulic Service Engineer Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics Llandudno Junction
I had a few options open to me after leaving school, it was a matter of deciding which route to take. Instead of continuing with college I took the option of accepting a 5 year apprenticeship as a plant mechanic with Conwy Borough College. Getting straight into work seemed more appealing to me. I spent one day a week at Northop Agricultural College learning the theory work behind mechanics and hydraulics, and spent the rest of the week repairing and servicing every part of the machinery in the fleet as well as steel fabrication. This is something that I really enjoyed doing so when my apprenticeship finished in 2000 I stayed and worked for Conwy Council for another 12 years!
After this time I felt that I needed a change. I had wanted to try a new challenge for a couple of years but of course it was a very hard decision to make, in 2012 I plucked up the courage and decided to go self-employed. Using the skills and knowledge I had gained at Conwy Council me and a friend set up our own business repairing and servicing plant machinery. This was an exciting time but unfortunately after 6 months we realised that our business wasn’t working out due to the financial situation, therefore I began to look for a job in a similar field that could offer a stable income. At that time I knew Hydroscand Llandudno Junction had a vacancy so I called their office and sent an email to their Branch Manager Mike Hadfield who invited me to the branch for an interview. I was offered the job as a mobile hose engineer which I accepted! I started working at Hydroscand Llandudno in 2013 and although I had experience of fitting hoses, I didn’t have any experience of manufacturing them. For the first two months I was based in the Llandudno depot and was trained on manufacturing hose assemblies and the different types of hose and fittings that were available in the industry. After this I was given my own van and was able to go out on the roads to attend breakdowns and repair hydraulic machinery. One large project that I was involved with whilst at Hydroscand Llandudno Junction was re-hosing a turbine transfer boat. The boat was a brand new build so I was given some drawings by the customer and was asked to measure up the boat and manufacture hoses to fit. A total quantity of 150 hoses were installed on the boat which was an ongoing job for 2-3 months.
I had worked at Hydroscand Llandudno Junction for 2 years when talks began with Hydraquip’s Managing Director Duncan MacBain. Duncan was interested in opening a new Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics branch in the area and asked if we would like to join the Hydraquip Group, we knew Hydraquip as a proactive company who were expanding their national coverage across the UK. Myself and my colleagues Mark, Elfyn and Louis agreed to a meeting with Duncan and Fintan Ennis, Hydraquip’s Regional Director to discuss the option of joining Hydraquip. After a few very positive discussions with Duncan and Fintan, we decided to join Hydraquip and be part of setting up the new Hydraquip Llandudno branch. In July 2015 we moved from Hydroscand Llandudno to Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics with myself as the mobile engineer, Mark Thomas as Branch Manager, Elfyn Roberts as Sales Manager and Louis Slade as Internal Sales/Warehouse Assistant. I really enjoy working at Hydraquip and feel confident that we made the right decision. With the initial help of the group we are now able to move forward and grow Hydraquip’s customer base within North Wales, and attend sites for emergency breakdown repairs. I already know James Roth and Stuart Spurdle from my days at Hydroscand, they worked at Hydroscand Wrexham before moving to Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics Wrexham, so I was happy that I would have others to turn to for help should I need it. The engineer’s vans at Hydraquip are also a lot newer than those I have previously worked in with up to date racking systems installed for keeping my stock organised.
Most of my spare time at the moment is taken up by renovating and decorating. Me and my wife bought a house 3 and a half years ago which needed a lot of work doing to it so we are refurbishing it to live in. I currently have 2 children, a girl who is 12 years old and a boy who is 18 months, and one on the way who is due in March which I am very excited about! I enjoy fishing and go with my brother on his boat just off of Conwy when we can. I don’t watch sports on TV as it’s not something that interests me but I watch lots of films. My favourite type of films are action, horror and sci fi, and my favourite film is Fast & Furious. My other hobby is motorbikes. I had smaller bikes when I was younger but never got round to getting my full license so this year I have challenged myself to do just that! I’m currently working towards my test so that I can pass and get my license before the baby is born, then I can buy some big bikes. The bikes that I like the most are racing ones, particularly the Honda CBR and Yamaha R6.
Thursday 19th November 2015
Meet The Team