Client Case Study Round Up

Repairing damages, fixing up broken machinery, and creating bespoke props and replicas are specialities here at Sparks. We handle a variety of cases every week that take us around West London and Slough, providing outstanding results across multiple sectors. 

In this blog post, we showcase a collection of recent case studies, from repairing a loading shovel in Heathrow to creating a fully functioning Back to the Future Delorean, that shows off our commitment to quality, innovation and customer satisfaction. 

Welding Repair: Fixing a Loading Shovel in Heathrow

Farming equipment is notoriously expensive to replace, with a new loading shovel costing several thousands. Our mobile welding repair services aim to cut down on these costly expenses by repairing and salvaging everything we can. This was the case for a farmer in the Heathrow area, whose broken bucket had led to materials such as rubble, soil, and ballast leaking out during use. 

Once Sparks had been called out, we quickly discovered the fixing pin had come out and the shovel had several holes punched through it, which meant it leaked small dirt and rubble. We secured a new bolt to replace the one that had been stripped and fixed the pin back into place. The holes were MIG welded closed with steel plates ensuring that the bucket would no longer leak material, and was back in business. 

We were able to get the tractor back in working condition on site, in a matter of hours. We left the client pleased with our repairs and with a fully functioning tractor that was ready to get back to work. 

Welding Repair: Mending a Tipper Truck in Stanwell 

Another project we took on recently was a tipper truck repair for a client in Stanwell. The underneath of the 8-wheel chassis had cracked and the tipping pin had broken. The truck was essentially useless and the client was looking at a high price to replace it. 

It is not uncommon for tipping pins and truck undercarriages to rust over time. 

Exposure to harsh weather conditions, rough or salty roads, constant heavy-duty use, and exposure to fallen debris like rocks and stones can speed up the rusting process on your truck. 

With tipping trucks being used to transport tons of materials every week, these rusted parts can very easily break or crack under the strain. To prevent this, it’s recommended you check for signs of rust regularly and get things replaced before they break. 

To fix our client’s problem, however, we re-welded over the cracks in the 8-wheel chassis using an over-plate for extra strength. These steel over-plates should last for several years. We also secured a new tipping pin firmly in place. 

Welding Repair: Airport Fire and Rescue Vehicle

Keeping fire and rescue vehicles in full working order is incredibly important, each vehicle must undergo strict health and safety checks to ensure they’ll be working when an emergency hits. But what happens when a vehicle fails these checks? 

This happened recently at Heathrow airport, where a rescue stair vehicle had been rendered unsafe after failing its health and safety checks. Rescue stairs are the airport’s fire department’s most used vehicle, used to evacuate passengers from full aeroplanes quickly and efficiently, and so getting this up and running again was vital.

Sparks was called in to assess the damage and handle the repairs. We discovered that the handle rail on the steps was damaged, making it illegal to use because it was unsafe for evacuated passengers or crew. We were able to fix this by cutting the broken section of rail clean out and then welding a new piece back in place, bringing it back to a factory finish. 

The rescue stairs passed another security and safety inspection and were back in business the very next day. 

Airport Fire Engine Shutter Refurbish 

We were called back to Heathrow airport later that same month, this time to address a fire engine that was in dire need of refurbishment. 

It is vital that firefighters can access the necessary equipment during an emergency, typically housed behind aluminium shutters on the side of the fire engine. These shutters had broken for the fire engine we were called out to service, and its drawers were prone to jamming or breaking. Naturally, the fire engine had failed its safety checks and been deemed unsafe. 

We carefully repaired the aluminium shutters, allowing them to move up and down smoothly without becoming jammed or stiff. We were able to do the same for the drawers, replacing several bolts that became damaged due to overuse and ensuring firefighters could access equipment efficiently. Once the fire engine had passed its next safety inspections, it was back to work just 4 days later. 

Industrial Tipper Trailer Welding Repair 

Our repair specialists were also called out closer to our workshop when a neighbour’s industrial tipper truck developed holes in the aluminium bulk trailer. 

These holes aren’t unusual for tipper trailers made of aluminium. Whilst aluminium is a great choice for industrial vehicles because it’s tough, doesn’t rust, and is lightweight allowing for heavier loads, it can be prone to holes and corrosion over time. If left long enough, these holes will continue to grow until the truck becomes unusable, costing you more money in the long run while it’s out of action. Anodizing aluminium with a finish can help increase the durability of your aluminium and prevent corrosion. 

Thankfully, these holes aren’t difficult to fix for our experts. We welded a new plate to the inside of the trailer to cover the hole, this also helped strengthen the area. Whilst we were working, we discovered several sections of the trailer bed that had been worn away and looked like they may be about to give way. We took pre-emptive measures to repair these sections with new plates before they could pose a problem for the client. 

Once we were finished, the trailer was in perfect condition once again and the client had been saved from extra repairs! 

Back to the Future Deloerean 

The Back to the Future Delorean is possibly one of the most famous vehicles in cinematic history and one fictional vehicle we’ve all dreamt of owning. For James Napier however, this dream was about to become a reality. 

James contacted Sparks and asked for our help constructing a fully functioning replica of the famous time machine. This would be one of 7 movie cars that James had brought to life since 2020, including Bumblebee (Transformers), KITT (Knight Rider), Elanor (Gone in 60 Seconds), and a Jurassic Park Jeep, and of course, we leapt at the chance to be involved. 

Sparks worked with James on the Delorean for 6 months, fabricating aluminium and steel parts for every detail. We even helped create the Flux capacitor (although we can’t vouch for its ability to travel in time!). 

The finished product looks like it is straight from a film set, with James’ collection of movie cars receiving worldwide press coverage. James was incredibly happy with the result and has been known to drive it around town and even take his children to school in it.

Sparks welding and fabrication services are trusted by the Crown Estate

Sparks Tackles High-Profile Projects for the Crown Estate

With 45 years of experience and a wealth of expertise, Sparks has become one of the most trusted welding companies in West London and beyond. We are no strangers to tricky projects and high profile clients, and handle each with the utmost care. It is thanks to this reputation that we were recently called out to help with two projects for the Crown Estate. 

Windsor Castle

The first project was to take place at Windsor Castle. Built in the 11th century, time has begun to wear away at the ceiling of the castle’s boiler room leading to crumbling walls and ceilings. Sparks were called in to manufacture a solution to the problem, which was beginning to pose a health and safety risk. 

Upon arriving at Windsor Castle, Grady at Sparks passed through a number of high security checks before donning a hard hat and heading through the Castle’s tunnels to reach the boiler room. These underground tunnels are built into the castle’s foundations and serve practical purposes for plumbing and heating as well as escape routes that may have been used in the castle’s past. 

Once in the boiler room, Grady immediately understood the challenge and conducted an initial survey. It was quickly determined that the best solution would be for Sparks to custom-manufacture some trays with brackets that would hang in place just below the ceiling. These trays would be used to catch any falling debris from the 957 year-old structure. 

We took the required measurements for the room and the ceiling, and drew up detailed specifications for the trays. These were then passed along to The Royal Estate for approval before work could commence. 

The results 

From the first initial survey to completion, the project took roughly 5 weeks to complete. The team at Windsor Castle were very happy with the outcome and the installed trays offered the perfect fix to the falling debris, allowing the boiler room to remain safe for its workers. The rubble and debris that had been collected by the trays was able to be recycled and reused throughout the remainder of the castle’s structure. 

Royal Farms

The second project we conducted for the Crown Estate took us to an estate on one of the Royal Farms for a complex project that aimed to provide more privacy for high profile figures. 

Some of the older gates on this estate were renowned amongst paparazzi thanks to the gaps in their design, which had frequently allowed photographers to take photos of those staying at the Royal Farm. This, naturally, posed a significant security risk and Sparks was called in to help increase security measures by covering many of these gaps. 

As the gates were very old and of great historical importance, we had to take great care that none of the measures we introduced would damage the gates nor permanently modify them. This had the potential to be a challenging proposal, but with Spark’s experience and technical expertise, we were quickly able to come up with an innovative solution. 

We adapted our usual techniques and custom manufactured metal clamps with box sections that would then be used to hold carefully-constructed sheeting. This sheeting would be able to perfectly cover the gaps in the gate with absolutely no damage to existing structure or its other security measures. 

The results

This was a complex procedure, but we were able to turn it around in just 6 weeks. The team at the Crown Estate were very pleased with the outcome, and impressed by Spark’s speed, knowledge and ability to adapt to the brief.

Airside ground handling equipment serviced and maintained, ULD pallet storage fabricated and repaired, ULD carrier maintenance and repair, full refurbishment service, body change overs
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