What we do
We’ve a highly-trained workforce of circa 3500, 40 + national operational centres, 4 training hubs and a fleet of over 2500 vehicles.
Kelly Group proudly took part in the esteemed historic event on Saturday, July 22nd, 2023, showing its support for the City of London and The Worshipful Company of Carmen. The event commemorated and upheld the rich transport heritage and traditions spanning over 500 years. The captivating parade unfolded within the Guildhall Yard, a historic landmark nestled in the heart of the City of London, showcasing a remarkable display of over fifty modern and vintage vehicles. This year saw a special guest joining the Sheriff and Master Carman for the marking ceremony, Nicholas Lyons, RT Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
The Group was delighted to enter our bespoke designed 2021 PEU (Pole Erection Unit) to this year’s parade representing the versatility of our nationwide fleet. Since its inception in 1989, Kelly Fleet has grown from a modest fleet of 75 vehicles to its current size of 2700, which has remained consistently above 2000 vehicles since 2014.
Kelly Group is proud to operate a nationwide fleet featuring quite a few less common makes. These include several PEUs (Pole Erection Units) which are large HGVs with special engineered cranes; they are designed to replace telegraph poles by drilling holes which remove old poles and replace them with new poles and their installation. Kelly Group’s PEU were bespoke and designed to ensure they’re the right length without compromising the length of poles they’re able to carry while adapting to tighter routes in the country. Longer cranes were installed on some of the vehicles to help our engineers to work at a small distance from the PEU vehicle. Due to the attention to detail, that was given to the design of these vehicles, we have been very fortunate and have experienced fewer mechanical issues that are common in other large vehicles.
The Group currently has 12 PEU vehicles within our nationwide fleet department including the most recent bespoke design addition. The project team included Larry McGrane (Group Transport and Plant Managing Director) and John Taylor (Workshop Manager), who both contributed to the custom build of our PEU vehicles, from the design stage to the actual build stage.
The team started the process by selecting the chassis cab, followed by custom building the body, based on the advice of custom body builders. The next stage was the creation of detailed CAD drawings to ensure all elements fit safely, we needed to ensure the length and width of the vehicle was compatible with the various poles sizes we utilise for jobs. The last element was choosing the large crane and auger which is the muscle of the operation!
Our bespoke 18-tonne PEU vehicles feature special toolboxes, heated cupboards for uniforms, a pole jack that is attached, traffic management storage that has charging points for batteries and a special storage unit for signs and barriers.
Cart marking is an annual charity event showcasing a very unique collection of vehicles going back from the horse and cart to today’s futuristic vehicles. On a beautiful Saturday morning, all participants are lined up outside the Guildhall Yard, on London Wall, and enter through the Guildhall Arch; this is where the traditional marking ceremony takes place and where each vehicle is introduced by the commentator with a brief insight into its history.
The Sheriff, Master Carman, his two Wardens and the Master Glover are dressed in traditional robes and brand each vehicle with a red-hot iron on the Carman’s wooden licensing board, displaying the year letter and ‘cart’ number. This ritual is known as Cart Marking.
‘Cart’ owners had to pay for their licence, which allowed trade for standing and plying for hire in the City of London for the forthcoming year; a new mark needed to be branded annually to allow the trade to continue. This was the earliest form of vehicle licensing. In 1838, an earlier legislation was repealed, empowering the Keeper of Guildhall to mark carts for an annual fee of five shillings – equal to 25p today. Five shillings is still paid to the City of London for each vehicle that passes through Guildhall Arch today.
Kelly House, Fourth Way, Wembley
Middlesex, HA9 0LH
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