A company founded on innovation
Portasilo Limited was registered as a limited company on 16 November 1953.
Donald Shepherd had for some years been concerned with finding a better way of storing, handling and measuring cement on building sites. The existing method of delivering in paper or cotton bags, which had to be split open and the cement hand- shovelled into the mixer, was wasteful and costly.
Since 1950, the Shepherd Construction company had - under Donald Shepherd's guidance - been experimenting with bulk handling techniques. This involved a specially developed steel road tanker made in Bradford, West Yorkshire and Swedish timber silos. Unfortunately the road tankers were so heavy they could only travel at 20mph to meet the existing road traffic regulations and the timber silos were susceptible to the weather and required a crane to erect them. The company decided to develop its own system.
They developed a lightweight silo which required no foundations or electric power and had an innovative weighing device. The silo was portable and could be both loaded and unloaded from a lorry by one man. With a 30% saving in the cost of cement in bulk as opposed to bags, it attracted great interest throughout the Industry.
The problem of the road tankers was solved in association with the Northern Aluminium Company, with a tanker produced in aluminium that was 80% lighter than the original steel tanker and could travel legally at 30mph.
Together, tanker and silo presented a compelling system that took the handling of cement into a much more automated form.
Both the cement producers and leading building contractors keenly supported this new system. Sales took off and enquiries were received from all over the world. That was the beginning of Portasilo's history of innovation, meeting the needs of fast growing markets across the globe.
Shepherd Group - a well-respected family owned business
Portasilo Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Shepherd Group and is part of its Manufacturing Division.
This gives our customers the benefits of a respected history spanning over 115 years of quality craftsmanship in the building sector. The Shepherd Group is one of the UK's leading, family-owned, private businesses with a turnover of around £700m. Established in 1890, it employs around 3,500 staff based at more than 100 locations in the UK and internationally.
The Group's operations in national and international markets include substantial companies covering Construction and Engineering, Manufacturing and Property Development. Success, during more than a century of business, has been characterised by high professional standards and innovative, multi-disciplinary solutions to market demands.
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