In 2011 the business was acquired by Mark Hignett and Tim Morris. At the same time Loadmac was merged into ABT. ABT Products is the UK’s leading cab, rollbar and chassis designer and manufacturer for industrial, materials handling and agricultural equipment.
Loadmac truck mounted forklifts are designed and built at ABT with direct sales from the factory to UK end users. Loadmac truck mounted forklifts are also exported to Australia, U.S. and Canada.
In 1971 a new 465 sq. metre Factory was built in Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye. In April 1972 the original three employees were transferred from Old Gore (Anthony’s home and workshop). The company manufactured silage pit-props, gutter brackets, and doors for agricultural buildings as well as lawn mower handles.
In 1972 the company started to manufacture livestock feeding equipment and over the next fifteen years ABT developed own range of agricultural equipment. This included cultivators, bale wrappers and bale handlers. Exhibiting and selling ABT’s product range all over the world was a great achievement for the business and the Directors.
The original factory increased in size and by 1986 it was 1468 sq.metres. A neighbouring factory was purchased to give the company a further 465 sq.metres.
By 1988 the company had become involved in the manufacture of cabs for forklift trucks. ABT needed a larger Factory.
In 1989 the present 3.2 acre Ashburton site was purchased and a new purpose built 2787 sq.metre Factory was constructed. ABT suffered during the 1990 Recession, but by 1993 it had resumed its upwards growth and became a significant supplier of cabs to the forklift truck industry. ABT also made chassis for sports cars and ABT’s own brand agricultural machinery.
The factory was extended in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 2007. Eventually covering 6000 sq.metres.
In 1999 the company invested in an Autophoretic Paint Plant to provide customers with the ultimate corrosion protection. The Autophoretic process involves high quality surface cleaning of ferrous metal and an anti corrosion treatment increasing product life. The anti corrosion treatment provides in excess of 1000 hours salt spray protection. The Plant is the largest in Britain and one of the largest in Europe.
In 2008 ABT commissioned a new HD CNC 3m bed plasma machine. This enabled the company to produce profiles up to 32mm thickness.
In 1971 the company had three employees, excluding Directors and a turnover of £50,000. In 1997 it had 84 employees and a turnover excess of £4,000,0000. In 2007 the company had 97 employees and a turnover of £8,000,000. Today we employee 80 people and have an annual turnover of £8,000,000.
The company now specialises in the design and manufacture of Cabs, Rollbars and Chassis for the construction, forklift truck, material handling, automotive and agricultural industries.
The company is a batch fabrication specialist producing batches of products in quantities of 20-500 items, depending upon their cost and complexity. ABT predominantly uses mild steel (1mm – 6 mm thick), together with a range of proprietary parts to produce a wide range of cabs and load guards.
The company currently is the largest manufacturer of roll-bars within the UK. Since 2006 ABT have been able to carry out ROPS/TOPS tests using an in-house purpose built rig. ABT are also able to carry out FOPS tests. ABT Products has also been manufacturing Loadmac , Truck mounted forklifts for two years now. Proudly the only TMFL designed and built in Britain.
Further extensions to the factory, Investment in IT, surface finishing, and Laser metal cutting are happening or planned for 2013/2014.