Following the last 'Not just for boys' blog post where we met female A30G operator Emma Watts, we were delighted to receive an email from Jessica Limer who currently operates an L150F and EC290C and has big plans for the future. Amy Metcalfe travelled to meet Jess to find out more…
Silverdale (Buxton) Site Services are based at Ashwood Dale Quarry in Buxton, Derbyshire. Set up by Colin Limer in 1998 the business has grown from offering crushing and screening services to providing aggregate sales, plant hire and maintenance and has recently moved into providing concreting products.
Jess originally began her career in a totally different field of work but had to rethink this after suffering a back injury. This led her to move into the family business starting as a loading shovel operator in 2014. Now aged 23, Jessica comments: “I began my training as an operator and discovered that this was something I really enjoyed.” Matt Limer, Jess’s brother, was already working within the maintenance side of the business and he offered guidance to Jess while she was learning. After passing her loading shovel test Jess then trained to operate dump trucks followed by excavators and in December 2015 passed her welding and fabrication course. But she doesn’t stop there… Jess also works alongside the health and safety officer for the site ensuring health and safety regulations are adhered to and has passed her MPQC safety and has a qualification in team leadership – health and safety and first aid at work. She is also beginning a Site Supervisor course in June and looking at doing her HGV within the next 12 months.
The company is currently working on a crushing and recycling project to extract stone from ‘waste’ clay. A washing plant will soon be built on site which will retrieve stone/sand from produce 100 mm crusher product.
Jess prefers to work in the EC290C loading stone into the crusher but also operates the L150F when required, loading up trucks with the crushed product. Jess says: “My motto is; if you find a job that you love then you never have to work a day in your life and that is how I feel here. I have found my dream job.” She adds: “Because this is a family business it was quite easy for me to move into this industry and train to operate machines but for anyone else looking to start a career as an operator there are now quite a few training centres around the country making it easier to get the right qualifications.”
Business owner Colin has become a mentor as well as father to Matt and Jess as they become more involved in the business and adds: “Women bring a lot to the industry and it would be great to see more female operators coming through. Jessica takes pride in her work and looks after the machines she operates”.
Silverdale currently operate three Volvo machines, an EC290B, EC290C, L150F and are looking to add Volvo ADTs and a 14 tonne Volvo excavator. Matt comments: “I would be happy to have a fleet that is solely Volvo as we have found them to be very reliable. We have had our EC290B since 2007 and have had no problems with it.”
It was great to meet Jess and see that while she really enjoys what she currently does, she also sees a career path in the industry and has a strong desire to progress within the company. Her passion and commitment is strong and I’m sure both Jess and Matt will bring new opportunities to Silverdale (Buxton) Site Services. Jess is keen to see more women working in the industry and hopes that now there are more training centres available this will encourage others to join.